The lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan is not the only water crisis that we need to be concerned about. According to a new report, lead levels in most U.S. cities are at dangerous levels.
Joining RT’s Lindsay France to discuss the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is journalist, activist and Global Health Corps Fellow Jaimee Swift, who says that Flint is not an isolated incident. “The physical environment is not exempt from institutional racism and prejudicial environmental actions and policies that disproportionately affect the black community,” Swift says.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry once presided over America’s nuclear arsenal. Now he is devoting his life to the abolition of nuclear weapons. What does he know that we better find out?
Part 1 of 3. Coming soon: Pt. 2 – Interview; Pt. 3 – Q&A with the audience.
The GOP’s autopsy report laid bare their problems with the American voters. Unfortunately, they didn’t take those lessons to heart, and they’re about to make the same mistakes they made in 2012 all over again.
On the surface, it may be easy to dismiss the locals of Porter Ranch, California, who are complaining of headaches, nose-bleeds and nausea due to the massive methane leak. But these seemingly modest ailments have turned into nightmares for some families. Jim Frantz, of the Frantz Law Group representing more than 1,000 residents, sits with RT’s Manila Chan to discuss how his clients are dealing with the health hazard.
With a virus that causes brain damage and under-development and has no vaccine or medication for prevention or treatment, the Director General of the World Health Organization says the virus outbreak is extremely worrisome, while the CDC is advising travel restrictions for pregnant women. The virus has been found in 21 countries and is expected to reach everywhere besides Canada and Chile. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from Miami.
Water contamination is now on the mind of all Americans following developments from Flint Michigan. RT’s Ed Schultz talks to Simone Del Rosario who breaks down the issue and tells us why data on the issue of water contamination is so lacking.
In 6,000 BC, 8,000 years before the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a paleotsunami whose waves reach taller than the Statue of Liberty allegedly was generated by a landslide from Mount Etna and ravaged the coasts of the Mediterranean, devastating ancient villages and killing untold numbers. A team of scientists pieces together evidence of this megatsunami and reveals the face of this ancient tsunami for the first time. 3-D computer generated animation recreates the massive waves that may have changed the course of history.
Megatsunami is an informal term to describe a tsunami that has initial wave heights that are much larger than normal tsunamis. Unlike usual tsunamis — which originate from tectonic activity and the raising or lowering of the sea floor — known megatsunamis have originated from a large scale landslide, collision, or volcanic eruption event.
A megatsunami is meant to refer to a tsunami with an initial wave amplitude (height) measured in several tens, hundreds, or possibly thousands of meters.
Normal tsunamis generated at sea result from movement of the sea floor. They have a small wave height offshore, and a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometers long), and generally pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a slight swell usually of the order of 30 cm (12 in) above the normal sea surface. When they reach land the wave height increases dramatically as the base of the wave pushes the water column above it upwards.
By contrast, megatsunamis are caused by giant landslides and other impact events. This could also refer to a meteorite hitting an ocean. Underwater earthquakes or volcanic eruptions do not normally generate such large tsunamis, but landslides next to bodies of water resulting from earthquakes can, since they cause a massive amount of displacement. If the landslide or impact occurs in a limited body of water, as happened at the Vajont Dam (1963) and Lituya Bay (1958) then the water may be unable to disperse and one or more exceedingly large waves may result.
Two heights are sometimes quoted for megatsunamis — the height of the wave itself (in water), and the height to which it washes when it reaches land, which depending upon the locale, can be several times larger.
History of the hypothesis
Geologists searching for oil in Alaska in 1953 observed that in Lituya Bay, mature tree growth did not extend to the shoreline as it did in many other bays in the region. Rather, there was a band of younger trees closer to the shore. Forestry workers, glaciologists, and geographers call the boundary between these bands a trim line. Trees just above the trim line showed severe scarring on their seaward side, whilst those from below the trim line did not. The scientists hypothesized that there had been an unusually large wave or waves in the deep inlet. Because this is a recently deglaciated fjord with steep slopes and crossed by a major fault, one possibility was a landslide-generated tsunami.
On 9 July 1958, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7–8.3 (on the Richter scale) caused 90 million tonnes of rock and ice to drop into the deep water at the head of Lituya Bay. The block fell almost vertically and hit the water with sufficient force to create a wave up to 1720 feet high. Howard Ulrich and his son, Howard Jr., were in the bay in their fishing boat when they saw the wave. They both survived and reported that the wave carried their boat “over the trees” on one of the initial waves which washed them back into the bay.
A comet is imagined to strike the Earth and cause major devastation. A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, heats up and begins to outgas, displaying a visible atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred metres to tens of kilometres across and are composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles. The coma and tail are much larger, and if sufficiently bright may be seen from the Earth without the aid of a telescope. Comets have been observed and recorded since ancient times by many different cultures.
Comets have a wide range of orbital periods, ranging from several years to several millions of years. Short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt or its associated scattered disc, which lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Longer-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud, a spherical cloud of icy bodies extending from outside the Kuiper Belt to halfway to the next nearest star. Long-period comets are directed towards the Sun from the Oort cloud by gravitational perturbations caused by passing stars and the galactic tide. Hyperbolic comets may pass once through the inner Solar System before being flung out to interstellar space along hyperbolic trajectories.
Comets are distinguished from asteroids by the presence of an extended, gravitationally unbound atmosphere surrounding their central nucleus. This atmosphere has parts termed the coma (the central atmosphere immediately surrounding the nucleus) and the tail (a typically linear section consisting of dust or gas blown out from the coma by the Sun’s light pressure or outstreaming solar wind plasma). However, extinct comets that have passed close to the Sun many times have lost nearly all of their volatile ices and dust and may come to resemble small asteroids. Asteroids are thought to have a different origin from comets, having formed inside the orbit of Jupiter rather than in the outer Solar System. The discovery of main-belt comets and active centaurs has blurred the distinction between asteroids and comets.
As of July 2013 there were 4,894 known comets, and this number is steadily increasing. However, this represents only a tiny fraction of the total potential comet population, as the reservoir of comet-like bodies in the outer Solar System may number one trillion. Roughly one comet per year is visible to the naked eye, though many of these are faint and unspectacular. Particularly bright examples are called “Great Comets”.
Many comets and asteroids collided into Earth in its early stages. Many scientists believe that comets bombarding the young Earth about 4 billion years ago brought the vast quantities of water that now fill the Earth’s oceans, or at least a significant portion of it. Other researchers have cast doubt on this theory. The detection of organic molecules in significant quantities in comets has led some to speculate that comets or meteorites may have brought the precursors of life—or even life itself—to Earth. In 2013 it was suggested that impacts between rocky and icy surfaces, such as comets, had the potential to create the amino acids that make up proteins through shock synthesis.
It is suspected that comet impacts have, over long timescales, also delivered significant quantities of water to the Earth’s Moon, some of which may have survived as lunar ice. Comet and meteoroid impacts are also believed responsible for the existence of tektites and australites.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
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