— San Diego: Leopard sharks wash ashore in Ocean Beach

From NBC Bay Area

March 8, 2017
By Jaspreet Kaur

Several dead leopard sharks washed ashore in Ocean Beach after the rain last week.

An NBC 7 viewer snapped pictures of the sharks at dog beach.

According to Andrew P. Nosal, Ph.D, a Visiting Assistant Researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the deaths may be related to the water quality but he could not say for sure.

Nosal said the area where the sharks were found was located near the mouth of the San Diego River. After the recent rainfall, the water quality could have caused the leopard sharks to die and wash ashore.

He added that this occurs every now and then in several locations across the state.

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/Leopard-Sharks-Wash-Ashore-at-Ocean-Beach-After-Rain-415640763.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules

— Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

From Slashgear

Brittany A. Roston – Mar 16, 2017

Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

A new report out of PLOS reveals that humpback whales are congregating in very large (relatively speaking) super-groups near South Africa, in some cases comprising pods as large as 200 whales. These large whale collectives are said to be engaging in feeding behavior, something that itself is unusual for the species, as it typically feeds on Antarctic krill in the southern polar region.

Humpback whales are creatures of habit, tending to feed during certain times in cold waters and breed during other times in warmer waters. Their migration patterns partly dependent on ocean temperatures, and their typical congregations are small. Data on these migration patterns, and feeding and breeding habits, go back decades.

Lately, though, researchers have noticed that humpback whales are collecting together in larger than typical numbers in pods with between 20 and 200 whales. Together (loosely so), these whales are engaging in feeding behavior in regions near South Africa where they would typically be engaging in breeding behaviors. Researchers have observed these large feeding pods in the October/November months in 2011, 2014, and 2015.

According to the new report, no one is sure why these whales are forming such large numbers and why they’re deviating from their typical feeding habits. The report states the whales in these super-groups tend to be only about five body lengths away from their nearest whale neighbor, and that they’re engaging in ‘repetitive diving behavior’ indicative of feeding. All signs point toward some large scale prey being present in the region, though researchers haven’t been able to sample for it out of fear of entangling the whales in the sampling gear.

SOURCE: PLOS

https://www.slashgear.com/humpback-whales-are-forming-massive-and-unusual-super-groups-16478886/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Massive die-offs reported in Pacific Ocean; officials: “No fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area”… “What’s happening? Where’s their food?” — “Alarming… Frightening… Total failure in reproduction… Like nothing we’ve ever observed before” (VIDEO)

From ENE News

March 16, 2017

KTUU, Feb 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Following last year’s massive die-off of Alaskan seabirds, scientists still looking for answers… “Geographically and that it lasted a year, that’s unprecedented, [Kathy Kuletz, a biologist with US Fish & Wildlife Service]… “it’s certainly well over a hundred thousand and it could go many times that.”… “I would say possibly hundreds of thousands were killed… Almost always it’s been starvation… Sea birds are top predators,” [Heather Renner, biologist with Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge] said. “They’re sort of sentinels for our environment. They have definitely let us know that there’s change going on in the ocean ecosystem”… Renner says [the birds had an] exceptionally low birthing season… This reproductive die-off meant a “total failure” of murre reproduction that year… “The reproductive die off is something we’ve never seen in murres before, widespread. The refuge (AMNWR) has been monitoring these colonies for 4 decades and it’s like nothing we’ve ever observed before,” Renner said…

AP, Feb 10, 2017: [T]ens of thousands of common murres… starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska… “it’s because there’s no fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area,” [John Piatt, biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey] said. To see such effect over two sizeable marine ecosystems is extraordinary, he said… Common murres eat small forage fish [which] were largely absent when the National Marine Fisheries Service conducted surveys in summer 2015… A conservative extrapolation indicates 500,000 or more common murres died, Piatt said. Nearly all were emaciated… “In 2016, we had widespread breeding failure at all of the colonies in the Gulf of Alaska, as well as the Bering Sea,” Renner said. “It was a highly unusual event. Murres don’t fail regularly.”… “They died of starvation because there was no food,” Piatt said. “There was no food because there was no fish.”…

