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Monsanto’s Roundup Safe To Drink

Roundup is a herbicide that contains Glyphosate as an active ingredient. A controversial lobbyist,Moore said thatthis productis harmless and people can drink it. The journalist challenged him to drink a glass of Roundup which he refused.Dr Moore also said that glyphosate which is theactive ingredients in Roundup herbicide is not the cause of increasing rate of cancer in Argentina. This was during an interview at canal+channel.Now, what is contained in Roundup and is this herbicide safe for human consumption?

Roundup is an effective weed killer and most of people use it for home maintenance.It is effective as it kills weed to the root never to appear again.It is the best herbicide and it is used by many farmers and industrial agriculture. For this worldwide use its residue is found in sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Roundup contains deadly active ingredient, glyphosate which enables it to kill weed fast but to kill human slowly.

Pesticide industry however maintains that glyphosate is minimally harmful to human but a study published by Journal Entropy shows otherwise. Thirty years ago Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committee concluded that Roundup weed killer might cause cancer. EPA changed its decision six years later after studying the mouse they had been using to do the research.

The discussion is back and another agency claims that glyphosate in Roundup can cause cancer.World Health Organization claims that the mouse study that was carried out by Environmental Protection Agency is among the study that they used to support their claim.Monsanto have been angered by these claims.  According to WHO there are many causes of cancer but glyphosate contained in Roundup is the second agent causing cancer. Other agents that are stated in WHO report includes sunshine, alcohol and wooddust.

The vice president of Monsato, Philip Miller said that the safety of glyphosate has been examined by credible scientific bodies and hencesafe to be used by humans.The company has since asked WHO to retract the report saying that Roundup is safe to be used by farmers if they follow the instructions given.

Dr. Patrick Moore claimed that the herbicide is safe and you can even drink a whole quart and it will not hurt you.He said that many people have tried to commit suicide by taking Roundup but they did not die because the herbicide is safe.The journalist at canal+ channel offered him a drink of Roundup. Despite his claims that the drug was harmless for consumption he did not accept the drink he was given by the journalist.He said that he is not an idiot andwalked out of the interview calling the journalist a complete jerk.

Some reports are now saying that Moore is a lobbyist of Monsato, claims which Monsato have dismissed. Monsato have released a report saying that Moore is not their lobbyist and have never been their employee. Monsato have said that many people have used their products and their confidence in company’s product does not make them Monsato’slobbyist.

 

 

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Fukushima Radiation Found in Japanese Tea

On March 11th on 2011 Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima was hit with several explosions and meltdowns. This resulted into radiation of Japan food supply. Now negative effects of this arestarting to appear assmall amount of radiation was detected in green tea that was shipped from Japan to Hong Kong. This has cast a doubt on other food types that are coming from this region.

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New York Times reported that powdered tea that was imported from Japanese prefecture of Chiba which is southeast of Tokyo contained some traces of radioactive cesium 137. The Hong Kong government announced this on Thursday evening but the level of radioactive components is way below the legal levels.

This is not the first discovery on radioactive traces on food substances. In March 2011 the government’s Center for Food Safety found out that three samples of vegetables from Japan contained unsatisfactory levels of radioactive contaminants. This was the same month that nuclear reactors in Fukushima suffered partial meltdown from the power earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan.

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This disaster at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant led to release of radioactive isotopes into the air. These isotopes are cesium-137, cesium-134 and iodine-131. Radioactive particles in the air are measured by Becquerel (Bq) and after this explosion about 770,000 Bq were released.Cesium-137 is dangerous than iodine-137.  Cesium-137 has a half-life (amount of time it takes for the substance to reduce to half of the original) of 30 years while iodine-131 has only 8 days. The risk of iodine-131 if ingested is less than that of cesium-137.

After the explosions several food substances were reported to contain radioactive isotope of iodine and cesium. It was only in milk and several vegetables that the level was above the safe level in Fukushima. Also radioactive components were discovered in water but the level was safe for consumption except for children. Three weeks after the explosion no cesium or iodine isotopes were detected in foods that were above the safe level. By mid-April almost all restrictions on food were lifted.

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All was going as expected but on May several tea producers reported presence of radioactive components on their tea. Tea from Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba also tested to have radioactive components that were above the safe level.  The government stopped shipment of tea from these areas on June. Shizuoka which is 350 km from Daiichi nuclear power plant and produces 40% of Japan green tea also was affected. A test was carried out and several tea plants were asked to stop their tea shipment.

The big question is whether the tea that is coming from Japan is safe or not. Most of tea that is being exported by Japan is safe for human consumption.  In fact there are areas in Japan where the tea produced does not have any radiation components.  Cesium is detected in tea from Shizuoka but it does not exceed the government standards. Everybody can use tea that is produced in Japan but children and pregnant women should be cautious on amount of radiation they are exposed to.

 

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Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows

A recent study shows that Australia could be on track for a rise in temperature by more than 5⁰C by the end of the 21st century. This will outstrip the rate of global warming experienced by the rest of the world, unless immediate action is taken to curb or completely eliminate any more greenhouse gas emissions. This was based on the most extensive analysis ever produced of Australia’s future climate.

According to this recent report, there was “very high confidence” that temperature would rise across the country throughout the century, with the average annual temperature set to be up to 1.3⁰C warmer by 2030 compared with the average experienced between 1986 and 2005.

