January, 2014

Government Records Of 2013 Most Extreme Weather & Climatic Events

Government Records Of 2013 Most Extreme Weather & Climatic Events

The year 2013 was really full of weather deviations from the usual, when we saw some of the record high temperatures and low temperatures, droughts, floods, and so on. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weighed in on this phenomenon on Wednesday with a list that shows 2013’s Significant Climate Anomalies and Events. 2013’s  Significant Climate Anomalies And Events. The report has also put certain weather occurrences into historical perspective, suggesting that the rise in global temperatures is giving rise to such extreme weather events. For example, NOAA has ranked 2013 as the fourth warmest year on record since 1980. Here are some of the most significant weather events of 2013 as appears on the NOAA report

1.Drought conditions get worse in the far West America

California faced its driest drought last year while Oregon has reported its fourth driest year on record. Despite the improvements in the central and south east regions of the United States, the conditions in the American West continue to get worse. California being one of the largest agricultural states in America, the consequence of drought can be devastating, and there seems to be no relief soon from drought in the near future according to National Drought Mitigation Center  located at the University of Nebraska.

california drought

2. Tropical cyclone Haiyan hit land with record strength

Haiyan, hitting the Philippines in 2013 has been one of the strongest one in history with 190 miles per hour winds and have been reported to have killed 5,700 people in the Philippines. United Nations have estimated that 11 million people have been affected by the tropical cyclone.

3. Recorded highest temperature in Australia

An average rise of 2.16 degree Fahrenheit was recorded nationwide in Australia in the year of 2013. In the past, Australia was being plagued with severe Millennium Droughts for the past decade, which had spread all over the country. It was note worthy because every state in Australia was observing an average rise in temperature, which also caused several wild fires sweeping through the New South Wales, destroying some 200 properties.

australia

4  Heavy rain in China and Russia

China saw one of its heaviest rains falls in 100s of years. It has been reported that the rainfall in one of the towns in china in a day was almost half of its annual rainfall. Russia had the worse flood and precipitation in 140 cities 120 years in 2013. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report there will be more spots around the world that will experience similar bursts around the world throughout the next century.

cold wave

5  Coldest spring in the United Kingdom since 1962

Record amounts of snow fall have been observed in the northern regions of United Kingdom in late march of 2013. This can be traced back to the severe 2012 European cold wave resulting hundreds of people to freeze to death in the United Kingdom.

6 Arctic and Antarctic sea ice melted more than usual

The Antarctic reached its second smallest sea ice extent in the year 2013, and the Arctic reached its six smallest sea ice extent on record during this melting season. The sea ice extent was still pretty small during the growth season, a record of sixth smallest point since it has been 1997 when the record keeping began. Meanwhile, the Antarctic reached its record largest in the year 2013 in its growth season. That should come as a little surprise to those who felt the Arctic chills this year.

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Turn Your Trash Into Art – Ideas To Create Art From Recycled Materials

Turn Your Trash Into Art – Ideas To Create Art From Recycled Materials

Benefits of recycling

Recycling makes use of materials that would otherwise be thrown in the landfill by processing and collecting trash or waste materials. Recycling can benefit the environment and community by minimizing the amount of garbage thrown out. It also helps to conserve resources by minimizing mining, cutting down trees, saving energy, water and fertilizers associated with farming and also help to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Recycling also saves the energy needed in mining, and reduces the green house gases. Therefore, recycling your household waste can be an essential element for sustainability.

Turning waste into art

recycle papertowelMany people have the artistic ability to turn junk into art. Some of the artists can really boast about how environmentally conscious they are and how they can make junk beautiful. It is not only for children’s art and craft, but anyone of any age can practice using materials that they would usually throw away and turn them into art. Some of the artists can make incredible master pieces from recycled materials.

Recycled art ideas

We all know the old saying “one man’s junk another man’s treasure.” We could create art form just about anything we want if we have the eye for it. There can be great pleasure found in creating art from the things you would normally throw away. Some of the materials that may be used for creating art are old Christmas wrapping papers that could be recycled, old metal tin, buttons, old metal straps and so on.

If your kitchen could use some extra touch, you can remodel your kitchen or bathroom with old boxes and plastic containers. Make your kitchen more organized with old lunch boxes, make shelves, repaint your old boxes and make them look beautiful.

