China’s great emptiness & great fullness on display from air and ground.

Tags: china cities asia

What links tigers, feces, DNA and Nepal wildlife conservation? @KashishDS reports.
The seismic signature of North Korea’s big new nuke, via @earthinstitute.
Caption: Seismogram of waves picked up from a North Korean nuclear by a Chinese measuring station. The configuration and magnitude of the waves suggest a blast equal to some 7,000 tons of TNT. (Courtesy Won-Young Kim, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). 

The seismic signature of North Korea’s big new nuke, via @earthinstitute.

Caption: Seismogram of waves picked up from a North Korean nuclear by a Chinese measuring station. The configuration and magnitude of the waves suggest a blast equal to some 7,000 tons of TNT. (Courtesy Won-Young Kim, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). 

Via @amarguriro, great to learn of launch of National Council of Environmental Journalists in Pakistan - first forum of environmental journalists at national level there. His note: 


"The forum comprises on 30 journalists from 21 cities of Pakistan. NCEJ members are attached with mainstream newspaper (Including Dawn, Express Tribune, Awami Awaz, Daily Duyna, The Nation, Sindhi Koshish, Daily Ibrat and others), FM Radios, television channels of English, Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtoo, Punjabi, Saraiki, Balti and Dari languages. 

The forum was established in June 2012 during an Environmental Journalism Training Workshop. our website www.ncejpak.org On November 13, 2012, we have formally launched the forum in PC Hotel Karachi.  


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World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

Giant one-ton saltwater crocodile caught by fearful villagers in Philippines.

Tags: wildlife asia

Master Dam/Canal/Road Builder of Southeast Asia

Retracing steps of an engineer who 100 years ago helped build the infrastructure of Southeast Asia. Sorry I missed this when first published. Thomas Fuller, following footsteps of his great grandfather. Fuller is one of my favorite NYT/IHT reporters.

"Don’t Know Squared: “It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know” that can bring down any system designed by humanity."

Michael Schlesinger, an engineer and climate scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, provided this comment on my Dot Earth post rounding up reader views on next steps for nuclear power in the wake of Japan’s extraordinary nuclear emergency following the great quake and tsunami. His full comment is below. My Dot Earth post on “Complexity and its Discontents" following the Gulf oil gusher explores these issues, as well.

"The out-of-control status of the 6 Fukushima nuclear reactors and their stored spent fuel rods is a textbook example of "Don’t Know Squared – It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know" that can bring down any system designed by humanity. In the present case, the reactor behaved as designed to scram (= emergency shutdown) during an earthquake. But the cooling system for both the reactor cores and the onsite-stored spent fuel rods was not designed to withstand a "once-in-a-millennium" tsunami.

While we can and will learn from this disaster, there will still – and always – be “Don’t-Know-Squared Events” that can and will occur that will render any human-constructed system less than foolproof. This is the primary lesson that must be learned from Fukushima: We humans cannot foresee, and thus cannot protect against, all the awful events that can and will impact our best world-class-designed systems. Accordingly, we should not construct any additional nuclear reactors until and unless we devise a way to render the spent fuel therefrom harmless = not be more radioactive than the world Mother Nature has created in which we live. This is such a tall order that it may not be possible for humanity to accomplish it.”

The Tsunami Alert

The alerts generated by the international tsunami warning system that was expanded after the great Indian Ocean quake and waves are both understated and chilling:

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 004
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 0830Z 11 MAR 2011

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…
WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

 JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /
 TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /
 POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
 NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /
 HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /
 WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /
 AUSTRALIA / FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /
 KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / NEW ZEALAND / PITCAIRN /
 GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /
 PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU

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