Disasters

"Nuclear Rules in Japan Relied on Old Science"

"In the country that gave the world the word tsunami, the Japanese nuclear establishment largely disregarded the potentially destructive force of the walls of water. The word did not even appear in government guidelines until 2006, decades after plants — including the Fukushima Daiichi facility that firefighters are still struggling to get under control — began dotting the Japanese coastline."

Source: NY Times, 03/28/2011

Wildfire Grows Into One Of Largest In Texas History, Menacing Towns

"A cluster of wildfires scorched the Texas Panhandle on Wednesday, including a blaze that grew into one of the largest in state history, as flames moved with alarming speed and blackened the landscape across a vast stretch of small towns and cattle ranches."

Source: AP, 02/29/2024

Wildfires Are Killing California's Ancient Giants. Can Seedlings Save Them?

"On a late autumn day, a team of forestry workers spreads out among the burned trunks of giant sequoia trees. The 1,000-year-old trees in the grove are dead but still standing, killed in an extreme wildfire that raced through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks."

Source: NPR, 02/28/2024

Florida Lawmakers Want To Eliminate Local Heat Protection Rules For Workers

"A measure that will ban local governments from passing heat-protection ordinances inspired strong emotions from the public Thursday, but lawmakers approved the bill backed by big business interests."

Source: Florida Phoenix, 02/27/2024

Chemical Safety Board May Have Finally Cleaned Its Slate. What Now?

A key U.S. federal agency tasked with investigating the nation’s industrial chemical accidents has been limping along for years. Now, the latest Issue Backgrounder reports that replenished staffing and a funding boost may mean it’s found its footing. But as the pace of chemical accidents accelerates and safety regulations stagnate, will it make a difference?

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Spill-Tracking Data Sources Help Cover Hazmat Events

A new Spill Tracker website is a good source of information on chemical spills, albeit one with an agenda. But according to the latest Reporter’s Toolbox, it’s just one among a set of powerful resources for covering dangerous releases, large and small. More on Spill Tracker, plus another half-dozen-plus government and nonprofit data sources on petrochemical incidents.

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"Rain Comes to the Arctic, With a Cascade of Troubling Changes"

"Rain used to be rare in the Arctic, but as the region warms, so-called rain-on-snow events are becoming more common. The rains accelerate ice loss, trigger flooding, landslides, and avalanches, and create problems for wildlife and the Indigenous people who depend on them."

Source: YaleE360, 02/26/2024

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