Southern California is losing its clouds, increasing the risk of more intense wildfires

May 31, 2018 by  
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The elevated summer temperatures in California  are causing decreased levels of the low-atmosphere clouds that were once common throughout the southern coastal regions of the state. A new study has found that because these clouds are dissipating from the increased heat, the region is now facing an increased risk of wildfire . “Clouds that used to burn off by noon or 1 o’clock are now gone by 10 or 11, if they form at all,” bioclimatologist and study lead author Park Williams told Phys.org . Due to a warming climate and an expanding urban heat island, cloud cover is trapped in a positive feedback loop where less clouds mean higher temperatures, and higher temperatures mean less clouds. Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters , the new study concludes that there has been a 25 to 50 percent decrease in low-lying summer clouds since the 1970s. “ Cloud cover is plummeting in southern coastal California,” said Williams, “and as clouds decrease, that increases the chance of bigger and more intense fires.” The low-lying stratus clouds in the area typically form in the early morning in a thin, wet layer of coastal air that exists between land and drier air masses. The increased heat from climate change and the urban heat island effect has caused the clouds to dissolve earlier in the day, leaving little cover during the hottest parts of the afternoon. Related: The growing wine industry is threatening California’s Napa Valley To study the changes in cloud cover, Williams and his team analyzed hour-by-hour cloud data gathered by California airports over the past several decades. The data was then compared with vegetation moisture data from the U.S. Wildland Fire Assessment System. This comparison enabled the team to conclude that the decreased cloud cover has led to an increased wildfire risk. “Even though the danger has increased, people in these areas are very good at putting out fires, so the area burned hasn’t gone up,” Williams explained. “But the dice are now loaded, and in areas where clouds have decreased, the fires should be getting more intense and harder to contain. At some point, we’ll see if people can continue to keep up.” +  Geophysical Research Letters Via Phys.org Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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Southern California is losing its clouds, increasing the risk of more intense wildfires

Wind Farms Near Airports Made Possible: New Holographic Radar Can Tell Planes and Wind Turbines Apart

December 4, 2012 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock The new Holographic Radar system, developed by UK tech firm Aveillant , can differentiate between the spinning blades of aircraft and those of wind turbines . The new radar can pinpoint any turbine within a radius of 20 nautical miles (37 km) of the airport, which will help open up more locations for wind farm development in areas around airports. Read the rest of Wind Farms Near Airports Made Possible: New Holographic Radar Can Tell Planes and Wind Turbines Apart Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “wind power” , air traffic control , Aveillant , green technology , Holographic Radar system , renewable energy , Wind Farms , wind turbines , wind turbines near airports

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Green Building Takes Off at Airports

April 7, 2011 by  
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Green airports are in the news this week as the Indira Gandhi International Airport attains a LEED-Gold rating from the Indian Green Building Council and San Franciso International Airport opens a revamped terminal as a showcase for sustainable air travel.

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Green Building Takes Off at Airports

Volcanic Haze Closes British Airports; Continent Cut Off

April 15, 2010 by  
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the Telegraph Another reason to take the train: Apparently planes cannot fly in volcanic ash. An eruption in Iceland is shutting down airports across the UK and spreading to the rest of Europe. The Telegraph, reports that the ash can shut down the engines and be sucked into the ventilation systems

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Volcanic Haze Closes British Airports; Continent Cut Off

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