Tag Archives | Weather

Japan Nuclear Radiation Likely To Reach California

Radiation warning symbolThe likes of Matt Drudge and Alex Jones have been banging the drum to create fear among U.S. citizens that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach North America. Now Neil Katz poses the same question for a mainstream outlet, CBS News. The conclusion he posts is:

“As for America, experts say for now we are in the clear. ‘It is true that radiation emanating from Japan is moving across the Pacific and it’s feasible that one could detect those radiation levels in California,’ says [Dr. Cham] Dallas. ‘But it’s certain that it wouldn’t be dangerous.’”

Do any disinformation readers have expertise in radiation safety issues? Can we be so certain that there is no danger as Dr. Dallas suggests? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Here’s some more of Katz’s story:

As conditions worsen at four nuclear reactors in Japan, many here and abroad are worried about the health risks of radiation.

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Abu Dhabi Now Creating ‘Man-Made Rainstorms’ Regularly

rain_1795776cAbu Dhabi now controls its weather with giant ionizers, the Telegraph reports:

A secret £7 million weather project in Abu Dhabi has resulted in dozens of man-made rainstorms, according to reports.

Scientists employed by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and leader of Abu Dhabi, successfully created more than 50 rainstorms in the state’s Al Ain region last year, mostly in July and August when there is virtually no rain at all. It is believed to be the first time the system has produced rain from clear skies.

They have been using giant ionizers, shaped like giant lampshades, to generate fields of negatively charged particles, which create cloud formation.

In a company video, seen by The Sunday Times, Helmut Fluhrer, the founder of Metro Systems International, the Swiss company in charge of the project, said: “We are currently operating our innovative rainfall enhancement technology, Weathertec, in the region of Al Ain in Abu Dhabid.

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Thunderstorms Generate Antimatter Beams

Antimatter Cloud (NASA)

Antimatter Cloud (NASA)

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists are reporting that they have seen antimatter beams emitted from thunderstorms. Jonathan Palmer has the story at BBC News:

A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter.

Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons.

The surprise result was presented by researchers at the American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

It deepens a mystery about terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs — sparks of light that are estimated to occur 500 times a day in thunderstorms on Earth. They are a complex interplay of light and matter whose origin is poorly understood.

Thunderstorms are known to create tremendously high electric fields — evidenced by lightning strikes.

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This Image Is Not a Photoshop Trick

Broken Pole

I can believe it’s real but can’t believe it’s stable. C’mon Russian town, where’s your Dept. of Public Works to take care of this stuff? From English Russia via Gizmodo, Jesus Diaz, writes:

This is not a Photoshop. It’s not an optical trick. And it’s not an illustration. It’s just a simply great photo taken near the Linevo village, in the Volgograd region of Russia. A wild firestorm went through the village and its surroundings, destroying 80 houses. Nobody knows what was the origin, but at least the phone lines are still working.

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Fire Tornado Strikes In Brazil

Last week one of the rarest and more horrifying weather phenomena occurred in Brazil: a “fire tornado.” Created by extreme drought conditions, the whirling tower of flames raged outside of the city of Aracatuba, scorching dry earth and bringing traffic to a halt, before disappearing.

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Zeus Strikes Parthenon With Lightning Bolt

OK, the headline’s a little over the top, but what a photo, from the Daily Mail/AP:

It looks like a narrow escape for one of mankind’s most ancient symbols.

parthenon

A bolt of lightning illuminates the sky around the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, high on the Acropolis during a heavy rainfall in Athens early this morning.

Fortunately, the temple is believed to have escaped any damage.

[story continues in the Daily Mail/AP]… Read the rest

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Light Rain: Lasers Could Trigger Downpours on Demand

Military_laser_experimentFrom the Daily Mail:

People in drought-stricken countries could one day create rain clouds on demand thanks to laser technology. Physicists have discovered that firing short laser bursts into the air can trigger the formation of water droplets. The breakthrough technique could help stimulate rainfall in the future.

Scientist Jerome Kasparian and his team from the University of Geneva wanted to find a more environmentally friendly alternative to cloud seeding. This 50-year-old process attempts to artificially induce showers. A red laser pulse ionises the air and triggers the condensation of water droplets to create a cloud, which is illuminated by a green laser

Rockets carrying silver iodide particles are scattered in the sky. The particles act as ‘condensation nuclei’ around which water drops can form. Dr Kasparian said cloud seeding is not an efficient method despite decades of development. He added: ‘There are also worries about how safe adding silver iodide particles into the air is for the environment.’

The researchers realised laser technology could be used to create an alternative technique.

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Australian Town Hit by Raining Fish

Raining FishNow this is biblical, but it does happen from time to time. Check out the video below from the BBC documentary series Supernatural which explains the phenomenon. Simon Crisp writes on Asylum:

For residents of a small Australian town, their usually mundane conversations about the weather have just become a whole lot more interesting.

That’s because in the outback town of Lajamanu it’s started raining fish. Yes, fish. Hundreds of them, falling from the sky. Over the past two days the town’s 660 residents have been bombarded with small white fish which have been falling like rain.

Locals say the fish, mostly spangled perch, have even been alive as they hit the floor. Lucky it wasn’t crocodiles then. Meteorologists believe the fish where sucked up by a tornado — which passed over a river some 300 miles away — before being carried through the sky at 40,000 to 50,000 feet.

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