Bikini Atoll, a small Atoll in the Marshall Islands, was the testing site for America's nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Native residents of the area were temporarily re-located during testing periods. They were led to believe that shortly after testing they would be able to return home. Sadly, radiation levels at Bikini Atoll remained dangerous after testing was completed and even still today are alarmingly high.
Currently radioactive materials on the island such as cesium-137 produce on average 184 millirems of radiation annually. The more dangerous parts of the island have been known to produce up to 639 millirems of radiation annually. These numbers greatly surpass the 100 millirems per year saftey standard set by the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Scientists predicted that by now the radiation levels in the area would have dropped to between 16 and 24 millirems per year, but it appears that some of their testing was done using outdated methods and from measurements made in the 1970's. While these levels remain high, it is not yet known exactly what impact they may have on residents of the region. Exposure to radioactive materials can have many long term health risks, and can contaminate produce, water, and even the air if levels are high enough. More tests and studies need to be done to know the full effect that these radioactive materials may have on Bikini Atollers, but it is evident that during the testing periods, they were not completely briefed on the future of their beloved home.
Nowadays, most people agree that climate change is a thing. Scientists have come to a common consensus on the issue, THAT IT IS A THING. Some politicians try and tell us otherwise, but that is due to lobbying and a whole different issue that I will not get into right now. The question that has always surronded the issue is to what EXTENT have humans affected the Earth's climate. New research from a team of scientists from all around the globe finds some troubling evidence that climate change began about 180 years ago, during the 1830s. This is during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. For their study, the scientists examined natural records of climate variations including evidence preserved in coral reefs, caves, tree rings, and ice cores. Their findings show that due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the early 19th century, what we now know as climate change slowly began. It first affected the Artic regions, then Europe, Asia, and North America. The scientists also studied multiple large volcano eruptions during this time period but found that they had very little affect compared to the greenhouse gases.
I am troubled by this issue because of society's lack of concern and initiative in fighting this threat. I do not think people realize how much we really are affecting the world. They think "Oh yeah climate change, it'll go away in time once we transition away from modern day production and living. I shouldn't be worried though." But really these people should be worried. The easy way out is for politicians and powerful people to keep using oil, coal, etc, and harm our environment rather than find new clean renewable resources for us to gather to power our world. If we don't start looking for answers soon, it may be too late.
One of the most unusual and mysterious creatures on our planet, the Greenland sharks, are now also the longest living vertebrate animals known to man. Until recently not much was known about the Greenland shark, including the animals life expectancy, but now researchers and marine biologists from several Universities have come together and made a huge new discovery. Using Carbon-14 dating methods, researchers have calculated the lifespans of these animals by studying molecules in the eye lids of the sharks. These molecules do not change at all since birth which makes them ideal for calculating the lifetime of these sharks. Researchers discovered that the Greenland shark can live to be AT LEAST 272 years. Much has yet to be discovered about this amazing animal, but they will probably be around long enough for us to learn more.