I just wanted to jot down some preliminary thoughts and points here about the plant and tree damage rapidly expanding around the world. For my own benefit as much as anybody’s. I have viewed thousands, probably tens of thousands of photos by now.
– Pine tree and palm tree damage extends around the planet. Pines are the most radiation-sensitive tree species. You might not know that palm trees grow in areas of Canada and Great Britain. This damage seems to be by something diffused around the globe.
– I want to focus first on deciduous plant damage. If you look hard enough, you can find it anywhere. But the worst anywhere is in Anne Arundel county, Maryland. That’s where I live!
– I am starting with the damage in 2012, because this is the most extensive, but this has been going on for some time.
– There are three main areas of damage (not excluding anywhere else though):
1. Louisiana and the immediate Gulf coast.
2. An arc starting around the Great Smoky mountains of Tennessee, moving northeastward along the east coast, through the east coast of Canada, crossing the Atlantic to Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, and south through western France & Portugal, and east to Denmark and Germany.
3. Northern Japan, Korea, northeasternmost China, and far eastern Russia.
– It has recently commenced in earnest on the west coast, Baja, Hawaii & Australia.
– Plant damage is worse near coal-fired power plants. It is worse in areas with high rainfall and humidity, and seems worse near seashores. Less damage is seen in 2012 drought areas. Plant damage is less in cultivated gardens and farm crops.
– The effects of plant damage from ozone, and from radiation in highly contaminated areas from Chernobyl, is remarkably similar. Both are pro-oxidant, and damage results from reactive oxygen species being formed. Both cause necrosis in leaves. Both reduce chlorophyll and carotinoids, and increase anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a defense mechanism in the plant, is an anti-oxidant, and reduces damage from UV rays. There is less green and yellow in leaves, and more red, pink and purple. The main difference is that radiation induces mutations, fasciation, variegation, and can increase or retard growth and fruit yields.
– Ozone is formed from the reaction of UV light on hydrocarbons, PANs and VOCs. It also may be formed by the much more energetic action of gamma rays from radionuclides in air and rain.
– I am reducing the effect of the Louisiana sinkhole on this phenomenon. It seems mostly limited to the Gulf coast, though it still is a factor. The blue iodine spots in leaves is mostly radioactive iodine from Fukushima. This has been seen in Maryland, southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, Iceland, and Denmark.
– Radiation is turning ordinary air pollution and Gulf poisons in something much worse.
– Every time Tepco injects nitrogen into Fuku reactors, carbon-14 is formed. C-14 is the most dangerous nuclide for plants in the long term. Linus Pauling thought it was the most dangerous for humans, too.
– Neutron radiation from plutonium is causing C-14 to form in soils, by transmuting nitrogen via addition of thermal neutrons. You need rain and wet soil for this. If it is dry, you get tritium. Carbon-14 transmutes into nitrogen again when it decays, disrupting chemical bonds in plant sugars. This creates stress in plants that is additional to oxidative stress from ozone or PANs. C-14 has a half-life of 5,700 years. This means it will be around for 57,000 years.
– Coal-firing power plants emit hydrogen fluoride. When uranium mixes with fluoride, it forms uranium hexafluoride, an extremely toxic and corrosive substance. Some of the damage to leaves is from this substance in rain burning through leaf tissue. (Also beta radiation in high enough concentrations may do this.) Watering your garden with fluoridated water is an easy way damage your plants, if uranium is around.
– Oak leaf galls observed in Maryland were also found at a higher rate in the Chernobyl contaminated areas.
That’s it for now. I reserve the right to change my mind. I don’t see this problem going away.