You can also make good use of your old greeting cards. You can glue your old greeting cards together or use old calendar pages to wrapping paper for new gifts. They are colorful and can become attractive material for wrapping. You can wrap just about anything with them. Use them as wall paper, or wrap old furniture.

recycled paper

Fabric scrap bags

You can make fabric bags from old fabrics and place candy in them. sew it up to and tie with ribbons to make delightful fabric bags.

What you will need

  1. Old fabrics
  2. scissors
  3. pencil
  4. ruler
  5. sawing needles
  6. candy

What to do

  1. cut fabric into 11 by 7 and half inch piece.
  2. fold fabric in half and make a pocket by sewing long side and one short side. turn it inside out so the seams stay inside.
  3. place candy in it and tie with colorful ribbons

Uses

This can be a cheerful gift bag for kids at any occasion or celebration.

Recycled art and crafts for kids

Kids will have lots of fun creating art from recycled materials. It helps them to build creativity as well as make good use of their time instead of wasting time watching TV.

Recycled art ideas for kids

· Art tubes

This can be made from old paper towel tubes form your kitchen that you would usually throw away. Instead, give it to your kids, and they can turn it into art.

What is needed

  1. old paper towel roll
  2. glue
  3. pencil
  4. crayon
  5. ruler
  6. paper

What to do

  1. wrap the paper towel roll with a letter sized paper
  2. mark the overlapping paper with pencil
  3. cut  out extra paper with scissors
  4. paint it with crayon and glue colorful images from old magazine

 Uses

paper towel roll art

After creating this beautiful roll from old paper towel rolls, kids can use it to put their important papers inside it.

The possibilities are endless. You can turn almost everything into art. Look for ideas and things you can do. If you like working with old furniture, try repainting and reusing your old furniture, and make new stuff from them. Make modifications whenever needed to make your old stuff look good. You can try welding metal objects together and turning them into art and making sculptures. Kids can also make bird feeders form milk cartons and so on. Creating art not only helps you improve your creativity but it also satisfies you by spending quality time as well as conserving natural

Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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Nuclear Power Dangers, Benefits & Environmental Concerns

Nuclear Power Dangers, Benefits & Environmental Concerns

We are into the new era of science and technology where we are being forced to look for new and cleaner sources of energy. Our energy resources of fossil fuels are limited and also harmful for the environment because of the carbon emissions and other consequences associated with it.  The future of energy depends on how safely we use the reusable sources of energy like the sun and the wind. Nuclear power, however, could also play a major role if done safely, and might need more involvement from the government to address the safety issues.

Nuclear power – can it be the answer to our energy crisis?

Nuclear energy could be the future of our energy resource and our answer to energy shortages. Many believe that we will become increasingly reliant on nuclear power in the future to maintain our living standards. It would also minimize our carbon footprint and address the global warming issues by minimizing fossil fuel consumptions and carbon dioxide emission. The nuclear power is a powerful source of energy which does require serious safety regulations and measures for safe operation and maintenance.

Nuclear power and global climate change

We, the humans, are responsible for the sudden climatic changes around the globe. All the sudden climatic disasters that we are facing today are due to changes and damages to the earth’s atmospheric composition, imbalance of temperature, and increase in harmful green house gases such as CO2, CFC, and so on from burning the fossil fuels, industrialization, and unsafe methods of sustainable business practices. Even though many of the major companies are already adapting to the climatic changes and starting to minimize our global impacts, the climatic inertia, such as melting of ice caps and changes in ocean water temperature, and rise in our sea levels make our responses to climatic changes more complicated and challenging.

Global demand for safe and clean source of energy is growing rapidly. For decades, scientists have thought of nuclear power as a safe and clean alternative to fossil fuels and if done safely, it does not negatively affect the environment and leaves no carbon footprint. From the age of rapid industrialization to current era of computer and rapid growth of mobile technology, we have been increasing the amount of carbon we use and emit into the environment. We have also been increasing the global temperature by emitting harmful green house gases that deplete the environment and destroy the ozone layer, that protect us from harmful solar radiation. Nuclear power is a huge powerful source of energy that could substitute all our power generating plants that use fossils or of various forms.

Safety concerns – Are the nuclear power plants perfectly safe?

·

atomic energy

  Keeping the nuclear power plants safe

The recent designs of the nuclear power plants are very safe, far safer than what they were in the early 1960s and 1970s. We hear about accidents like the one in the Three-Mile Island, or the accident at Fukushima, which was due to a human error as well as caused by a huge natural disaster. Far more studies have been made ever since to make the nuclear power plants safer. No one expected a 45 foot tsunami that overwhelmed the backup generators.

