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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pollution sparks panic water buying in China

Pollution sparks panic water buying in China

Shanghai (AFP) Jan 26, 2012
Pollution in China's southern region of Guangxi sparked panic buying of bottled water this week after a mining firm dumped toxic cadmium into a river, state media said Thursday. Residents in Liuzhou city filled shopping carts with boxes of bottled water, as the government sought to reassure people that the drinking water supply was safe, Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post reported.

Hydraulic Fracturing: Facts, Frictions, and Trends -- BNA Webinar

Hydraulic Fracturing: Facts, Frictions, and Trends -- BNA Webinar

Hydraulic Fracturing: Facts, Frictions, and Trends -- BNA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET

Already a hot topic, the friction over “fracking” is shaking up even more with recent quakes in Ohio and other areas. The “shale rush” trend, prompted by technology breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing over the last decade, has raised questions about environmental and public health impacts. Water is a particular concern.


In this two-hour webinar, Ben Grumbles, president of Clean Water America Alliance, and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator for water, will set context and moderate diverse perspectives from an expert panel including Mike Paque, executive director of Ground Water Protection Council; Richard Simmers, chief, Oil and Gas Resource Management Division, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Mike Baker, chief, Drinking and Ground Water Divisions, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; Stephanie Meadows, senior policy advisor for the American Petroleum Institute-Upstream; and Patrick O’Toole, president of the Family Farm Alliance.

Webinar objectives include:

•Identifying key facts, legal issues, and policy choices for hydraulic fracturing.

•Describing what states are doing across the country.

•Addressing recent events in Ohio with input from key state officials.

•Providing an industry perspective on hydraulic fracturing issues, opportunities, and actions to reduce environmental impacts.

•Sharing a western, agricultural perspective on concerns over water quantity and battles brewing over energy, water, and food.

New Email Suggests BP Hid The Truth About How Big The Oil Spill Really Was _

New Email Suggests BP Hid The Truth About How Big The Oil Spill Really Was 

rhttp://www.businessinsider.com/new-email-suggests-bp-hid-the-truth-about-how-big-the-oil-spill-really-was-2012-1?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+clusterstock+%28ClusterStock%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Waiting for Death Valley's Big Bang: A Volcanic Explosion Crater May Have Future Potential

Waiting for Death Valley's Big Bang: A Volcanic Explosion Crater May Have Future Potential

