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An investigative commission called the meltdown at Fukushima an entirely preventable “manmade” disaster, and the media blew up. Any editor or reporter worth his salt in sensationalist muckraking, after all, knows nuclear disaster stories get eyeballs. The story goes: this was good ol’ fashioned regulatory capture, the fox watching the hen house. A failure of government, a case of brazen recklessness from the nuclear industry—this was no freak fluke of nature. This was a disaster that could have been avoided altogether. This catastrophe was man-made.

Which, obviously …

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TEDxKatuah - Ned Gardiner - Communication Through Visualization

Ned Gardiner is the Visualization Manager for NOAA's (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Climate Program Office and a producer of www.climate.gov, a flagship web site providing cutting-edge, accurate climate information. For a decade, he has used scientific visualization to help make complex scientific information understandable. Recently, he has focused on helping decision-makers around the country use climate data products make well-informed decisions about climate, climate change, and interactions with living systems. Earlier in his career, Ned advanced the use of satellite data and digital maps to produce biodiversity and Earth science video programming for museums around the world.
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The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope. Images two through 21 showcase the contest's winners in order, and are followed by a selection of other outstanding works. Scientists and photographers turned their attention on a wide range of subjects, both living and man-made, from lacewing larva to charged couple devices, sometimes magnifying them over 2000 times their original size. -- Lane Turner (38 photos total)
Wim van Egmond of the Micropolitan Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands photographed a Leptodora kindtii (giant waterflea) eye from a living specimen using the differential interference contrast method. (Wim van Egmond)

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Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010. -- Lloyd Young(36 photos total)
A village boy sits on the banks of the swelling Daya River, near Pipli village, about 25 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar Sept. 9. The flood situation in Orissa state worsened with the release of more water downstream from Hirakud dam, according to a news agency. A high alert has been sounded in 11 districts of the state. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)

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Hurricane Irene wound up by most estimates as one of the top ten most destructive and deadly hurricanes to hit the United States since 1980. While ultimately not as powerful as many had predicted, the storm still killed at least 27 people along its path from the Caribbean to the eastern seaboard. Transportation was shut down all along the east coast, stranding residents and tourists in shelters, airports, and train stations. More than 5.8 million customers lost electricity, thousands of flights were cancelled, flooding washed out roads and destroyed homes, and evacuation orders were issued for hundreds of thousands. Gathered here are pictures from the Hurricane's path. -- Lane Turner (44 photos total)
Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood on August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, N.C. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CASSINI MISSION from cabbas on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Chris Abbas created the beautiful short film above, and explains:

I truly enjoy outer space. It's absolutely amazing that we now have the ability to send instruments out into the void of the universe to observe all sorts of interesting things. Asteroids! Moons! Planets! Dark matter! This is the perfect opportunity for a Carl Sagan quote: "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

The footage in this little film was captured by the hardworking men and women at NASA with the Cassini Imaging Science System. If you're interested in learning more about Cassini and the on-going Cassini Solstice Mission, check it out at NASA's website.


(via Colin Peters)

 

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Deadly storms struck again yesterday in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It was a storm system that followed the massive, highest-rated EF5 twister that struck Joplin, Mo., on Sunday. The Joplin twister, which killed more than 120 people, is the eighth deadliest storm on record in the United States dating back to 1840. This year's tornado season has produced approximately 1,000 twisters and has taken the lives of more than 300 people. -- Lloyd Young
(36 photos total)
Debbie Surlin salvages items from her parent's home in Joplin, Mo. Wednesday, May 25, 2011. The home's residents Beverly and Roy Winans rode out the EF-5 tornado by hiding under a bed in the home. The tornado tore through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 123 people. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

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The Mississippi River and tributaries continue to rise, reaching record crests, and the worst may still be to come. Portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas are under water, with more to come. Pressure on levees led the Army Corps of Engineers to blow up a section below Cairo, Ill, inundating 130,000 acres of farmland while saving the town. As a bulge of river water makes its way downstream, levees are stressed and rivers that empty into the Mississippi have no outlet, backing up and flooding even more land. The bulge will reach the Delta later this month, and millions of acres are threatened. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Floodwaters from the Mississippi River on May 3 swamp the area north of New Madrid, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

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