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Posts Tagged "Japan"

Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part II)

sea urchin image

We made five planned dives during our voyage, each one a day long. It is a long day for the sub team. It takes several hours to prepare the submersible for the dive, and after seven to eight hours on the seafloor, another round of work is needed to prepare the sub for its next [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part I)

Shinkai 6500 submarine

The JAMSTEC research vessel RV Yokosuka sailed from Nuku’alofa in Tonga this morning, heading towards New Zealand to explore the animal life on deep undersea mountains, or seamounts. A team of 14 scientists from Japan and New Zealand, 41 ships officers and crew are on board. The Yokosuka is the mother ship for the human-operated [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Japan Could Lose 561 Plant Species by the Next Century

Polemonium kiushianum

A massive new study of Japan’s native plants reveals an extinction crisis in the making. The study examined 1,618 threatened Japanese vascular plant species, most of which can be only be found in extremely limited ranges and many of which already face shrinking populations. According to a paper published June 12 in PLoS ONE, the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare Japanese Rabbit Leaves Endangered Species List [Updated]

amami rabbit

Japan has removed the rare, nocturnal, island-dwelling Amami black rabbit (aka the Ryukyu rabbit, Pentalagus furnessi) from its endangered species list, according to a report from The Telegraph. The rabbits can only be found on the remote islands of Amami Oshima and Toku-no-Shima, part of the Ryukyu archipelago located about 350 kilometers south of mainland [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Japanese River Otter Declared Extinct

Japanese river otter

After not being seen for more than 30 years, the Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) has been declared extinct by the country’s Ministry of the Environment, which also last week declared several other species extinct. Once numbering in the millions, Japanese river otters—a subspecies of the European or Eurasian otter (L. lutra)—were overhunted for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Will the U.S. military do right by the dugong?

dugong

Could a plan to build a 2.5-mile-long airfield in Okinawa, Japan, doom a rare manateelike species to extinction? That’s the assertion of more than 400 environmental organizations (pdf), which recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to cancel the plans to expand Camp Schwab, a U.S. Marine Corps base on Okinawa island. At [...]

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Guest Blog

Earthquake triggering, and why we don’t know where the next big one will strike

As I came through airport security in Connecticut, upon presentation of my California driver’s license, the TSA officer asked me, "Aren’t you folks worried about how that big Japan quake is going to hit you next?" I was glad to be able to tell him that we’re not any more worried than we were before, [...]

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Guest Blog

Why we live in dangerous places

Natural disasters always seem to strike in the worst places. The Sendai earthquake has caused over 8,000 deaths, destroyed 450,000 people’s homes, crippled four nuclear reactors and wreaked over $300 billion in damage. And it’s only the latest disaster. Haiti will need decades to rebuild after its earthquake. New Orleans still hasn’t repopulated following Hurricane [...]

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Guest Blog

Impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on animals and environment

On Friday, March 11, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. People were displaced, a nuclear reactor was in trouble, and the world watched as a tsunami flooded Japan, threatened the islands of the Pacific, and ultimately hit the western coasts of North and South America. Chris Rowan pointed out that “Very little of the devastation [...]

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Guest Blog

Poor risk communication in Japan is making the risk much worse

The radiation crisis in Japan worsens for two reasons: one that we’ve heard about, one that we haven’t but which may in the end do far more harm. The Japanese government, and the company in charge of the crippled nuclear complex, are struggling with their risk and crisis communications, and their missteps are fueling mistrust [...]

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Guest Blog

Deja vu: What does the Gulf oil spill tell us about the Japanese nuclear crisis?

For the second time in under a year, a large-scale energy disaster is unfolding before our eyes. Two different industries. Two different crises. Can we apply any lessons from the Gulf oil spill, and what can we expect for the nuclear industry moving forward? It was just over a year ago that the Macondo well [...]

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Guest Blog

Japan earthquake: The explainer

Around 3 P.M. local time on Friday, there was a massive earthquake about 100 miles off the east coast of northern Honshu Island, Japan. Initially calculated to be a magnitude 8.9, it has since been upgraded to at least a magnitude 9.0, which means that this earthquake released around 8,000 times more energy than the [...]

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Guest Blog

Failure of imagination can be deadly: Fukushima is a warning

The extent of the damage at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear facility is still unknown, but comparisons to Chernobyl were inevitable as soon as fuel rods became exposed and an explosion rocked the site. But is the analogy accurate? Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster thus far in the history of the industry, was the result of a [...]

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Guest Blog

Beware the fear of nuclear….FEAR!

It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen. [...]

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Guest Blog

The essential lesson from the Japan earthquake for the U.S.

Explosion at JFE Steel Chiba factory after Japan 2011 earthquake

As we watch in the images rolling in from Japan we are yet again reminded of the sudden destructive potential of mother Earth. The number of fatalities is currently in the hundreds; the number displaced from their homes is in the tens of thousands. The tsunami generated by this magnitude 8.9 earthquake sent a wall of water [...]