23 January 2012
AGU Release No. 12-01
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC —In California’s Death Valley, death is looking just a bit closer. Geologists have determined that the half-mile-wide Ubehebe Crater, formed by a prehistoric volcanic explosion, was created far more recently than previously thought—and conditions for a sequel may exist today.
Up to now, geologists were vague on the age of the 600-foot-deep crater, which formed when a rising plume of magma hit a pocket of underground water, creating an explosion. The most common estimate was about 6,000 years before present, based partly on Native American artifacts found under debris. Now, a team based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has used isotopes in rocks blown out of the crater to show that it formed just 800 years ago, around the year 1300. That geologic youth means it probably still has some vigor; moreover, the scientists think there is still enough groundwater and magma around for another eventual reaction. The study was published in the 18 January issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
Ubehebe (YOU-bee-HEE-bee) is the largest of a dozen such craters, or maars, clustered over about 3 square kilometers (1.2 square miles) of Death Valley National Park. The violent mixing of magma and water, resulting in a so-called phreatomagmatic explosion, blew a hole in the overlying sedimentary rock, sending out superheated steam, volcanic ash and deadly gases such as sulfur dioxide. Study coauthor Brent Goehring, now at Purdue University, says this would have created an atom-bomb-like mushroom cloud that collapsed on itself in a donut shape, then rushed outward along the ground at some 200 miles an hour, as rocks hailed down. Any creature within two miles or more would be fatally thrown, suffocated, burned and bombarded, though not necessarily in that order. “It would be fun to witness—but I’d want to be 10 miles away,” said Goehring of the explosion.
The team began its work after Goehring and Lamont-Doherty professor Nicholas Christie-Blick led students on a field trip to Death Valley. Noting that Ubehebe remained poorly studied, they got permission from the park to gather some 7.5- to 15-centimeter (3- to 6-inch) fragments of sandstone and quartzite, part of the sedimentary conglomerate rock that the explosion had torn out. In the lab, Goehring and Lamont-Doherty geochemist Joerg Schaefer applied recent advances in the analysis of beryllium isotopes, which change their weight when exposed to cosmic rays. The isotopes change at a predictable rate when exposed to the rays, so they could pinpoint when the stones were unearthed. An intern at Lamont-Doherty, Columbia College undergraduate Peri Sasnett, took a leading role in the analysis, and ended up as first author on the paper.
The dates clustered from 2,100 to 800 years ago; the scientists interpreted this as signaling a series of smaller explosions, culminating in the big one that created the main crater around 1300. A few other dates went back 3,000 to 5,000 years; these are thought to have come from earlier explosions at smaller nearby maars. Christie-Blick said the dates make it likely that magma is still lurking somewhere below. He pointed out that recent geophysical studies by other researchers have spotted what look like magma bodies under other parts of Death Valley. “Additional small bodies may exist in the region, even if they are sufficiently small not to show up geophysically,” he said. He added that the dates give a rough idea of eruption frequency: about every thousand years or less, which puts the current day within the realm of possibility. “There is no basis for thinking that Ubehebe is done,” Christie-Blick said.
Hydrological data points the same way. Phreatomagmatic explosions are thought to take place mainly in wet places, which would seem to exclude Death Valley – the hottest, driest place on the continent. Yet, as the researchers point out, Lamont-Doherty tree-ring researchers have already shown that the region was even hotter and drier during Medieval times, when the blowup took place. If there was sufficient water then, there is certainly enough now, they say. Observations of springs and modeling of groundwater levels suggests the modern water table starts about 500 feet below the crater floor. The researchers’ calculations suggest that it would take a spherical magma chamber as small as 90 meters (300 feet) across and an even smaller pocket of water to produce an Ubehebe-size incident.
Park officials are taking the study in stride. “We’ve typically viewed Ubehebe as a static feature, but of course we’re aware it could come back,” said geologist Stephanie Kyriazis, a park education specialist. “This certainly adds another dimension to what we tell the public.” About a million people visit the park each year. The scientists note that any reactivation of the crater would almost certainly be presaged by warning signs such as shallow earthquakes and opening of steam vents; this could go on for years before anything bigger happened.
For perspective, Yellowstone National Park, further east, is loaded with explosion craters made by related processes, plus the world’s largest concentration of volcanically driven hot springs, geysers and fumaroles. The U.S. Geological Survey expects an explosion big enough to create a 300-foot-wide crater in Yellowstone about every 200 years; there have already been at least 20 smaller blowouts in the past 130 years. Visitors sometimes are boiled alive in springs, but no one has yet been blown up. Death Valley’s own fatal dangers are mainly non-geological: single-vehicle car accidents, heat exhaustion and flash floods. Rock falls, rattlesnakes and scorpions provide extra hazards, said Kyriazis. The crater is not currently on the list. “Right now, we’re not planning to issue an orange alert or anything like that,” she said.

Notes for Journalists

Journalists and public information officers (PIOs) of educational and scientific institutions who have registered with AGU can download a PDF copy of this paper in press by clicking on this link:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL050130
Or, you may order a copy of the final paper by emailing your request to Kate Ramsayer at kramsayer@agu.org. Please provide your name, the name of your publication, and your phone number.
Neither the paper nor this press release are under embargo.

Title:

“Do phreatomagmatic eruptions at Ubehebe Crater (Death Valley, California) relate to a wetter than present hydro-climate?”

Authors:

Peri Sasnett: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA;
Brent M. Goehring: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York,USA, and Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA;
Nicholas Christie-Blick and Joerg M. Schaefer: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA.

