China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

April 2, 2018 by  
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China needs water — and their answer to the issue is a massive weather modification system being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the country is testing technology that could increase rainfall in the Tibetan Plateau by as much as 10 billion cubic meters, or around 353 billion cubic feet, every year. Will a huge rain-making system help China with water issues ? SCMP said they plan to build tens of thousands of chambers across the Tibetan mountains to generate rain over an area of around 620,000 square miles, or “three times the size of Spain.” The chambers will burn solid fuel to create silver iodide, which SCMP described as a “ cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice.” They said the chambers will be located on steep ridges facing the south Asia monsoon . Wind striking the mountain will produce an upward draft, carrying particles into clouds to bring about rain. Related: World’s largest fog harvester produces water from thin air in the Moroccan desert Real-time data from 30 weather satellites , each one watching monsoon weather above the Indian Ocean, will guide daily operation of the chambers. The ground-based network will also draw on cloud-seeding methods with drones , planes, and artillery to maximize the impact of the system, according to SCMP. A researcher on the project told SCMP, “[So far,] more than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results.” The publication said although the idea isn’t a new one, China is the first country to try “such a large-scale application,” and  space scientists designed and built the chambers with “cutting edge military rocket engine technology.” Via South China Morning Post Images via Depositphotos and Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

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China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

Scientists discover the Amazon forest sets off its own rainy season

July 21, 2017 by  
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Scientists have been stumped for years over why the southern Amazon rainforest ‘s rainy season begins two to three months earlier than they’d expect. But now an international team that includes researchers from NASA and Google has discovered the forest actually triggers its own rainy season, thanks to water vapor off plant leaves. The finding points to one disastrous consequence of deforestation in this part of the world: as trees are cut down, it appears there’s actually less rainfall. Monsoon winds and the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which NASA describes as a belt of converging trade winds that shifts depending on the seasons, control when the rainy season begins in many tropical locations, and the southern Amazon experiences both factors. But they don’t kick in until December or January, while the southern Amazon’s rainy season typically begins in the middle of October. Related: Scientists warn Amazon jungle faces “death spiral” To try and find out why, the team of scientists led by Jonathon Wright of Tsinghua University scrutinized data on water vapor from NASA’s Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer, aboard the agency’s Aura satellite , together with other satellite measurements, to discover clouds in the southern Amazon at the dry season’s close form via water rising from the rainforest. But the southern Amazon’s rainy season already begins nearly a month later than it did back in the 1970’s. Evidence indicates if the region’s dry season stretches longer than five to seven months, there won’t be enough rain for the rainforest to remain a rainforest – it could transition to grassy plains. But the dry season is already a few weeks shorter on average than that benchmark in parts of the southern Amazon. The new study, published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , bolsters the idea that deforestation is partly to blame for the delayed start of the rainy season. The rainforest’s capacity to develop clouds dwindles as trees are chopped down. And if deforestation harms the forest to the point where it can’t trigger its own rainy season, the southern Amazon’s rainy season likely wouldn’t commence until December or January. Such changes could have far-reaching impacts. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “The loss of a major Amazonian forest ecosystem could increase Brazilian droughts and potentially disrupt rainfall patterns as far away as Texas.” Via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Images via Center for International Forestry Research and Jay on Flickr

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Scientists discover the Amazon forest sets off its own rainy season

INFOGRAPHIC: Why are rainforests so important?

March 24, 2015 by  
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“Save the rainforests!” is a call to action that most of us have come across at some point or another, whether it was on a news broadcast or splayed across an activist’s tee-shirt. It’s a great slogan, but why are people so passionate about saving the rainforests from being destroyed? What happens in the rainforest literally affects the rest of the world: moisture generated by the forests of Brazil ends up falling as rain across Europe as well as the USA, for example, and at a time when we’re facing imminent droughts, that moisture is absolutely vital. The trees there clean the air that we breathe, stabilize the planet’s climate, and provide winter nesting grounds for the millions of butterflies that pollinate crops across North America. Check out the full infographic after the jump to learn more about how important these forests are, and how we can all do our part to help protect them. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Why are rainforests so important? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Air quality , Amazon , Brazil , climate regulation , global rainfall , importance of rainforests , infographic , rain forest , rain forest info graphic , rain forest infographic , rain forests , rainfall , rainforest , rainforest infographic , rainforests , save rainforest infographic , save the rainforest , South American rainforest

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No rain in San Francisco for first January in 165 years

February 2, 2015 by  
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There are a lot of songs about California weather, but songwriters will have to come up with a new tune to mark the disturbing absence of rain in San Francisco this January. For the first time in recorded weather history, the city didn’t receive a single drop of measurable rain in the first month of the new year. San Francisco wasn’t alone; cities all around the Bay area were significantly drier than average last month – which is terrible news for the state’s worst drought on record . Read the rest of No rain in San Francisco for first January in 165 years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: California , Climate Change , Drought , dry , global warming , heat , January 2015 , rain , rainfall , record , rising temperatures , San Francisco , weather