KYUK, Jan 25, 2017: “The birds were underweight to the point of starvation,” [Shannon Atkinson of the University of Alaska Fairbanks] said. The number of starved murres, and the length of their die-off, was something no one had seen before, but murres in the Gulf of Alaska were not the only seabirds to die in large numbers last year. Tufted puffins in the Bering Sea also showed up on beaches in large numbers… Scientists struggled to understand why a bird that spends most of the winter offshore eating fish would fly to the coast to die of starvation on the beach… research showed a link between the starving birds and trawl surveys that came up empty, or with only a few of the forage fish normally eaten by murres… “The main result to take away from this is the catch per unit effort for all of these species was very close to zero, meaning that the forage fish was simply not there,” Atkinson said.

KUCB, Dec 7, 2016: In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade… scientists say it could be the sign of a much larger ecosystem problem… [The co-director of St. Paul’s Ecosystem Conservation Office said] ‘There are dead puffins everywhere.’… The carcasses came ashore in waves… [Lauren Divine, co-director of St. Paul’s Ecosystem Conservation Office] said the extent of the die-off was frightening… “After we opened up the first five, it was very apparent that all of them were emaciated,” she said. “Their muscles were completely atrophied. They had empty stomachs. They had gastrointestinal bleeding, which indicates severe long-term starvation. They were in very, very poor shape… So we started digging into this more,” said Divine. “What is happening? Where is their food?“… [T]he ECO office is also seeing signs of stress in other species. [Divine] said the island’s seabirds laid barely any eggs this season, hunters had a hard time finding sea lions, and crab quotas were cut sharply after a survey showed low numbers.

Watch KTVA’s broadcast here

http://enenews.com/massive-die-offs-reported-in-pacific-ocean-officials-theres-no-fish-out-there-anywhere-over-a-very-large-area-what-is-happening-where-is-their-food-alarming-frightening

Impending danger: today’s “super-fuzed”, super-powerful U.S. thermonuclear weapons directed against Russia. How is this going to end?

Global Research, March 16, 2017
Nuclear Mushroom

Today’s thermonuclear weapons are monstrously more powerful than the 15 kiloton Little Boy and 21 Kiloton Fat Man nukes used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

An article by nuclear experts Hans Kristensen and Matthew McKinsie, together with ballistic missiles expert Theodore Postol explained the enhanced power of US submarine-launched ballistic missiles “with more than three times the number of warheads needed to destroy the entire fleet of Russian land-based missiles in their silos.”

Super-fuzing makes these weapons super-powerful, the authors saying “even the most accurate ballistic missile warheads might not detonate close enough to targets hardened against nuclear attack to destroy them.”

Super-fuzing lets them destroy them “by detonating above and around” them instead of too far away to be effective.

The technology lets nuclear armed US submarines be hugely more lethal than years earlier. They’re all equipped with super-fuzed warheads.

Increased US nuclear strike capability “has serious implications for strategic stability and perceptions of US nuclear strategy and intentions,” the authors explained.

Russia understands it gives Washington a more feasible first-strike capability, forcing it to take appropriate countermeasures.

Super-fuzing “kill capability” poses a greater risk that nuclear weapons by either country could be used in response to a feared attack, even when one hasn’t occurred, certainly not by Russia preemptively, in self-defense only.

America can monitor missile launches from space. Russia’s early warning radar is ground-based, giving it 15 minutes warning time compared to Washington’s 30 minutes – “creat(ing) a deeply destabilizing and dangerous strategic nuclear situation,” the authors stressed.

With US hostility toward Russia unchanged under Trump, the danger of nuclear war is as great as any time during the Cold War.

Super-fuzed warheads triple their lethality. It lets US submarines perform “a wider range of missions than was the case before” super-fuzing.

It’s officially called the arming, fuzing and firing (AF&F) system. It’s a potential doomsday weapon if enough of them are detonated.