Contact information for the authors:

Peri Sasnett, Email: peri.sasnett@gmail.com
Brent Goehring, Telephone: +1 (765) 496-2790, Email: bgoehrin@purdue.edu 
Nicholas Christie-Blick, Email: ncb@ldeo.columbia.edu
Joerg Schaefer, Email: Schaefer@ldeo.columbia.edu

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fracking Quakes Shake the Shale Gas Industry - Technology Review

1 new result for fracking and quakes
 
Fracking Quakes Shake the Shale Gas Industry - Technology Review
Well shutdowns prompted by fracking-induced seismicity may inspire technology tweaks.
www.technologyreview.com/energy/39489/

Agreement Reached for Fishery Compensation Related to PL 19-3 Oil Spill Incident


Jan 24, 2012 21:30 ET
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Agreement Reached for Fishery Compensation Related to PL 19-3 Oil Spill Incident

PR Newswire






HONG KONG, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- CNOOC Limited (the "Company", NYSE: CEO, SEHK: 0883) said today that its parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation ("CNOOC"), has reached an agreement with China's Ministry of Agriculture and ConocoPhillips China Inc. ("COPC") to resolve fishery compensation issues for Peng Lai 19-3 oil spill incident. 

(Logo: http://www.prnasia.com/xprn/sa/200701301659.jpg )

http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=495359http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=4953593&access=EH

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Misunderestimating the BP Oil Spill

Misunderestimating the BP Oil Spill

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmcquaid/2012/01/23/misunderestimating-the-bp-oil-spill/

Like Fracking? You'll Love 'Super Fracking'

Like Fracking? You'll Love 'Super Fracking'

David Wethe, BusinessWeek
Few energy industry practices have sparked more controversy than hydraulic fracking. First, wells are drilled horizontally below the surface, allowing a single bore or pathway to reach vertical pockets of oil and natural gas trapped between formations of shale and other rock. Then high-pressure jets of water, sand, and chemicals are pumped into the ground to create fissures through the rock so oil can seep out and be retrieved. Regulators, environmentalists, and academics are studying whether the practice can damage the environment.
 

Killing drilling with farcical ‘science’

Killing drilling with farcical ‘science’

Big Oil's Civilization-Ending Pollution Push

Big Oil's Civilization-Ending Pollution Push

Paul Farrell, MarketWatch
The Keystone XL pipeline linking Canadian oil and Texas refineries just got shot down. But very soon you can bet this new battleground in WWIV will explode with Big Oil billions attacking environmentalists.
 

It's Climate Change, Stupid

It's Climate Change, Stupid

Elliott Negin, Huffington Post
I watched the two Republican presidential candidate debates in South Carolina last week, and although the contenders spent quite a bit of time bickering over economic issues (as well as bashing each other), they ignored the elephant in the room. The biggest long-term threat to the U.S. economy isn't government over-regulation, high taxes, or even the deficit. It's climate change.

Waiting for Death Valley's Big Bang: A volcanic explosion crater may have future potential

Waiting for Death Valley's Big Bang: A volcanic explosion crater may have future potential

 

http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-death-valley-big-volcanic-explosion.html

Huge Solar Eruption Sparks Strongest Radiation Storm in 7 Years


Huge Solar Eruption Sparks Strongest Radiation Storm in 7 Years

http://www.space.com/14319-huge-solar-eruption-sparks-radiation-storm.html

Date: 23 January 2012 Time: 11:47 AM ET

The Environmental State of the Union

The Environmental State of the Union

 

http://theenergycollective.com/francesbeinecke/74944/environmental-state-union?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

The annual State of the Union Address is a time for taking stock.  Tonight President Obama will assess our nation's progress on a range of urgent issues of urgent issues, but today I want to look closely at one critical indicator of America's well being: the health of our environment. Is America's air getting safer to breathe than it was a year ago? Are we building the wind farms and solar plants that put Americans to work and curb pollution at the same time? Do we have a plan to encourage fuel efficient technologies that allow cars to go farther on a tank of gas?