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Guest Blog

Nature : Earthquake dispatches from the correspondent in Japan [Updated]

Our partners at Nature have a correspondent in Japan. On their blog The Great Beyond they post regular dispatches, which we reproduce below and will update as new articles come in. Japan earthquake: report from Tokyo – March 11, 2011 Posted by Brian Owens on March 11, 2011 on behalf of David Cyranoski, in Tokyo. [...]

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Observations

1 Year after Fukushima: Could It Happen in the U.S.?

Last year, on March 11, a deadly earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan, killing more than 15,000 people. To make matters worse, the natural disaster triggered a major crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The subsequent meltdown and radioactive release is the only event in history other than Chernobyl to rate as a “major [...]

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Observations

Trapped in a Car during the Japan Tsunami: Dash Cam Captures the Terror [Video]

This recently released footage, taken on-board a car, shows how quickly the floodwaters surged onto the streets during the March 11 tsunami. Motorists had little time to react, and the way vehicles floated and bobbed reveal the tremendous power of the tsunami. The driver of this car survived. British broadcaster ITN provided the English translations [...]

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Observations

Twitter Helped Doctors Tell Patients Where to Get Meds After Japan Earthquake

twitter helped doctors get drugs to patients after japan earthquake tsunami

In the hours after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami hit Japan in March, essential infrastructure and communication were cut off, leaving many of the disasters’ survivors without access to phones, electricity or water. And those who were on essential medications were on the cusp of losing their lifelines, too. "The secondary disaster is [...]

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Observations

Neutron dance: What happens at the heart of a nuclear reactor?

EPFL, Switzerland, Japan, neutron, RPI

As officials in Japan deal with the accumulation of radioactive seawater near the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the wake of last month’s earthquake and tsunami, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing in fundamental research it hopes can be used to build safer nuclear reactors and avoid reactor emergencies. The department’s Nuclear [...]

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Observations

Robot measures radiation at Fukishima Daiichi site, verdict unclear

iRobot,Fukushima,Japan,nuclear,robot

After weeks on standby, robots have been called from the sidelines to help inspect reactor buildings at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company sent a remote-control robot into the No. 1 and No. 3 nuclear reactor buildings on Sunday and then into the No. 2 reactor the following day. The [...]

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Observations

Is Fukushima really as bad as Chernobyl?

satellite image of Fukushima Daiichi explosion

One month to the day after the devastating twin blows of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent 15-meter tall tsunami, Japanese officials have reclassified the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the highest possible level. The partial meltdown of three reactors and at least two spent fuel pools, along with multiple hydrogen [...]

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Observations

The Bomb: A scary light show [Video]

Graphic artist Isao Hashimoto depicts the startling number of nuclear bombs that have gone off between 1945 and 1998, from the early U.S. and Soviet tests to the activities of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Each bomb emits a ping and a flash.

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Observations

Japan’s two incompatible power grids make disaster recovery harder

The huge disaster in Japan has ruined parts of the nation’s electrical system, notably the six Fukushima Daiichi reactors that remain shut down. As a result, the country’s utilities can’t generate enough power to meet demand, so they are using rolling blackouts to give some power to everyone for some portion of each day. That [...]

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Observations

Japan’s nuclear crisis and tsunami recovery via Twitter and other Web resources

Conditions are changing rapidly at the Fukushima power plant, where at least two of its six nuclear reactors have partially melted down. The editors of Scientific American are following the developments, and part of the effort involves following various Twitter users. Here are a few we are following:   International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) Geoff [...]

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Plugged In

Will Solar Float to the Rescue in Japan?

kyocera 1101_nnms_03

Land-constraints and a massive nuclear shutdown have intensified the debate over where to put new electricity generation capacity in Japan. Solar has risen to the forefront, as its panels take to the water. Earlier this month, the Kyocera, Century Tokyo Leasing, and Ciel et Terre announced their plans to build two floating solar power stations [...]

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Plugged In

Who Wants a Driver’s License?

Child playing with car. Source: freeimages.

In the last post I presented results from my poll on the importance of cars to your everyday life. The results suggest, simply put, that its importance is sliding downwards. Yet, are we seeing this outside the US and elsewhere in similar countries? And if so, is it not just because of the global economic [...]

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Plugged In

This massive underground complex protects Tokyo from floods

Tokyo_flood_shaft_385

A system of oversized shafts and channels ushers flood waters away from the Tokyo metropolitan area.

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Symbiartic

Ichthyology Meets Printmaking

11-027FEATURE

This guest post is by Stephen Di Cerbo, a natural science illustrator I know through the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. Here, he describes the evolution of a relatively new art form from Japan called Gyotaku, or fish printing, and introduces us to its modern-day ambassador, Mr. Mineo Yamamoto. My first exposure to Gyotaku was [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Forget Kaiju. Japan’s Real Invaders Are Much Furrier.

rascal

Tales of monsters invading Japan are a longstanding tradition, usually involving menacing kaiju—literally “strange creatures”—rising from the sea to wreak havoc on a Japanese city. At this very moment, the country is engaged in just such a war, with an entire army of invasive creatures, but they’re both less fearsome and more adorable than Godzilla [...]

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