America has enough of these weapons to destroy Russia’s silo-based ICBMs and have many remaining for other missions, including Russia’s non-hardened mobile nuclear capability – devastating, if launched, with potentially catastrophic consequences far beyond Russia.

America vastly enhanced the killing power of its nuclear arsenal, with greater first-strike capability than Russia, leaving it dangerously vulnerable.

“We cannot foresee a situation in which a competent and properly informed US president would order a surprise first strike against Russia or China,” the authors explained.

But our conclusion makes the increased sea-based offensive and defensive capabilities we have described seem all the more bizarre as a strategy for reducing the chances of nuclear war with either Russia or China.

Putin’s remarks to journalists last June at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum indicate how he weighs the danger of America’s threat to Russia, saying:

No matter what we said to our American partners (to curb the arms race), they refused to cooperate with us. They rejected our offers, and continue to do their own thing.

… They rejected everything we had to offer…The Iranian threat does not exist, but missile defense systems are continuing to be positioned…

That means we were right when we said that they are lying to us.

Their reasons were not genuine, in reference to the ‘Iranian nuclear threat.’

(People in Western nations) do not feel a sense of the impending danger. This is what worries me.

A missile defense system is one element of the whole system of offensive military potential.

It works as part of a whole that includes offensive missile launchers.

One complex blocks, the other launches high precision weapons. The third blocks a potential nuclear strike, and the fourth sends out its own nuclear weapon in response.

This is all designed to be part of one system. I don’t know how this is all going to end.

What I do know is that we will need to defend ourselves.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/impending-danger-todays-super-fuzed-super-powerful-thermonuclear-weapons/5580097

— Arne Gundersen: The heartbreaking legacy of Fukushima Daiichi; the progressive and devastating impact on real people:

Global Research, March 13, 2017

During last winter (2016), I spent most of February and early March in Japan working with and speaking to citizens, refugees, community leaders, elected officials, engineers, doctors, and scientists.  At their request, I taught scientists and citizen scientists how to collect accurate radiation data, and also spoke to many groups of Japanese eager to learn about the scientific and engineering hazards of operating 50 nuclear plants in the most seismically active country in the world.  

The scientific impact of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi is an ongoing disaster that was never envisioned by the engineers who created and designed these atomic reactors and countries who built them. Even after Three Mile island (March 26, 1979) and Chernobyl (April 26, 1986) no country in the world with nuclear power reactors was prepared for the explosive radioactive contamination of Fukushima Daiichi.

Bags of Radioactive Debris Being Stacked

Bags of Radioactive Debris Being Stacked

Over and over, people ask me about what happened inside the plants and what is still happening inside with robots fried by radiation, corium that can’t be found, and massive amounts of radioactivity migrating to sensitive estuaries, aquifers, contaminating all the ground water, and polluting the Pacific Ocean.

For me the most distressing observation now is not what happened six years ago on March 11, 2011 – during and immediately following the meltdowns, but the progressive and devastating impact on real people.  While I was in Japan and Maggie was in Vermont, we had a series of phone calls that Maggie taped and the Fairewinds crew turned into podcasts. I urge you to listen these short podcasts in which I share stories about the victims and refugees I met and spoke with. These are real people who have lost their families, communities, health, and homes. Listen to their stories in these podcasts listed here.

Now, another year has passed.  Radiation continues to bleed into the Pacific Ocean.  No one has discovered where the nuclear cores have disappeared to.  The $400,000,000 “ice wall” continues to leak.  Radiation invades almost everything in Fukushima Prefecture as well as communities in other prefectures that are considered ‘clean’, and residents are rightfully afraid to return home.  Moreover, the cover-up continues, with the health effects from radiation being camouflaged as stress related illnesses thereby masking important scientific information.  Nuclear corporations in Japan, in collusion with the Japanese government and banks, are still trying to recover their financial assets by attempting to restart old atomic power plants, even though a majority of Japanese want those nukes to stay closed.

To see slide show, click here.