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No rain in San Francisco for first January in 165 years

MIT researchers reveal the reason rain smells, and capture it on video

January 20, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Do you love the smell of freshly-fallen rain? If so, you’re one of many who love that earthy smell, reminiscent of the first days of spring or putting your hands in newly-turned soil. In case you ever wondered, that smell has a name, Petrichor. Now, scientists at MIT may have figured out just what releases that smell — and other aerosols — into the air. And they  have managed to captured it all on video. Read the rest of MIT researchers reveal the reason rain smells, and capture it on video Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerosols released from rain , MIT Research , petrichor , rain and disease , rain and viruses , rain could carry bacteria , rain fall , rain smell , rainfall , research on rain smell

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MIT researchers reveal the reason rain smells, and capture it on video

17 Dead, Fukushima on Alert as Typhoon Wipha Hits Japan

October 16, 2013 by  
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A “once-in-a-decade” typhoon has hit the Japanese coast, and while its winds weakened from a peak of 130-156 mph—Category 4 status—heavy rain and landslides have claimed 17 lives on Oshima Island and caused over 20,000 to evacuate from Japan’s eastern coast. Meanwhile the threat of flooding and storm surge brought about by typhoon Wipha has put the operators of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on alert as efforts are undertaken to prevent further leaks of irradiated water. Read the rest of 17 Dead, Fukushima on Alert as Typhoon Wipha Hits Japan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , environmental destruction , evacuation , flooding , Fukushima , global warming , infrastructure , Japan , landslide , natural disaster , oshima island , rainfall , TEPCO , Tokyo , tokyo electric and power , typhoon , typhoon wipha        

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17 Dead, Fukushima on Alert as Typhoon Wipha Hits Japan

Some States Petition to Re-Open National Parks During Government Shutdown

October 16, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock When the government shut its doors, the national parks closed down with it, which means that no one can see the Statue of Liberty, check out the presidents at Mount Rushmore or visit Delicate Arch in Utah (no one except oil and gas companies , that is). But a few state governors decided not to take the situation sitting down. Governors from New York, Utah, Colorado and others have petitioned the Obama administration to open their national parks during the federal government shutdown on the condition that each state will foot its own bill. Read the rest of Some States Petition to Re-Open National Parks During Government Shutdown Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arches national park reopens , Colorado national parks , Federal government shutdown , federal parks close , federal parks shutdown , furloughed national park employees , government shutdown , government shutdown 2013 , national parks , National Parks closed , National parks reopen , New York national parks , state budget , states open parks , states reopen national parks , statue of liberty reopens , Utah national parks        

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Some States Petition to Re-Open National Parks During Government Shutdown

MIT Study Predicts Every 1-Degree Increase in Temperature Will Cause 10 Percent Increase in Rainfall Extremes

September 19, 2012 by  
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Climate scientists have long projected that increases in global temperatures will result in higher rainfall and flooding in tropical regions. But now a MIT study has put some numbers to the prediction. Writing in Nature Geoscience in a September 16th letter titled “ Sensitivity of tropical precipitation extremes to climate change ,” Paul A. O’Gorman, professor of atmospheric science at MIT, said that for every one-degree Celsius increase in global surface temperature, there will be 10 percent heavier rainfall extremes in the tropics. Photo: Bangladesh flooding by  Richard P.J. Lambert , CC BY 2.0 O’Gorman tells MIT News that “The study includes some populous countries that are vulnerable to climate change, and impacts of changes in rainfall could be important there.” Extreme rainfall in the tropics responds to climate change in distinct ways from that of other regions. He added, “It seems rainfall extremes in tropical regions are more sensitive to global warming. We have yet to understand the mechanism for this higher sensitivity.” For more details, read his letter here . + MIT News Lead image: Tropical Hurricane via Shutterstock    

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MIT Study Predicts Every 1-Degree Increase in Temperature Will Cause 10 Percent Increase in Rainfall Extremes

Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns Urine Into Tap Water

August 5, 2011 by  
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Texas is in the midst of a drought so severe that local water management teams have decided to distribute reclaimed wastewater (aka urine). From toilet to tap, the treated wastewater will be mixed with reservoir remains for a refreshing and clean H2O cocktail. Read the rest of Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns Urine Into Tap Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: colorado river municipal water district , conservation , crmwd , drinking , drinking water , Drought , filtered water , green design , green infrastructure , greywater , h20 , infrastructure , municipal water , orange county , potable , potable water , purification plant , rainfall , recycled water , reservoir , reverse osmosis , southern california , tap water , toilet to tap , urine , wastewater , wastewater treatment , water conservation , water issues , water management , West Texas

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Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns Urine Into Tap Water

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