Friday Feb. 5, 2016 – Disclaimer
A new piece of art in my ‘time wasting’ series:
‘What gives‘, mixed unvalidated data on blank pixels, Feb. 2016…
I was sampling some monitors through the EURDEP Public Map (via my Online Radiation Monitors page) and noticed quite a bit of “Standard Deviation” upticks for the past few days, particularly in the Alps (Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Slovania,…).
Rather randomly, I decided to see if the spike above 0.210 √Sv/hr at Spittal/Drau (Austria) was unusual.
As you’ll see in the below record, it turns out to be rather unusual for winter. You have to go back to 2012 to find any spike reach over the 210 nSv/hr level (nanoSievert/hour – See Radiation Units & Conversions for help with that aspect), and then it was in summer when such spikes occur more often, and may be due to merely naturally ocurring radiation.
A look at Nullschool (at the end of this post) shows this as yet another example of “the pattern” I’ve been observing over the years: a slow-down in the jet stream, coinciding with wind slow-downs, as well as roughy the same wind directions, in the air layers underneath often coincides with ground level radiation upticks.
Strikingly, almost every time I’ve found this to be the case, wind patterns in the Northern Hemisphere just happen to be such that the jet stream was passing directly over Northern Japan. Are they venting super-hot radioactive gasses from the molten coriums, that rise quickly (and thus remain undetected at ground level in the vincinity in Japan?), that cool down in the upper troposphere, to cause upticks on monitors on the other side of the planet? Or what? Or is this just a lot of cosmogenic Be-7 or so coming down? I don’t know if this is related to Fukushima. No idea actually. I just find it just slightly peculiar that I keep seeing this very same pattern.
I’ll start with the radiation record. As is now becoming “my usual”, I pasted 3 months together per line, and added some comments. The most recent data is at the end. The record of this monitor starts in December 2002, but the data is initially just day or 12-hour averages, which hides significant spikes. Data gaps can be found in these early records too, though, such as this example from late May 2006:
Late September 2007 is when the record as it shows today begins. I’ve marked data gaps and values over the somewhat rare 210 nSv/hr (0.210 µSv/hr) dose rate level (gamma only). This record begins with a couple of such high values of over 0.210 µSv/hr, at the end of summer 2007:
We see the high values again two years later in August 2009:
And again in August 2010:
–> As seen on many other records as well, it looks like something very significant happened in 2010, as suggested by unusually long and widespread data gaps. Part of what’s interesting about (well, *I* find that interesting…) is that the ecological upheavel observed on the coasts of North America, and especially the Pacific Coast, including sea star wasting syndrome, reportedly began pre-Fukushima, in 2010. I can’t rule out that it’s all coincidence, but there’s also a possibility that a serious nuclear accident was covered-up, with only ecological clues on one hand, and data gaps on the other hand, hinting of this possibility. The possible effects of one disaster would end up compounding that of the next one.
March 11, 2011 marked:
–> As seen in many places: A relatively small spike shortly after March 11, followed by spikes that cannot be differentiated from what is most likely mainly natural variability (dust, some with Cs-137 in it, and Radon progeny coming down with precipitation, as well as Be-7, K-40, etc.). But then significant upticks in the following months, particularly by autumn 2011 (and again in autumn 2012 as well in many places).
When the US EPA Radnet declared the disaster over and returned to routine monitoring on May 3, 2011, they must have known something, ’cause it after this date that the upticks become more pronounced on European monitors that do not show data gaps.
Marked above (the one with the green text in it), the highest value on record for this monitor was in mid-September 2011, when it reached just above 0.240 µSv/hr. (I had to adjust the scale for that month and paste it together.
Summer 2012 saw more and many high upticks (more so than in the summers of the preceding half decade), including a second-highest late Oct. 2012:
A likely signal of the major radioactive cloud from the troubled Zaporizhia NPP in Ukraine is visible here too. This was one of the only times that a major spike somewhere (in that case in Latvia) did not trace back to Japan. For documentation on that nuclear accident, one that officially (still!) never happened, see the links in my post (Jan. 12, 2015) Cover-up of Zaporizhye Nuclear Accident Near-Certain:
The very recent disturbances (see my Nuclear Blog Posts Archive for various blogposts documenting those, and accompanying data gaps from late summer 2015 into this winter), also shows here in short data gaps:
And last but least, the uptick above 0.210 µSv/hr this week that compelled me to look at the long-term record to put it in perspective: That’s the highest such spike on record for winter time:
A quick look at Nullschool for wind data showed one of several possible contributors to this unusual spike:
At 850 hPa, you see that the monitor (approximate location marked with little green circle) is sitting in an area with little wind near the ground:
A little ligher up you see that this slow-down lies in the extension of the jet stream reaching Europe from over the UK:
At 500 hPa, just below fast jet-stream height, the pattern is most strikingly clear: the monitor is right where the jest stream slows down and spreads out:
Jet stream height @ 250 hPa:
When tracing that wind patterns upwind…
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