There has been only three major accidents, the Three Mile Island accident, Fukushima, and the  Chernobyl Accident in Russia, which made large part of Soviet Union unlivable back in 1986, among over 14,500 reactor-years of operation collectively around the world in 33 countries.

·      Managing nuclear generator toxic waste

A recent study shows that release of radiation and release of radio isotopes  from a nuclear power plant is far less dangerous than the radio isotopes released from natural gas at home. The cities do not need to worry about radiation from nuclear power plants.

Nuclear power plants are the only large scale power producing plans that takes responsibility in cleaning their own toxic waste and takes the cleaning costs into their production costs. Compared to the power generation and with other forms of fossil fuel base power plants, radioactive waste is relatively small. It is neither hazardous nor very difficult waste to manage. There are proven technology available today to dispose radioactive waste safely.

Economic Factors for developing nuclear power generators

Building, managing and running the nuclear power plants can be expensive and also require precision in technology and skills. USA has more private sector companies produce power from nuclear energy than anywhere else in the world. However the government of the United States has an active role in setting and monitoring the safety standards and the environmental impacts and setting goals for the nuclear power generation. US government also encourages nuclear powered plants to develop, evolve and grow through government funding. The policy makers of our country need to look into the possibilities and right regulations to develop nuclear powered generators in the USA.

Nuclear energy and the future

Nuclear energy is the promising new source of energy and could become our energy source of the future. Nuclear power generators are able to produce huge amounts of energy using very small amount of fuel. However, they are not easy to set up and could become expensive to build, manage and operate safely. It could also contain potential hazards or dangers if a disaster or accident takes place. How we dispose of the nuclear waste is also another concern for the environmentalists around the world. We need to develop all possible ways to replace fossil fuels with cleaner and sustainable resources such as nuclear power, wind and solar energy. We don’t have a choice but to explore every possibility.

Nuclear energy and the Environmental Professional

Because there has been relatively little new nuclear development in decades, there is a shortage of environmental professionals that are trained properly to deal with many aspects of what could be an emerging nuclear industry.  Generally, the majority of working nuclear environmental professionals are over 40 years old and many are closer to retirement than being in the midst of their careers.  There will be a great opportunity for properly trained new and young nuclear scientists in the future, even if nuclear power does not become a major ongoing energy source.

EPN will be conducting webinars and teaching classes for our members to learn more about the opportunities in the nuclear field.  You should watch for these opportunities as you continue to visit our site and as you advance in your training and in your careers.

nuclear energy

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Environmental Concerns & Debates – Chemical Spill In West Virginia

Environmental Concerns & Debates – Chemical Spill In West Virginia

Many of the West Virginians are facing water problems due to a recent chemical spill from a storage facility near the banks of the Elk River near Charleston. It started on January 9, 2014, when people reported a strong odor in their water supply. The water supply was contaminated at dangerous levels and 300,000 residents of nine counties in West Virginia were told not to drink, wash cloths, do dishes or take showers with the contaminated water, until government confirmed the safety of the water supply, affecting over nine counties in West Virginia.

It has been estimated that about 5,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCMH), a harmful toxic chemical used as a foaming agent to wash certain types of commercial coal before sending it to the market, was poured out into the Elk River close to Charleston, which leaked from a 40,000 gallon storage tank.

This raises questions among the people of the United States and all around the world regarding the safety of common people. The question has also been raised that are we protected by enough by government to regulate these companies concerning safety of common people? Questions are also being raised to understand why a storage facility containing toxic chemicals was permitted to be established so close to the Elk river and why it was not inspected or regulated by the state or federal government.

The current laws of West Virginia do not require inspections for storage facilities, but only the chemical manufacturing companies need regular inspections. However, the state lawmakers have not sounded an alarm yet regarding the disaster in Charleston, West Virginia.

On a regular Tuesday briefings of the Senate party leaders, Speaker John Boehner ensured that we already have enough government regulations to address the safety issues on the books, and there is “no need for new regulations.”

water contaminationThe state and federal governments joined together on Friday the 10th January 2014 announced an investigating into this matter declaring it a disaster. The National guards of West Virginia are doing their best to tackle the situation in the nine affected counties, which includes distribution of bottled water, as the local stores and supermarkets are sold out of bottled water.

In an earlier report it was found that the storage facility in question, owned by Freedom Industries Inc. on the banks of Elk River hasn’t been a subject of local, state or federal government monitoring since 1991. A state regulator also mentioned in an interview that no inspections from the state or federal safety department ever visited the site in 15 years.