The increase in temperature depend on how deeply, if at all, greenhouse gas emissions are slashed. The world is tracking at the higher emissions scenario, which means Australia will see an increase in temperature between 2.8⁰C and 5.1⁰C by the year 2090.

This “business-as-usual” approach to burning fossil fuels is set to warm up Australia even more than the rest of the world, with an average temperature increase of 2.6⁰C to 4.8⁰C by 2090.

 

To know more about this story, visit The Guardian.

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Rocket blasts off with NASA satellite to help track climate change

An unmanned Delta 2 rocket was launched from California on Saturday, carrying with it a NASA satellite that will help measure the amount of water in Earth’s soil, vital information that will aid in forecasting the weather and tracking climate change.

The tiny amount of soil moisture is linked with the planet’s overall environmental systems, including its water, energy and carbon cycles. It also indicates whether certain regions are affected with extreme flooding or drought.

According to NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory lead scientist Dara Entekhabi, “It’s the metabolism of the system.”

The Delta 2 rocket is measured at 127 feet (39 metres), built and flown by United Launch Alliance. A live NASA TV broadcast showed that the rocket blasted off at 6:22 a.m. PST/1422 GMT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which is located on California’s central coast.

The rocket launching was delayed a day due to high winds and a second day to conduct minor repairs on the rocket’s insulation.

Resting on top of the rocket was NASA’s 2,100-pound (950 kg) SMAP, which will spend at least three years orbiting Earth to measure the amount of water in the top 2 inches of the planet’s soil.

“Overall, soil moisture accounts for less than 1 percent of the planet’s total water reservoir, with 97 percent in the planet’s oceans and nearly all of the rest locked in ice”, said Entekhabi, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At present, scientists are largely dependent on computer models to account for the Earth’s soil moisture.

But from its orbital perch 426 miles (685 km) above Earth, SMAP has two microwave instruments to collect actual soil moisture measurements everywhere on Earth and update the measurements every two to three days.

Including the launch and three years of operations, the mission is costing NASA $916 million.

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Which Countries Are Most Likely to Survive Climate Change?

Yes, climate change is real, and it’s about to come. However, we are all going to be affected in different ways. It all comes down to your location. So how will your country fare?

The team at Eco Experts have put together an amazing infographic that is based on data from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation (ND-Gain) Index, a yearly ranking on which countries are vulnerable to global warming.

The infographic shows maps with a nice zoomed-out perspective of what’s about to happen to various countries as the Earth warms. However, there are a few caveats you need to consider:

  • The maps are based on country rankings. They are not comprehensive evaluations of each country.
  • The ranking looks only at the level of entire countries. All of the state-specific, region-specific, or city-specific data get somewhat lost in the zoomed-out perspective.

 

Check out the infographic in its entirety on the Business Insider.

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US, India step up “Cooperation” on climate change

On a meeting in Delhi on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with US President Barack Obama, announced new joint measures to promote and improve clean energy in India, primarily to support India’s solar energy target and to strengthen international climate action.

The two countries plan to cooperate closely together and with other countries to fight global climate change, laying out a set of goals in the hope that it “will expand policy dialogues and technical work on clean energy and low greenhouse gas emissions technologies.”

While the agreement is not as concrete as the emissions reductions agreement Obama reached with China last year, the deal includes efforts to cooperate on reducing fluorinated gas emissions, bolster India’s promotion of clean energy investment, and partner to reduce the debilitating effects of air pollution in many of India’s cities.

The agreement also emphasized that the US and India would “cooperate closely” for a “successful and ambitious” climate agreement in Paris late this year. During the said conference, 196 nations are expected to meet and tentatively agree a course of action to respond to climate change. This conference is widely considered to be the last and only chance for a global agreement that could feasibly control the alarming increase in global average temperature under 2⁰C.

“India’s voice is very important on this issue,” Obama said at a press meeting on Sunday. “Perhaps no country could potentially be more affected by the impacts of climate change and no country is going to be more important in moving forward a strong agreement than India.”

 

Read more about the US and India’s Climate and Clean Energy Cooperation in this White House fact sheet.

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Climate change is real and caused by humans, majority of senators believe

Majority of senators were forced to finally vote on the issue of climate change, indicating that they believe the phenomenon is real and that humans have “at least some role to play.” But how much, and what to do to stop it, remains unclear.

After one week of freewheeling debate on the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline that mainly focused on climate change, a few patterns have begun to arise in the Senate: There is a group of hard-core believers in climate change caused by humans, a group that rejects those conclusions, and more than a dozen senators who are caught in the middle, torn by economics, politics, and ongoing questions over what the research actually proves.

 

Read more about this developing story on The Washington Times.

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2014 warmest year in modern record

According to two separate analyses conducted by scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2014 was considered to be the planet’s warmest year since 1880.

The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now taken place since the year 2000. This trend will continue a long-term global warming, based on an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.

An independent analysis of the raw data was presented by NOAA scientists on Friday, also revealing that 2014 was the warmest year on record.

NASA is at the forefront of the scientific investigation of the dynamics of the Earth’s climate on a global scale,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The observed long-term warming trend and the ranking of 2014 as the warmest year on record reinforces the importance for NASA to study Earth as a complete system, and particularly to understand the role and impacts of human activity.”

 

Get more in-depth details and videos on NASA’s Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.

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