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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 09:46:30 AM EST
Even moderate air pollution can raise stroke risks

Air pollution, even at levels generally considered safe by federal regulations, increases the risk of stroke by 34 percent, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers have found.

Writing in the Feb. 14, 2012 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers who studied more than 1,700 stroke patients in the Boston area over a 10-year period found exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, generally from vehicle traffic, was associated with a significantly higher risk of ischemic strokes on days when the EPA's air quality index for particulate matter was yellow instead of green.

Researchers focused on particles with a diameter of 2.5 millionths of a meter, referred to as PM2.5. These particles come from a variety of sources, including power plants, factories, trucks and automobiles and the burning of wood. They can travel deeply into the lungs and have been associated in other studies with increased numbers of hospital visits for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks.

"The link between increased stroke risk and these particulates can be observed within hours of exposure and are most strongly associated with pollution from local or transported traffic emissions," says Murray A. Mittleman, MD, DrPH, the study's senior author, a physician in the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:01:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima faces increased quake risk - study

Japan's crippled nuclear plant at Fukushima needs to beef up safety measures to face the risk of a large earthquake, scientists said on Tuesday.

The alarm was sounded by a trio of seismologists in Japan and China, who say the risk is an indirect cause of the March 11 tsunami-generating super-quake.

"The security of the nuclear plant site should be strengthened to withstand potential large earthquakes in the future," the team said in a study published in a specialist journal.

The concern stems from a computer model of the crust and mantle lying under northeastern Japan.

Using a technique called seismic tomography, the team analysed data from a vast network of sensors which record waves of energy propelled through the ground by earth tremors.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: Scientists: 'Big One' Building Beneath Fukushima

Last week the temperature in Fukushima Daiichi's #2 reactor vessel - as measured at the "0" position gage - began rising in an erratic manner. Over the weekend the gage shot over 80ºC, causing TEPCO to have to report that if the reading is accurate, the #2 reactor can no longer be considered to be in a state of "cold shutdown."

A hole was drilled in the #2 reactor containment vessel for insertion of an industrial endoscopy camera on January 19th, revealing high gamma radiation, no water level or evidence of corium, and a steady dripping of water through the breached reactor vessel. Which was reported to have "melted through" in the early days of the mid-March 2011 disaster.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 07:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
looking in here


it looks like TEPCO saved money by buying cheap thermocouples, 2 wire rather than 4 wire, and the insulation has finally failed on those 2 wires, and that has resulted in themo-electric effects causing random extra ammounts of electricity, reading out at the control room as fluctuating heat.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 07:32:37 PM EST
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reading through the comment section on the DKos article is very revealing, if even a third of the claims can be backed up.

Would someone please give me evidence that this civilization is evolved enough to handle nuclear power?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:21:47 AM EST
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what civilization ? Japan ? humanity ? I see no such ships

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 07:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Overinvesting in energy efficiency, on purpose | David Roberts - Grist

This is the fourth post in a mini-series on the rebound effect. Here are posts one, two, and three.

Let's briefly review what we've covered so far in my rebound series:

  1. Climate change means we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a lot, beginning immediately.
  2. There are two ways to reduce GHG emissions from energy: increase low-carbon energy supply and/or decrease total energy consumption.
  3. Ramping up clean energy supply can't be done fast enough to keep us within our carbon budget, certainly not in the short- to mid-term, if at all. So we've got to use less energy.
  4. There are two ways to reduce energy demand: reduce the energy intensity of the global economy and/or reduce the growth of the global economy.
  5. Substantially reducing global energy intensity turns out to be extremely difficult, thanks in part to the rebound effect.
  6. If energy intensity can't be reduced quickly enough, then the only answer left (other than failing to stabilize global temperature at all) is slowing GDP growth. Yikes.

So where does this leave us? In my mind, two big questions remain, regarding Nos. 5 and 6.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:12:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, even Dave Roberts is simply wrong about point three. Ramping up renewables drastically can well be done, though that of course is only one part of the problem.

Let's also not forget that in this very Salon, are the first reports of an increase in strokes within hours of higher levels of PM2.5s.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:37:15 AM EST
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I don't think he's simply wrong to say we need to use less energy. Which connects with air pollution too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was only referring to point three. for the record, in my circle of advocates going back to the mid-70s, energy efficiency (negawatts) was always choice number one. that hasn't changed.

but the renewable industries have already proven that the scale up of the necessary supply chain is not only doable, it's been done. and it's critical for people with as much influence as him to understand that.

(so why don't you send him an email? hey CH, sometimes you show evidence of functioning.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New study links childhood leukaemia to nuclear power plant radiation - News - The Ecologist
The UK government's scientific advisory group found no link between childhood leukaemia and proximity to nuclear power plants, but German and French research has found an alarming doubling of risk. Matilda Lee reports

In the latest development in the debate over to what extent there is a link between childhood leukaemia and radiation from nuclear power plants, a French study has found a doubling in the incidence of the disease among children under 5 living within 5-kilometre radius of a nuclear plant.

