This article originally appeared on Reveal
A decade ago, reports began emerging of a strange occurrence in the Saudi Arabian desert. Ancient desert springs were drying up.
The springs fed the lush oases depicted in the Bible and Quran, and as the water disappeared, these verdant gardens of life were returning to sand.
Killings of environmental activists have risen by 20% in the last year, according to campaign group Global Witness.
Last year saw a spike in killings related to hydropower programs. Fourteen people died defending their land and rivers against dam projects.
More than 2,000 people died from eating contaminated seafood from the area, with thousands more suffered life-long damage.
It would take years before the Chisso Corporation admitted their role in the poisoning of the environment.
In May 2009, a truck rolled through the Sheikh Yasin camp in Mardan, Pakistan’s “city of hospitality,” where thousands of people had fled following one of the country’s military offensives against the Taliban.
If water was a scarce commodity to this refugee community, ice was a luxury. And it was worth fighting for: A single block could refrigerate whatever perishables the displaced had secured for their families.
Scientists keeping tabs on the eastward voyage of radioactive byproducts from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power-station disaster in Japan suggest that radioactivity from the byproducts should peak off the US and Canadian coasts by the end of next year.
“Our biggest concern right now is if some of the other isotopes such as strontium 90 which tend to be more mobile, get through these sediments in the ground water. They are entering the oceans at levels that then will accumulate in seafood and will cause new health concerns.”
Japan’s nuclear watchdog has said the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is facing a new “emergency” caused by a build-up of radioactive groundwater.
Its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), has been criticised heavily for its lack of transparency over the leaks.
Tepco’s “sense of crisis is weak,” Shinji Kinjo, the head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force said. “This is why you can’t just leave it up to Tepco alone”.
“I’m very concerned, I didn’t think this spill would impact tourism in such an extreme way”
US fighter jets dropped four bombs on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast during a training exercise that went wrong, it has emerged.
“There is minimal environmental impact,” said Cmdr Marks. “It is a safe situation for the environment, for shipping, for navigation.”
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral structure rich in marine life.
Strontium-90 is formed as a by-product of nuclear fission. Tests showed that levels of strontium in groundwater at the Fukushima plant had increased 100-fold since the end of last year, Toshihiko Fukuda, a Tepco official, told media.
“When we look at the impact that is having on the ocean, the levels seem to be within past trends and so we don’t believe it’s having an effect.”
The Franz Josef is a 12 km long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. In the past five years the glacier has been rapidly shrinking which is attributed to global warming.
The Philippine Senate is also investigating accusations that an American government contractor dumped about 50,000 gallons of untreated domestic waste from a Navy ship near Subic Bay after joint exercises in October. The contractor has denied the allegations. The former American naval facility, which is frequently visited by American ships, is also a popular Filipino tourist destination for beachgoers.
From Jiling to Guangdong, Jiangsu to Yunnan, industrial centers across China have been embroiled in a spate of water calamities whose damage and frequency are staggering.
“The NSW government will not stand by and allow the Commonwealth to take the lazy option which removes water from productive purposes in NSW”
From today, further water purchases for the environment will be restricted to three per cent per valley per decade, a more sustainable rate of purchase which will provide much needed breathing space and time for rural economies to adjust.
“Everything we’re hearing is that there’s no good news for the Pacific bluefin. We’re seeing a very high value fish continue to be overfished”
Pacific Bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California have been found to have radioactive contamination from last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident. The fish would have picked up the pollution while swimming in Japanese waters, before then moving to the far side of the ocean.
Scientists stress that the fish are still perfectly safe to eat.
Fukushima pollution is potentially a very useful tool to trace the origin and timing of animal movements.
A bluefin tuna sold for more than £1m [$1.7m] at a Tokyo auction yesterday.
The Japanese eat 80 per cent of the bluefin tuna caught worldwide, and much of the global catch is shipped to Japan for consumption. The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co, which operates the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, said “the price was a bit high” but that he wanted to “encourage Japan”, according to Kyodo News agency.