Tue, May 23, 2017 | updated 04:49 AM IST

Melting ice sheet could unearth Cold War-era hazardous waste

Updated: Aug 05, 2016 13:26 IST      
Melting ice sheet could unearth Cold War-era hazardous waste

Washington D.C, Aug 5 (ANI): Thought to be frozen in time, the Cold War memories may soon find their way back to the world.

Climate change is threatening to expose hazardous waste at an abandoned camp thought to be buried forever in the Greenland Ice Sheet, a new research out of York University has found.

Camp Century, a United States military base built within the Greenland ice sheet in 1959, doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic during the Cold War. When the camp was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be entombed forever by perpetual snowfall.

"Two generations ago, people were interring waste in different areas of the world, and now climate change is modifying those sites," said lead author William Colgan. "It's a new breed of climate change challenge we have to think about."

The study's team took an inventory of the wastes at Camp Century and ran climate model simulations. The researchers also analyzed historical US army engineering documents to determine where and how deep the wastes were buried and how much that part of the ice cap had moved since the 1960s. They found the waste at Camp Century covers 55 hectares, roughly the size of 100 football fields.

They estimate the site contains 200,000 litres of diesel fuel, enough for a car to circle the globe 80 times, and 240,000 litres of waste water, including sewage. Based on building materials used in the Arctic at the time, the authors speculate the site contains polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pollutants toxic to human health, along with an unknown volume of low-level radioactive coolant from the nuclear generator.

Camp Century's waste presents a non-trivial environmental hazard, said Colgan. When the ice melts, pollutants could be transported to the ocean, where they could disrupt marine ecosystems.

The study is published in journal Geophysical Research Letters. (ANI)

Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

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Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

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Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

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Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

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Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

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'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

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Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

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New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

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The hidden cost of helping your co-workers

Updated: May 10, 2017 19:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): If you're a co-worker who helps other, you are likely to feel good, but are those good feelings coming at a price?

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Scientists track brain developments of newborn babies

Updated: May 10, 2017 15:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Researchers can now easily study how the human brain develops as scientists have published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains.

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Device to check ripeness of tomatoes?

Updated: May 10, 2017 12:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Future farmers may be zapping tomatoes with lasers!

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Secret behind stealthy solar storms revealed

Updated: May 09, 2017 09:41 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 9 (ANI): While mostly massive solar storms are often preceded by some kind of warning, sometimes mysterious slower-moving 'stealth' storms appear seemingly out of nowhere, leaving scientists baffled.

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This smartwatch has all the 'moves'

Updated: May 08, 2017 11:36 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 8 (ANI): What if your smartwatch could rotate, hinge, translate, orbit and rise to the occasion? A team of researchers has brought this concept closer to the reality.

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You are, indeed, never too old to learn

Updated: May 07, 2017 10:13 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): Turns out, you can ward off cognitive ageing just by learning like an infant.

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Here's how you can help stop climate change

Updated: May 06, 2017 19:52 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 6 (ANI): Are you ready to personally help stop climate change? Turns out, all you have to do is believe that you can!

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From Aryabhatta to Sans Frontier Satellite: It happens only in India

Updated: May 06, 2017 13:05 IST      By: Palak Gupta

New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): As the 'sans frontier' geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle ( GSLV-09) takes off from India's lone spaceport Sriharikota, ISRO's space might is pretty evident.

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