Friday, March 11, 2022

Invasive species riding plastic debris from Fukushima 11 years later

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster, an earthquake followed by a tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Instead of concentrating on the effects of the nuclear plant disaster in Japan, I'm examining the aftereffects of the the tsunami in the United States and Canada by sharing the VICE News report Invasive Species Are Riding Plastics Across Oceans.

When debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan started washing up in North America, scientists knew they had a mystery—and a potential environmental disaster—on their hands.
In this episode of Weathered, we explore a “mass rafting event” that carried colonies of invasive species across the Pacific, revealing ominous new changes in how our oceans function.
On of my students gave a presentation on this subject years ago and showed photos of the fishing dock, motorcycle, and other debris to the class. I thought this story served as a good example of "Everything is connected to everything else," one of Commoner's Laws, as well as an unexpected consequence of the triple disaster. Radiation isn't the only threat traveling across the Pacific because of what happened 11 years ago.

That's it for this year's observance of the anniversary. Stay tuned as Daylight Saving Time begins tomorrow, a practice Colbert says "is not helpful and has no upside."

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