Satellites detect abundance of fresh water in the Arctic

Satellites detect abundance of fresh water in the Arctic

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Satellites_detect_abundance_of_fresh_water_in_the_Arctic_999.html

Paris (ESA) Jan 24, 2012
ESA satellites show that a large dome of fresh water has been building up in the Arctic Ocean over the last 15 years. A change in wind direction could cause the water to spill into the north Atlantic, cooling Europe. The results are remarkable: since 2002, the sea surface in the studied area has risen by about 15 cm, and the volume of fresh water has increased by some 8000 cubic km - aroun

Low Temperatures Enhance Ozone Degradation above the Arctic

Low Temperatures Enhance Ozone Degradation above the Arctichttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Low_Temperatures_Enhance_Ozone_Degradation_above_the_Arctic_999.html

Karlsruhe, Germany (SPX) Jan 20, 2012
Extraordinarily cold temperatures in the winter of 2010/2011 caused the most massive destruction of the ozone layer above the Arctic so far: The mechanisms leading to the first ozone hole above the North Pole were studied by scientists of the KIT Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK). According to these studies, further cooling of the ozone layer may enhance the influence of

Asia loses its taste for shark fin

Asia loses its taste for shark fin

Singapore (AFP) Jan 22, 2012
As Asia's ethnic Chinese sit down for lavish banquets to usher in the Lunar New Year, a delicacy long considered a must at celebratory meals is fast disappearing from menus and dinner tables. A growing number of shops, restaurants and hotels have in the past few months given up selling shark fin, which in Asia is usually eaten in soup, throwing a lifeline to the marine predator that activist

Monday, January 23, 2012

U.K. Covert Biological Weapons Testing Exposed

U.K. Covert Biological Weapons Testing Exposed
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/u-k-covert-biological-weapons-testing-exposed/

Horrible AND Disgraceful:
The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant
laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.

A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive
official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.

Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and
micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being
told.

While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page
report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.

The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any
'inquisitive inquirer' the trials were part of research projects into weather
and air pollution.

The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed
to help the MoD assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians were to have
released clouds of deadly germs over the country.

Climate Change Threatens California Economy by Changing Ecosystems

Climate Change Threatens California Economy by Changing Ecosystems



Study Identifies Changes to Vegetation Types, Impacts to Ranching, Carbon Storage
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Climate change is likely to harm California's economy by reducing the types of natural, non-irrigated vegetation available for livestock forage and the ability of forest ecosystems to store carbon dioxide, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal Climatic Change. The ability of ecosystems to store carbon dioxide is a key part of implementing the state's climate law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32 or AB 32.
"Much of the talk about climate change in California has been about the impacts of sea level rise and droughts," said study coauthor Linwood Pendleton, director of ocean and coastal policy at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, acting chief economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and study author. "Our work shows that even the gritty worlds of cattle ranching and forestry may take it on the chin as California skies become increasingly carbon-rich."
The study was conducted by researchers from Duke University, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Biology Institute, USDA Forest Service, Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. It examines how climate change will impact the fundamental character of California's ecosystems and the valuable services that they provide to the economy. 

EIA estimates California Monterey to have four times the technically recoverable oil of the North Dakota Bakken oil field

EIA estimates California Monterey to have four times the technically recoverable oil of the North Dakota Bakken oil field

EIA US Review of Emerging Resources: US Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays, July 2011 (105 pages)

The Monterey/Santos oil field in California is estimated to four times the technically recoverable oil as the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota.

The Monterey field is also estimated to have 500 billion barrels of oil in place The Bakken oil field oil in place estimates range from 271 billion to 503 billion barrels (average estimate of 413 billion barrels).

Harold Hamm (billionaire owner of Continental oil) estimates the Bakken oil field will produce six times (24 billion barrels) the oil of the EIA estimate. Harold Hamm also believes that the San Joaquin Monterey California fields are the next big horizontal drilling play.