The Washington Post reports that a team of researchers, in a decade-long project, revealed that the complex underwater world of the eastern Pacific Ocean is akin to Africa’s Serengeti, teeming with wildlife and crisscrossed by migration corridors used by sharks and seabirds. The Census of Marine Life’s Tagging of Pacific Predators project, published in the online version of the journal Nature, deployed 4,036 tags on 23 species of ocean predators, a group that includes several seabirds. The census advances our knowledge of a largely uncharted area of our world on which we increasingly depend.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the Navy has obtained authority to blast and sink as many as two real ships a year in the Gulf of Alaska over the next five years to give pilots and gunners authentic targets for their sights. Environmentalists are concerned that even decommissioned, stripped-out ships, like the ones the Navy will use as targets, contain residual hazardous materials that can poison the Gulf’s rich habitat for years. In May, the Navy finished an environmental review of new training options and authorized itself a maximum of two ship sinkings a year in the Gulf.
In a related story, The Post reports more damaging revelations that emerged in Tokyo, where Tepco told reporters that a new leak in a storage container had dumped an additional 60 tons of radioactive water into the environment. The six-reactor complex on Japan’s northeastern coast continues emitting radiation into the air and water. Nuclear fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant began melting just five hours after Japan’s March 11 earthquake, a Japanese nuclear engineer told a panel of U.S. scientists. And the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees U.S. power plants, said that NRC staff members “thought the cores were melting” early in the Daiichi crisis. This conclusion — and the lack of information from Japanese authorities — drove the commission’s recommendation to evacuate Americans within 50-mile radius of the facility.