The study, conducted by the Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (INSERM) and reported in the International Journal on Cancer in January 2012, looked at child leukaemia cases nationwide diagnosed between 2002 and 2007, with addresses coded around 19 nuclear power plants. It demonstrated a statistically significant doubling of the incidence of childhood leukaemia near nuclear power plants.

The French study confirms an earlier German study, known as the KiKK, which found a doubling of the incidence of child leukaemia near nuclear power plants, and an increased risk of 60 per cent for all childhood cancers. The KiKK findings were confirmed by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:16:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"A Catastrophic Year" as Hunger Crisis Looms over Sahel - IPS ipsnews.net
NOUAKCHOTT , Feb 15, 2012 (IPS) - Seven out of the eight governments in the Sahel - the arid zone between the Sahara desert in North Africa and Sudan's Savannas in the south - have taken the unprecedented step of declaring emergencies as 12 million people in the region are threatened by hunger.

Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria have all called for international assistance to prevent yet another hunger crisis on the continent. Only Senegal, which will hold presidential elections later this month, has refrained from announcing an emergency, largely for political reasons.

"It's a catastrophic year. The drought is severe. We need urgent intervention to prevent a famine," warns Ahmed Weddady, national director in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation of Mauritania, the country with the world's least amount of potable water, which suffered the worst harvest shortfall in the region. A third of its population already suffers severe food insecurity.

After a drought destroyed the majority of the harvest in the Sahel late last year, rural populations throughout the region have started to run out of food in early February. That's a good six months before the next harvest is expected.

But the world's rich nations, plagued by financial crises and having just spent millions of dollars in emergency aid during last year's Somalia famine, have been slow to respond to the appeals. Barely half of the 650 million dollars needed by the United Nations (U.N.) alone have been pledged. Other aid agencies say they are equally short of funds.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can Europe Derail the Shale Gas Express? - IPS ipsnews.net
MARSEILLE, Feb 13, 2012 (IPS) - Following numerous warnings issued by geologists, health scientists and environmental experts throughout the United States, Europe is now well aware of the high ecological and health risks associated with the exploitation of shale gas fields.

Yet, despite ample knowledge and strong public opposition from various local communities, the recently discovered shale gas deposits across Europe - in particular in France, Germany, and Poland - are highly coveted and will likely soon be exploited by the traditional oil, gas and mineral multinationals.

This year, test drillings are expected to begin in more than 150 locations in Poland, which allegedly contains the richest shale gas fields in Europe. In Germany, local electricity providers have obtained rights to drill in numerous localities in the Northern federal state of Lower Saxony. The French government, meanwhile, has chosen more than 70 sites for drilling, mostly along the Mediterranean coast, around the southern city of Marseille.

Similar projects are under way in Switzerland, Britain, Sweden, and other European countries.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - 500m children 'at risk of effects of malnutrition'

Half a billion children could grow up physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years because they do not have enough to eat, the charity Save the Children says in a new report.

It says much more needs to be done to tackle malnutrition in the world's poorest countries.

The charity found that many families could not afford meat, milk or vegetables.

The survey covered families in India, Bangladesh, Peru, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 03:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Should anyone wish to read the latest newsletter from Windenergie Agentur Bremerhaven Bremen (now just WAB), you can find the pdf HERE.

auf Deutsch, but lots of photos and stuff.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 05:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a good place to get generation data for individual German wind farms (offshore is currently by main interest, but onshore would be a nice extra too)?

There's lashings of data available for the Danish sites (monthly generation by individual turbine; and 1-minute & 5-minute data for West-DK / East-DK totals), and some data for British sites (farm-wide by month, from the ROC data), but I don't know of any equivalent German data.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 09:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reasonably certain that offshore park production remains confidential (except in some instances for annual production from the entire park, but only Alpha Ventus has a complete year), but for German onshore sites:

Here (forward projections)

Hourly data from eex HERE

Windparks DE   HERE

don't know if there's a site which publishes windpark data, but can't imagine such exists.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 10:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what's the GB ROC site, and the Danish site?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 10:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Crazy Horse, many thanks for the data links. Here are mine:

DK data

The Danish turbine-specific data is available from ENS, in their wind turbine register - the main data is linked in the body text, and monthly data by year is listed down the right-hand side of the page.

The 5-minute data fleet-wide data is available, by FTP only, from Energinet, and all the files zipped come to 6MB in total.

The 1-minute data is shown on this live Energinet chart, and as it's provided in a SOAP feed, one might think that it would be possible to create an automated scraper of that feed to archive the minute-by-minute data, if one felt that it might offer an interesting complement to the 5-minute data.

Using these, here are a couple of things I prepared earlier:
Capacity factors at Danish offshore wind farms and a paper showing that Denmark exports its thermal power, and practically none (0.1%-1%) of its wind power

GB data

The GB ROC data is available for 2002-2006 here, and for more recent data from the renewables register

Happy to discuss further, by email if you like: - andrew at my Eurotrib username here dot info

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 12:05:24 PM EST
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