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Showing posts from February 3, 2017

Russia's Catastrophic Environmental Crisis

By Theodora Filis


During the next decade, Russia will be unable to deal effectively with the formidable environmental challenges posed by decades of Soviet and post-Soviet environmental mismanagement and recurring economic crises. 

Although the prolonged contraction in economic activity has resulted in significant drops in most pollution categories, substantial environmental improvement will depend on an array of socioeconomic, institutional, and cultural changes--facilitated by the international engagement that will only begin to develop sporadically and close to the end of our 10-year time frame at the earliest. Major progress is decades away.

Among Russia's most serious environmental problems:
Water pollution is the most serious concern. Less than half of Russia's population has access to safe drinking water. While water pollution from industrial sources has diminished because of the decline in manufacturing, municipal wastes increasingly threaten key water supply sources, and …

Radiation Contamination In Our Waters – We Should Be Worried

By Theodora Filis
Generally, one thinks in terms of a nuclear war when considering pollution that involves radiation.

The background level of radiation in oceans and seas varies around the globe. The primary source of radiation pollution has been nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean, but some regions have experienced additional inputs. The Irish Sea in 2008 showed elevated levels compared to large ocean basins as a result of radioactive releases from the Sellafield reprocessing facility at Seacastle, U.K. Levels in the Baltic and Black Seas are elevated due to fallout from the 1986 explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. --Data courtesy of MARIS/IAEA and CMER

Scientists continue to track the many pathways by which radioisotopes from the damaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima make their way into and out of seawater, marine life, and seafloor sediments. 

These depend on the behavior and metabolism of an individual animal, the nature of complex coastal and open-ocean pr…