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How would we manage nuclear waste and keep meltdowns from being so deadly? You can't just strap waste to rockets, that would just be too expensive.
Waste is manageable. It doesn't take up much space, and safe storage is not a difficult technical problem. Rockets are a bad solution not just because it's expensive (and risky), but the waste should be stored since it could turn out to become a resource for future generations.
As for possible accidents, it's frequently argued that nuclear is amongst the least deadly energy per unit produced as a results of accidents, and it keeps getting safer. But let's not rule out that serious accidents still can happen. I'll side with nature on this one, since earth is beginning to run out of space for nature. Not only does nuclear power require relatively little space, but in the case of the worst case accident, what is going to happen is that a large area will become unsuited for permanent human occupation and food production. So it will have to be given back to nature and basically become a wildlife sanctuary. It's not good for the displaced humans and such an accident would be a really bad thing that we don't want, but earth has a whole might actually be better off. If I was given the choice of using many km² of relatively untouched scenery for wind power or building a nuclear power plan which only consists of a few buildings in the same area and some mining, I would much more prefer the latter option for the sake of nature.
Fossil fuels are far more deadly than nuclear. We have a gas leak or pipeline explosion almost every day somewhere in this country- which is why we've banned new pipelines being put in.
It's not about it being an extinction event if we do nothing, but more about a quality of life event. I'm tired of all the poor air quality days we've been having around here. I'm considering a permanent move to the mountains, in my private gated community where no vehicles are allowed outside of the people who actually live there. I suggest all communities become gated and ban trucks and other commercial vehicles if we are to maintain clean air and lower asthma rates. NYC looks like it will ban commercial vehicles within the next decade, but that's too late for me.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465283/
Traffic and power generation are the main sources of urban air pollution. The idea that outdoor air pollution can cause exacerbations of pre-existing asthma is supported by an evidence base that has been accumulating for several decades, with several studies suggesting a contribution to new-onset asthma as well. In this Series paper, we discuss the effects of particulate matter (PM), gaseous pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide), and mixed traffic-related air pollution. We focus on clinical studies, both epidemiological and experimental, published in the previous 5 years. From a mechanistic perspective, air pollutants probably cause oxidative injury to the airways, leading to inflammation, remodelling, and increased risk of sensitisation. Although several pollutants have been linked to new-onset asthma, the strength of the evidence is variable. We also discuss clinical implications, policy issues, and research gaps relevant to air pollution and asthma.
Outdoor air pollution contributed more than 3% of the annual disability-adjusted life years lost in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease comparative risk assessment, a notable increase since the previous estimate was made in 2000.1 Previous assessments of global disease burden attributed to air pollution were restricted to urban areas or by coarse spatial resolution of concentration estimates.2 In a study of ten European cities, 14% of the cases of incident asthma in children and 15% of all exacerbations of childhood asthma were attributed to exposure to pollutants related to road traffic.3 Urbanisation is an important contributor to asthma and this contribution might be partly attributed to increased outdoor air pollution (figure 1).4–6 Because many urban centres in the developing world are undergoing rapid population growth accompanied by increased outdoor air pollution, the global burden of asthma is likely to increase. In this context, it is notable that the populations of China, India, and Southeast Asia are equal to the rest of the world combined.
I also wanted to draw your attention to a question I asked a US Navy Climatologist in this thread (at the bottom):https://www.americanwx.com/bb/topic/48618-arctic-sea-ice-extent-area-and-volume/page/57/#comments
This is going to be a bit OT but did you see the new research on the dinosaur extinction asteroid? The new research indicates that oceans quickly acidified killing sea life on a global scale rather quickly. I wonder if climate change induced ocean acidification could do something similar?
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Location:Lexington Park, MD
Posted 46 minutes ago
I'm still reading through that paper. From what I've read so far, the change is on the order of 0.25 pH post-impact. We've had around 0.15 of change so far, but this hasn't eaten into the aragonite buffer enough to cause undersaturation at the surface or in the mixed layer in most locales so far. That is due to change sometime in the 2030s in the Southern Ocean and the waters next to Antarctica (where colder SSTs allow more gas to dissolve). From there it will spread rapidly across seasons and area.
It's not talked about much and my suspicion is that it won't be until that starts to occur.