Atmospheric River Observatories Allow Accurate Weather Prediction of Floods

Mobile AR Observatory. Credit: NOAA

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow conveyor belts of rainstorms that stream in from the Pacific Ocean. Meteorologists have been able to predict the storms five days in advance, thanks to a new network of weather sensors recently installed in California.

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Low Water Levels Could Shut Down Mississippi River Shipping Lanes

mississippi-river-shipping

The worst drought in 50 years has brought water levels in the Mississippi River close to historic lows, and could potentially shut down all shipping in a matter of weeks. This is the second extreme event on the river in 18 months, after the flooding in the spring of 2011 forced people to flee their homes.

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Natural Gas Mining Could Leak Enough Methane, No Longer Considered as Clean

hydraulic-fracking

Natural gas, which is often perceived as a clean alternative to coal and oil, can be advantageous since it produces fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than other fossil fuels. This was one of the reasons why there was a large scale shift to natural gas in the 1990s. However, to release the gas, engineers must split rock by injecting a high-pressured fluid, a process which is called hydraulic fracking.

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