Monthly Archives: March 2015

Four years out, Fukushima reactors still spewing — Bloomberg

It seems that some people are above the law

Japan Safety : Nuclear Energy Updates

” Fishermen trawling the waters off Japan’s eastern coast have been alleging for a while that radioactive water was again spilling into the Pacific from the Fukushima power plant that melted down after a massive earthquake in 2011. On Feb. 24, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is responsible for the site, admitted those suspicions were justified. And it turns out that Tepco knew about this latest radioactive leak since last May — and the giant utility said nothing for almost a year.

In the 15 days since Tepco finally confessed, have investigators raided its Tokyo headquarters? Have regulators demanded that heads roll? Has Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used his bully pulpit to demand accountability from the company that gave the world its worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl? In any other major democracy, those steps would have been obvious. But none have occurred in Japan. And that raises troubling questions not…

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Satellite Photos of Connecticut River show Freezing

I recently saw a post about satellite photos (hat tip to Tom).   I figured out the link, and I was able to get a satellite photo for Jan. 18, 2013, for the Connecticut River.   By placing the cursor at 42.76 N and 72.51 W on can locate Vernon.   One sees no open water north, and one can follow open water all the way to the Sound.  Of note, Quabbin is visible, and the water is open.  This satellite photo corresponds to the time when I took one of my favorite photos of the thermal plume.  Of note, the average temp of that Jan was 26, just above average.

Next, I found a satellite photo for Jan 15, 2014.   It is again shows the same features of ice to the north and open water to the south.  There is open water on the Quabbin.

I found a photo for Jan 15, 2015 showing ice north of Vernon, open water south, open water at the Quabbin, and, surprisingly,, frozen water south of Middletown, where the river leaves the river valley.

A satellite photo from Jan 30, 2015 shows that the lower Connecticut and the Hudson river have started to freeze over.   The month of January 2015 was cold, but not nearly as cold as Feb 2015.  This photo supports my hypothesis: freezing of the river, after the shut down of Vernon, lead to freezing of the Connecticut River.

Finally,  a photo for Feb 13, 2015 shows that the river is largely frozen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hartford Courant: Ice on the River

There was a piece in the Hartford Courant (hat tip to Karl) about how frozen the Connecticut River has been, that substantiates my piece about the river being frozen.

The 65-passenger boat sits at Eagle Landing State Park in the shadow of the East Haddam swing bridge, surrounded by ice that is 20 inches thick in places — a rare winter sight, especially along the lower Connecticut River.   “For many years we were doing this [and] there was absolutely no ice,” he said. “Last year [the river] froze, but not this hard.  The ice has forced Yuknat to cancel his popular bald eagle cruises for all of February, and he doesn’t expect to depart the dock until mid- to late March — if at all.

This place, the East Haddam swing bridge,  will be a reference point next year.    If my hypothesis is correct, then next winter, even  if the temperature normalizes to historic means, there will be ice at East Haddam next year as well.

February was exceptionally cold

There was a piece today in the New York Times entitled twilight of an ice age.   Early versions mentioned that records were being set.  I have been monitoring the ice on the Connecticut River and noted more icing.   I then looked at the average daily temperature for the entire month of February since 1943 for Northampton, MA on the weather underground..   This is what I found:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.03.38 AM

The average temperature for February is 27, with a standard deviation of 4.9.  The temperature of 13 is 2.9 times the standard deviation of the mean.   Three standard deviations of the norm account for 99.7 % of the variability.

Meanwhile, USA today reported that this December and January are the sixth warmest winters on record for the USA.

Next February will be most interesting.  The theory of stasis suggests  that next year there will be a regression to the norm, and next Feb will be warmer.  The theory of chaos suggest that sometimes little things abruptly cause big changes.  The current model of climate change suggests that some places would get colder.