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What is Going On in the Pacific Ocean?

What is Going on in the Pacific Ocean?
Bird deaths continue to rise in the Pacific Ocean, but no one seems to know why? Could it be connected to Fukushima? And why do the robots keep dying?

Amazon rainforest - Sputnik International
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The brilliant light shone from the heavens as the ball of fire slowly rolled in from the left, enveloping everything in sight. The massive sphere, probably hundreds if not thousands of feet in height, eventually touches the ground, pulverising everything in its way, turning it into dust while the wind of thousand tornadoes pushes it on in front of the ever growing sphere as if racing to not get caught. Eventually, although relatively quickly, all things considered, the sphere implodes upon itself, casting the dust upwards, much in the same that water being dashed against rocks at low tide attempts to flee the wrath of Poseidon.

That's right. This week saw the US government release declassified footage of nuclear weapons testing from the 1940s to the early 1960s. And while the footage is strikingly beautiful, it is also, to quote Megadeth's song "Symphony of Destruction" proof that "you take a mortal man, put him in control, watch him become a god, and watch people's heads roll," because, that beautiful ball of flame would mean instant erasure for anyone and anything in its path.

US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone - Sputnik International
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This week saw Trump once again in the headlines, to no one's surprise. Was Trump Tower hacked by GCHQ? Will his new travel ban actually be passed into law? Is Rand Paul really working for Vladimir Putin? Or is John "Whacko-bird" McCain just getting too old? And while we don't know the answers to that, we do know that something else strange is going on the Pacific Ocean. But what?

A local Alaskan website recently ran a story noting that, following last year's massive die-off of Alaskan seabirds, scientists still looking for answers. A biologist with US Fish & Wildlife Service, when asked how many had died, noted: "I would say possibly hundreds of thousands were killed." The biologist also noted something strange when she said: "And it's not just how many died, it's where they died. There were some in Lake Iliamna, down on the roads along the Kenai Peninsula, and all the way up to Fairbanks. (The birds) aren't supposed to be there."

When asked about the cause of death, the biologist noted: "Almost always it's been starvation… Sea birds are top predators." Asked about the importance of these birds, the biologist noted: "They're sort of sentinels for our environment. They have definitely let us know that there's change going on in the ocean ecosystem." Taking it all into consideration, the biologist summed it up by saying: "The refuge has been monitoring these colonies for 4 decades and it's like nothing we've ever observed before."

Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Pacific Ocean - Sputnik International
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A different story, this time recently written by the AP has another biologist on record as saying: "Tens of thousands of common murres… starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska." He went on to say: "it's because there's no fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area. To see such effect over two sizeable marine ecosystems is extraordinary." The story continued by noting: "Common murres eat small forage fish which were largely absent when the National Marine Fisheries Service conducted surveys in summer 2015." The expert went on to note: "A conservative extrapolation indicates 500,000 or more common murres died. Nearly all were emaciated. The biologist ended by noting: "It was a highly unusual event. Murres don’t fail regularly. They died of starvation because there was no food, and there was no food because there was no fish."

Changing it up a little bit, KUCB, another local news source, wrote: "In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade… scientists say it could be the sign of a much larger ecosystem problem. The co-director of St. Paul's Ecosystem Conservation Office said: "There are dead puffins everywhere. The carcasses came ashore in waves". The co-director went on to say: "the extent of the die-off was frightening. After we opened up the first five, it was very apparent that all of them were emaciated. Their muscles were completely atrophied. They had empty stomachs. They had gastrointestinal bleeding, which indicates severe long-term starvation. They were in very, very poor shape… So we started digging into this more." She ended by wondering: "What is happening? Where is their food?" And where could their food be, you might be asking yourself?

Climate change - Sputnik International
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On one side of the Pacific Ocean lies Alaska and California. On the other side lies Japan. And in Japan, there is a place called Fukushima. Back in 2011, a perfect storm hit the Fukushima nuclear reactors, with a tsunami and then an earthquake destroying 1 out of the four nuclear reactors and damaging several others. Making a long story short, the world has ignored or downplayed Fukushima since then, writing it off as nothing to see or not important enough to report on. And yet, here we are today, more than 6 years later, and the problem still hasn't been fixed. To make matters worse, the bad times might just be starting.

The Verge recently ran a story about Fukushima and there it was noted: "Another robot has died in the depths of one of Fukushima's nuclear reactors, as attempts to locate and remove melted radioactive fuel continue. This is the second robot in two weeks to meet its end in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant." That's right — this is the second robot to be destroyed in as many weeks.

The article continued by noting: "The robot's mission was to investigate the pedestal underneath the Unit 2 nuclear reactor, where melted nuclear fuel is suspected to have fallen. But about 10 feet away from its target, one of the robot's tank-like treads got stuck. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the plant, said decided to cut the robot's cable and abandon it inside the reactor. However, A TEPCO spokeswoman said that they don't yet know whether radiation or debris stopped the robot."

Polar bears - Sputnik International
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In fact, these two robots are not the only robots that have been destroyed. The article goes on to note: "It's now at least the seventh robot to have broken down while investigating Fukushima's nuclear reactors, which remain highly radioactive. Last week, a scouting robot was sent in ahead to clear the way for the scorpion robot, but it was pulled back out after about two hours: the camera had been fried by record high levels of radiation estimated to be about 650 sieverts per hour. For scale, a CT scan exposes you to 0.006 sieverts, and just half a sievert is enough to cause symptoms of radiation sickness." Crazy right? And yet, the article concludes by saying: "Still, TEPCO officials report that radiation levels measured outside the reactors are not dangerous, and the public is not at risk."

So, what do you think dear listeners: "What is going on in the Pacific Ocean?"

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