Nothing is changing near Fukushima Daiichi on this sixth anniversary.  I decided to share the photographs I took last year in Japan for the commemoration of the sixth year. These photos are not the cherry blossoms and once beautiful farmland of the heavily agricultural Fukushima Prefecture. In fact these photos cannot adequately convey the scientific and human impact of the worst industrial cataclysm in the history of the world.  Everyone knows when the Great Tokohu Earthquake struck and the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns began. And, because some of the radiation will remain for 300 years and other radioactive isotopes will be extreme hazards for 250,000 years, of course no one knows when it will end.

PS – Special thanks to all the people who crowd-sourced my trip to Japan and made the trip possible. Thanks to the individuals and groups in Japan who hosted me, sponsored talks and meetings and shared their lives and plight with me.  Thanks also for the personal donations to Fairewinds Energy Education to cover my flight to Japan and the teaching equipment I used while I was there.

More news and data will be released in 2017 as the scientific analysis is confirmed by other experts.

— Action needed tomorrow at Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup

From SSFL Working Group

March 13, 2017

The Dept. of Energy’s Broken Promises-
The Fight for Full Cleanup Continues

Action Needed Tomorrow- Come and Testify!
LA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Tuesday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.
Board Hearing Room 381B
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration

550 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

We need you to attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow to testifyin support of Supervisors Kuehl and Barger.  They are proposing a resolution that demands the Dept. of Energy (DOE) live up to the cleanup standards set by the 2010 cleanup agreement and condemns their current Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for violating it.  We will be meeting there at 9:00 AM.  See address listed above.

If you attended the March 8 meeting, PLEASE MAIL IN YOUR COMMENT CARD.
At the meeting you received a card on which to write your comment on the DOE’s Draft EIS.  If you have not done so already, please finish writing your comment and mail it in.
The deadline for commenting has been postponed to April 13th.  
The address is already printed on the card.  It requires First Class postage (either $0.49 or a Forever stamp).

Thank you to all who attended the March 8th SSFL Work Group meeting- we were delighted to see so many new attendees as well as familiar faces and a few representatives of our elected officials.

A special thanks to Melissa Bumstead, and the other parents and families of the SSFL community inflicted by pediatric cancer, for hosting a beautiful candlelight vigil before the meeting to raise awareness about the health hazards of the contamination migrating offsite into our neighborhoods.

Thank you also to Mohsen Nazemi, Deputy Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Brownfields and Environmental Restoration Program, for coming and ensuring the community that the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control is committed to enforcing the 2010 cleanup agreement to background that the Dept. of Energy signed.

What You Can Do

Attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow at 9AM and testify in support of the resolution on SSFL.

Mail in the comment card for the DOE’s DEIS you received if you attended the March 8th Work Group meeting.

Submit a comment demanding that the DOE clean up all contamination at SSFL.

Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to also submit a comment and attend the DOE hearings. Please forward this email and share on social media.

Background

The Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to break its obligation to clean up all of the nuclear and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), proposing instead to leave between 30 -99% of the contamination not cleaned up. That is dangerous and unacceptable!

All of the alternatives directly violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE’s DEIS also fails to acknowledge that DOE as the polluter doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. The decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE.

Click here to learn more about key problems with DOE’s DEIS. Click here to read the DEIS itself.

To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Wounded Landscape. a film on life after Fukushima

From RT

A small town in Fukushima’s exclusion zone searches for normalcy after the world’s largest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl. A teen rocker, a media-savvy activist, a conflicted TEPCO engineer, and a female horse breeder cope with the loss of their homes and the unseen danger of radiation. Each faces a crucial decision: to stay or go? WOUNDED LANDSCAPE is an unsettling portrait of daily life amid an ongoing cataclysm, one with repercussions far beyond Japan’s shores. Having explored the region during the four years following the disaster, director Thorsten Trimpop reveals a way of life that has taken hold amid tremendous uncertainty and risk, in a place rarely seen and often misunderstood. Culminating in a samurai horse race with a thousand-year tradition, the film offers a space to reflect on the larger issues of progress, its untold sacrifices, and the true cost of the way we live today.

https://www.rt.com/shows/documentary/380087-fukushima-catastrophe-exclusion-zone/