India’s Blackout, United States’ Midwest Drought, and Belo Monte Dam Halted

By Richard Chasey, posted on August 30th, 2012 in Best of Syndication

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For this full moon’s Best of Syndication post, we look back at tremendous power outages in India, examine an ongoing ecological disaster in rural Mexico, get the lowdown on the devastating drought in the American Midwest from a NASA climatologist, and watch as Hurricane Isaac bears down on New Orleans.

Also, don’t miss the Brazilian court’s decision to halt the controversial Belo Monte dam and California’s plans for a drier future.
 
 


Hurricane Isaac at 12:30 pm EDT moving northwest across the Gulf of Mexico, August 28, 2012 (Satellite image courtesy NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team) Environment News Service (http://s.tt/1lY8O)Hurricane Isaac Hammers New Orleans – Originally Published by ENS

Strengthening into a hurricane just after noon on Tuesday, Isaac made landfall in far southeastern Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish at 6:45 pm local time. The hurricane struck nearly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf coast in 2005.

 
 
 
 


Photo of a woman standing on top of a small landslide. Credit: Orion MagazineAfter the Fall – Originally Published by Orion Magazine

When cracks began to appear in the road to the small Mexican farming town of Santiago Mitlatongo, no one really noticed. Hardly anyone paid attention to the little sinkholes that began forming in the village’s cornfields, or that the deep-rooted sabino trees lining the streets were drying up and slowly dying. Despite this area having been declared an ecological disaster zone by the World Bank, nobody imagined a catastrophe was in the making.

 
 


Photograph of tuna fish hanging from a fishing boat. Credit: The EcologistAre Captive Tuna Farms a Viable Alternative To Overfishing? – Originally Published by The Ecologist

Japanese scientists at Kinki University – based in Osaka, Japan – have unveiled a brand new tuna species, entitled the Kindai Tuna. After three generations of breeding this species is almost identical to its wild cousins, in terms of texture and nutrition, but is the first to be completely nurtured and grown in captivity. However, the process is still expensive and rather inefficient. And the new Kindai tuna sells more, per pound, than wild Bluefin.

 


Photograph of the Galileo satellite being unloaded off a plane. Credit: ESAFourth Galileo Satellite Reaches French Guiana Launch Site – Originally Published by ESA News Portal

The next two Galileo satellites are now in place at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, being prepared for their shared launch this autumn. The fourth Galileo satellite flight model arrived at Cayenne Airport in French Guiana on Friday 17 August, flown from the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome aboard an Ilyushin aircraft.

 
 


Map of all epicentres in EMEC , plate boundaries (red) and selected first order fault (black). (Credit: Copyright GFZ)Earthquake Risk in Europe Detailed – Originally Published by ScienceDaily

For the first time, scientists of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences have succeeded in setting up a harmonized catalogue of earthquakes for Europe and the Mediterranean for the last thousand years. This catalogue consists of about 45000 earthquakes.

 
 
 
 


Satellite image showing the impact crater. Credit: Earth TodayResearchers Discover New Impact Crater in Canada’s Western Arctic – Originally Published by Earth Today

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan and the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) have discovered a massive meteor impact from millions of years ago in Canada’s western Arctic. Located on the northwestern part of Victoria Island, the impact crater, or astrobleme, is about 25 km wide and is Canada’s 30th known meteorite impact feature.

 
 


J. Marshall Shepherd: director of the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Georgia and President-Elect, American Meteorological Society. Credit: Washington PostExtreme Weather and Climate Change: Caution Required but not Reckless Statements – Originally Published by The Washington Post

In the wake of punishing heat waves, historic droughts, extensive flooding and extraordinary melt activity on Greenland, many are asking if we are seeing long-predicted results of climate change, caused primarily by man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. Recent studies on extreme events found in an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society suggest that such events may not be attributable to weather variability alone.

 


Hydropower plant on northern California’s Pit River operated by Pacific Gas & Electric (Photo courtesy PG&ECalifornia Gathers Facts to Plan for a Hot, Dry Future – Originally Published by ENS

California could lose up to 20 percent of its hydropower generation as climate change causes high-elevation reservoirs to shrink, finds a new report from the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission. “Climate change is expected to affect the quantity and timing of water flow in the state,” said Kaveh Madani, a former postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside’s Water Science and Policy Center who led the science team that authored the report.

 
 
 


Photo of a family sitting in the light of an electric lamp. Photo: Adnan Abidi/ReutersPlanned Upgrade Set the Stage for Indian Blackout – Originally Published by IEEE Spectrum

Both blackouts in India this past month originated with disturbances on the same transmission line, according to the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), which is responsible for monitoring the national grid and managing interregional links. Prior to both grid failures, the line that connects Agra, in the northern regional grid, to Bina, part of the western grid 400 kilometers farther south, faced power flow well beyond its normal operating limits. 


 
 


Drought severity map, updated on August 14, 2012, and produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center. The Midwest Drought with Richard Seager – Originally Published by NASA Earth Observatory

ASA Earth Observatory writer Adam Voiland spoke with Columbia University climatologist Richard Seager about the widespread drought currently affecting North America.

 
 
 
 


Aerial photograph of the Belo Monte Dam. source: ecosystemdiscovery.comBelo Monte Dam: Forced to an Immediate Halt by Brazilian Judges – Originally Published by Indian Country Network

Brazil’s Federal Regional Tribunal of the First Region, the highest court of appeals in the country, ordered an immediate halt to all construction of the controversial Belo Monte Dam due to the lack of prior consultation of Indigenous Peoples affected by the massive hydroelectric project.
 
 
 
 


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