The responsible parchemical storagety, the Freedom Industries Inc. Has said they do not know how much chemical is spilled into the river, and they are working on cleaning the waters and preventing leakage for further contamination.

The waters supply of West Virginia got clearance from government again on Monday, January 13th, 2014, when the state government said that the water supply was safe for normal use again. The extent of harm of the chemical is still unknown other than it isn’t leather at its strongest concentration as cleared by Kanawha County emergency officials.

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New Year’s Resolution For A Cleaner & Sustainable Environment

New Year’s Resolution For A Cleaner & Sustainable Environment

As the New Year has arrived, think of the way you may become a better person this year compared to last year. The problem with making a resolution is that we tend to start the year thinking about our resolutions, but as the year progresses, we tend to forget all about our resolutions and get no results achieved by the end of the year. You might have found that your local gym is packed with people at the beginning of the year but soon the number of people decreases, and only those who are serious about their health remains in the gym by the end of the year.

environmental issues

To become a better person, your resolutions should not only include getting a better job, better car, and better shape, but also keeping the planet a better place too. Your actions today will impact the planet in the long run, and therefore, our future depends on how we treat our planet today, so why not make a resolution to recycle and work towards a cleaner and sustainable environment?

Most people cannot achieve their goals resolved on the New Year’s Day because most people are not willing to go the extra mile and stick to their goals. The lack of commitment is the major flaw of planning for most people. Once committed, one should make every effort to stay on the goals, no matter how hard it becomes or no matter what it takes. Sticking to goals requires breaking down the goal into smaller attainable goals and then every time you achieve a small goal it gives you reinforcement and confidence to achieve bigger goals.

New Year’s Resolution for a Sustainable Environment

Your New Year’s resolution don’t just need to be about becoming a better person, but it should also be about making the world a better place. There are many little things that we can do in our regular day to day activities that help environment and help reduce our carbon footprint.  The benefits of going green are given below:

Find the green incentives form government:

By going green you may be eligible for tax cuts, rebates and incentives form government. Check your local utility company websites for such promotions and bonuses. Your power company’s website might be a good place to find out about tax cuts or benefits related to your eco-friendly actions.

Replace house hold appliances with energy star ones:

Saving energy could be as simple as replacing your old light bulbs with the latest LED or CFL lights which lasts much longer than conventional light bulbs and uses only a fraction of energy that you would usually use. This saves you a significant amount of money and energy in the long run. If you have old appliances that eat up too much energy, get rid of them. Your new appliances will pay for themselves.

Grow food in your home garden

You grow your own home garden in your backyard, or anywhere in the house, indoors, or outdoors, depending on what type of house you have. If you have enough space in your backyard, you can grow a flower garden as well as vegetable garden that can supply you food and clean, fresh air. You can obtain all your supplies from local Home Depot or similar stores that carry garden supplies. You may also consider aquaponics or small fish farms that may save you trips to the grocery store save you time, gas money and help the environment as well.  The waste from your kitchen can be used to feed your fish farm as well as your plants, and therefore, it is also a great way to recycle food waste from your kitchen.

Recycle and reuse

There are many ways you can reuse stuff around the house. Recycling old bags for shopping, old gift wrappers, calendars, maps and newspapers will reduce cutting down trees. By recycling all your household waste efficiently can reduce mining as well. For example you can recycle all your house hold appliances for scrap metal, recycle old cans and bottles, old newspaper and so on. Recycled paper can save up to 30% of trees. The goods made of recycled materials are now just as good as goods made with conventional materials, therefore, you are able to use recycled furniture, paper, cloths, and so on and help the environment.

Consume less energy and fuel

photo_13933_20090904We can reduce the carbon emission into the air by using less energy. We should start thinking ways to use reusable cleaner sources of energy, driving cars that consume less fuel, and also use public transportation more often whenever possible to reduce carbon use. By using less energy, saving energy every time we can, such as turning off light and heat when we leave the room or using energy efficient appliances can not only cut down your energy bills but also conserve the fossil fuels and nature.

If we all do our share of recycling and restoring the environment we can significantly reduce our negative impacts and carbon footprint on the environment. Recycling all our household waste can effectively reduce mining, reduce cutting down trees and also reduce the filling up of landfills. Thousands of cubic feet of landfill space and thousands of trees can be saved if we all become a little more conscious about the environment and start working towards sustainability.

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