Australian Uranium Mining Is Polluting Antarctica Some 6,000 Miles Away

We were doing so well...

05/07/2016 12:24 | Updated 05 July 2016
Michael Leggero

Scientists have discovered that uranium mining in Australia is polluting the Antarctic, despite being 6,000 nautical miles away from each other.

The damning news comes just a few days after research showed that the enormous ozone hole over Antarctica had in fact started to heal as a result of human action.

University of Maine

University of Maine climate scientists made the shocking discovery after carrying out the first high-resolution examination of a northern Antarctic Peninsula ice core.

The data revealed that there had been a significant increase in uranium that seemingly coincides with the increase of open pit mining in the Southern Hemisphere, most notably Australia.

Until 1945 uranium particles entering the atmosphere had always come from natural resources.

Since then huge increases in the Southern Hemisphere have been attributed to mining operations in Australia, Namibia and South Africa.

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How do the scientists know it's us? Well for starters uranium is the only element to have an increased presence in the ice core and the scientists were only able to find examples of the element above levels in the Earth's crust.

These two pieces of evidence suggest that the increase was relatively recent and almost certainly as a result of human activity.

The research is vital to better understanding how uranium mining is affecting the atmosphere on a global scale.

Exposure to the element can result in a number of unpleasant medical side-effects including kidney toxicity, genetic mutations, mental development challenges and cancer.

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