Nuclear Fallout Found in Melting Glaciers

Cryoconite holes can range from minuscule to as massive as thirty meters long. Photo by James Balog

The World’s Glaciers Are Sponging Up Loads of Nuclear Fallout, But You Shouldn’t Worry — Yet

By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer Live Science

The world’s ice is rapidly disappearing, but not without a trace. Ancient artifactsfrozen corpseslong-dead viruses and loads of trapped greenhouse gases are the parting gifts left behind as Earth’s melting glaciers and permafrost retreat. And now, thanks to ongoing global research, a new (and concerning) item can be added to that list: nuclear fallout.

In a recent survey of glaciers around the world, an international team of scientists discovered elevated levels of fallout radionuclides — radioactive atoms that result from nuclear accidents and weapons tests — in every single glacier studied.

“We wanted to show this is a global issue and not just localized near sources of nuclear contamination,” said study researcher Caroline Clason, a University of Plymouth lecturer in physical geography. [Images of Melt: Earth’s Vanishing Ice]

cryoconite, the kryptonite of Arctic melt /Cryoconite holes dot the entire landscape of this glacier. Photo by cmbellas

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  1. I wintered over in Antarctica 3 years after the US pulled it’s nuclear power plant out of Mcmurdo station, I was told mainly thru pressure from other nations, but also because it was down more times it was on line.
    For about 10 years volcanic rubble/gravel was back loaded to the US by ship, although they left intact the warehouse next door with an Aladdins cave of brand new tools, most which ended up in my garage at home, sorry US tax payers.

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