CONSTRUCTION OF NICARAGUA CANAL THREATENS A ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE
"It is not explained how this issue has escaped the ‘radar’ of large conservation organizations," "As this project has been presented is not sustainable environmentally or scientifically"
Nicaragua’s government last year granted a concession to a company in Hong Kong (China), virtually unknown, to build a canal passing through the Central American country, over 286 km from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
The grant includes the right to build industrial centers, airports, railway system, other pipelines and rights of expropriation of land and natural resources that are found along the way. Construction will begin later this year.
Although not decided the exact route of the canal, are known to cross the Great Lake of Nicaragua (Cocibolca), the largest drinking water reservoir in Central America and an area of great biodiversity, forest and wetlands also of great ecological value. They also live in the various indigenous communities also threatened.
"This project could lead to the greatest environmental disaster in the region," alert Jorge Huete-Perez, director of the Center for Molecular Biology at the University of Central America, which is not explained how this issue has escaped the ‘radar’ of large conservation organizations.
Huete-Perez, along with biologist Axel Meyer at the University of Konstanz (Germany), demand this week in the journal Nature the need for an independent environmental impact assessment for this megaproject. So far the National Assembly of Nicaragua has rejected legal complaints against the concession.
The researcher stresses the environmental threat posed by the work: “It can cause irreparable damage, and lacustrine-marine-terrestrial ecosystems, have a devastating effect on the chemical and biological properties of rivers and lakes, harming the environment by the works of construction, excavation and dredging, and pollution that can produce large oil spills. “
This can also lead to the extinction of many endemic fish species of economic importance for tourism (sport fishing) and survival of poor coastal communities. In addition you can also encourage the introduction of invasive species.
According to the study, the channel infrastructure and other associated projects (pipelines, airports, industrial zones, etc..) Could also have a negative impact on migration patterns and biological dynamics of the terrestrial fauna.
Our infographic on shale gas in China.
As conventional natural gas becomes harder to extract, energy companies are now tapping so-called unconventional reserves—shale, coal bed methane, and a product called tight gas—that cling to rock, sandstones and coal. Companies use a variety of techniques to force out the gas tucked deep inside the earth’s layers.
(SCMP Graphic: Adolfo Arranz)
In the spring, the countryside of Luoping in eastern Yunnan, China turns into an ocean of flowers. It’s that time of the year that the rapeseed flowers (or canola) are in full bloom. Photographers flock to this destination to captur…
Ocean of flowers in Yunnan, China 💛💚
China opens its first smog clinic after a year of record-breaking air pollution.
So here it is: Smog is even good for the economy, leading to the creation of new jobs! Mrs. Merkel, take heed!
Not only that, even the pharmaceutical industry can hope for better sales, now that even 8-year olds are getting lung cancer in China.
Drop in Demand From China Threatens Australian Coal Mining Projects
Major Australian coal projects risk losing value due to falling demand from China, where leaders are increasingly concerned about growing public anger over severe air pollution, a new analysis fromOxford University has found.
Future coal mining projects are vulnerable to being “stranded” by a range of policy changes from the Chinese government, including environmental regulation, carbon pricing, investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency …
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China suffered another severe bout of air pollution in December 2013. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on December 7, 2013, thick haze stretched from Beijing to Shanghai, a distance of about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles). For comparison, that is about the distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The brightest areas are clouds or fog. Polluted air appears gray. While northeastern China often faces outbreaks of extreme smog, it is less common for pollution to spread so far south.
“The fog has a smooth surface on the top, which distinguishes it from mid- and high-level clouds that are more textured and have distinct shadows on their edge,” explained Rudolf Husar, director of the Center for Air Pollution Impact and Trend Analysis at Washington University. “If there is a significant haze layer on top of the fog, it appears brownish. In this case, most of the fog over eastern China is free of elevated haze, and most of the pollution is trapped in the shallow winter boundary layer of a few hundred meters.”
On the day this natural-color image was acquired by Terra, ground-based sensors at U.S. embassies in Beijing and Shanghai reported PM2.5 measurements as high as 480 and 355 micrograms per cubic meter of air respectively. The World Health Organization considers PM2.5 levels to be safe when they are below 25.
Fine, airborne particulate matter (PM) smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) is considered dangerous because it is small enough to enter the passages of the human lungs. Most PM2.5 aerosol particles come from the burning of fossil fuels and of biomass (wood fires and agricultural burning).
At the time of the satellite image, the air quality index (AQI) reached 487 in Beijing and 404 in Shanghai. An AQI above 300 is considered hazardous to all humans, not just those with heart or lung ailments. AQI below 50 is considered good.
In some cities, authorities ordered school children to stay indoors, pulled government vehicles off the road, and halted construction in an attempt to reduce the smog, according to news reports.
- Associated Press, via The Washington Post (2013, December 6) Smog at Extremely Hazardous levels in Shanghai.Accessed December 9, 2013.
- Bloomberg News (2013, December 9) Shanghai Tells Children to Stay Inside for Seventh Day on Smog. Accessed December 9, 2013.
- The New York Times (2013, December 5) Air Pollution Shrouds Eastern China. Accessed Accessed December 9, 2013.
- U.S. Department of State (2013, December 9) U.S. Consulate Shanghai Air Quality Monitor. Accessed December 9, 2013.
- U.S. Department of State (2013, December 9) U.S Embassy Beijing Air Quality Monitor. Accessed December 9, 2013.
- Voice of America (2013, December 6) Flights Delayed as Air Pollution Hits Record in Shanghai. Accessed December 9, 2013.
- Xinhua (2013, December 9) Cities hit hard by smog. Accessed December 9, 2013.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.Instrument: Terra - MODIS
New airport terminal puts Shenzen on the global architecture map
After a build time of only three years and a budget of US$1 billion, the new Terminal 3 Building at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, makes a dramatic architectural statement. This is the first airport project for the Rome-based architects and one intended to launch them into the frontline of high-design transport terminals. The building runs 1.5 km (5,000 ft) in length, covering an internal area of half a million square meters (5.4 million sq ft). But its most striking achievement may be its unusual form, which the architects liken to a “manta ray,” and its textured “double” skin. As the home to the country’s fourth largest airport, and one that requires a visa for entry by foreign visitors, Shenzhen seems an unlikely site for such an eye-catching building. However, the project wears the sculptural design with the confidence of a major international hub, a sign of the city’s growing prominence within China, but also of the country’s continuing penchant for large-scale, high-profile architecture commissions, (via New airport terminal puts Shenzen on the global architecture map)
Thierry Bornier: Fisher Village near Xiapu, China