Here are some incredible images of the wave displacement from the tsunami. This image is a simulation of the globe-spanning waves generated by the earthquake off east coast of Japan’s Honshu Island. Below is a video animation of the wave pattern made by NOAA.
The power of nature is impressive. Here is an analysis taken from Dot.earth by a scientist on the nuclear situation and our relationship to nature’s effects.
Michael Schlesinger, a climate scientist and engineer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, sent this comment after reading my Dot Earth post rounding up reader views on next steps for nuclear power in the wake of Japan’s extraordinary nuclear emergency…
The out-of-control status of the 6 Fukushima nuclear reactors and their stored spent fuel rods is a textbook example of “Don’t Know Squared – It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know” that can bring down any system designed by humanity. In the present case, the reactor behaved as designed to scram (= emergency shutdown) during an earthquake. But the cooling system for both the reactor cores and the onsite-stored spent fuel rods was not designed to withstand a “once-in-a-millennium” tsunami.
While we can and will learn from this disaster, there will still – and always – be “Don’t-Know-Squared Events” that can and will occur that will render any human-constructed system less than foolproof. This is the primary lesson that must be learned from Fukushima: We humans cannot foresee, and thus cannot protect against, all the awful events that can and will impact our best world-class-designed systems. Accordingly, we should not construct any additional nuclear reactors until and unless we devise a way to render the spent fuel therefrom harmless = not be more radioactive than the world Mother Nature has created in which we live. This is such a tall order that it may not be possible for humanity to accomplish it.”