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Posts Tagged ‘Rain’

Cutting Down Rainforests Also Cuts Down on Rainfall

September 6, 2012 2 comments

cientificamerican

As the Amazon rainforest disappears, rainfall falters over a much wider area

By Lauren Morello and ClimateWire

Slash and burn agriculture in the Amazon RAIN MAKER: Cutting down trees in the Amazon rainforest also reduces rainfall over the region. Image: flickr/Threat to Democracy

When Amazon rainforest disappears, so does Amazon rain.

That’s the conclusion of new research that shows deforestation can significantly reduce tropical rainfall far from the area where trees have been cut down.

That’s because air passing over forests picks up moisture given off by trees and plants, fueling rains. When those trees disappear, so does some of that rain.

“What we found was this really strong impact — air that traveled over a lot of forest brought a lot more rain than air that didn’t travel over very much forest,” said lead author Dominick Spracklen of the University of Leeds.

His research, published yesterday in the journal Nature, helps reconcile a situation that has puzzled scientists.

Climate models project that Amazon deforestation would reduce rainfall regionally. But limited observations show that rainfall in deforested areas is higher than in areas where the rainforest is still intact.

(Scientists believe that when trees are cut down, the bare surfaces left behind absorb more Read more…

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Pakistan’s breadbasket buckles under new flood pressures

September 15, 2011 Comments off

Mail and Guardian

Residents assist a handicapped man while escaping to higher ground from their flooded village in Pakistan’s Sindh province (Reuters)

One year after record floods left 21-million Pakistanis homeless, thousands living on the country’s southern fertile plains have seen their homes washed away for a second time — despite the spending of millions of dollars in aid to avert a fresh crisis.

Anwer Mirani is one of 20 000 people living in Sindh province’s Jamshoro district who have been made homeless again after heavy downpours and rainwater from the surrounding mountains swept their homes away.

“We had just begun to restore our houses when we had to leave again because of the floods,” said the 38-year-old construction worker, wearing a tatty shalwar kameez, the traditional garb of baggy trousers and long shirt.

He took his wife, parents and three children in a boat Read more…

New Orleans braces for Tropical Storm Lee

September 4, 2011 Comments off

rawstory

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – New Orleans, devastated by Hurricane Katrina six years ago, faced a new threat on Saturday from Tropical Storm Lee, which was set to challenge the city’s flood defenses with an onslaught of heavy rain.

The storm was expected to bring up to 20 inches of rain to southeast Louisiana over the next few days, including to low-lying New Orleans, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Lee’s tidal surge could spur coastal flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama before drenching a large swath of the Southeast and Appalachian regions next week.

The slow-moving storm has bedeviled forecasters. Lee’s winds weakened on Saturday night as it Read more…

Mosquitoes ‘disappearing’ in some parts of Africa

August 28, 2011 Comments off

bbc

A mosquito feeding Mosquitoes are now a rare sight in some parts of Africa

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, but scientists are unsure as to why.

Figures indicate controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries.

But in Malaria Journal, researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls.

They are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigour.

Data from countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia all indicate that the incidence of malaria is dropping fast.

Researchers believe this is due to effective implementation of control programmes, especially the deployment of bed nets treated with insecticide.

But a team of Danish and Tanzanian scientists say this is not the whole story. For more than 10 years they have been collecting and Read more…

New York breaks city’s rainfall record with nearly eight inches soaking city

August 16, 2011 Comments off

nydailynews

Staten Island was hit hard by the record rainfall on Sunday.

Nicholas Fevelo for News

Staten Island was hit hard by the record rainfall on Sunday.

New York broke an all-time record for a one-day rainfall Sunday as up to 8 inches of water soaked the city, snarling trains and flooding roadways.

By 9 p.m., 7.7 inches of rain had fallen at Kennedy Airport.

It was the most recorded there in a single day since the National Weather Service began keeping records 116 years ago.

The heavy tropical rain is expected to continue Monday, and a flash flood warning is in effect until 9 p.m.

The normal rainfall for all of August in New York is 4 inches – which means the city was socked with two months worth of rain in a single day.

“This is what you would expect in a major hurricane,” said Steve Wistar, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Kennedy Airport’s old one-day rainfall record, 6.3 inches, set on June 30, 1984, fell by noon.
Central Park, where the city’s official rainfall total is recorded, saw Read more…

Typhoon Ma-on approaches Japan

July 18, 2011 Comments off

netglobers

Typhoon Ma-on is threatening the Japanese island of Shikoku. According to forecasters, the typhoon is likely to make landfall on Wakayama Prefecture (Honshu Island) early on July 20th. Later on Wednesday, July 20th or early on Thursday, July 21st, the typhoon, weakened by that time into a category-one storm, is expected to hit the south of Kanto Plain and Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area. Consequently, heavy downpours and strong winds are forecast while flash floods and landslides remain possible. Power cuts, telecommunication and water outages are possible in affected areas. Transport disruptions are also expected as the typhoon could force the closure of several airports including Osaka International airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Narita International Airport. Ferry and train services (including the high-speed trains Shinkansen) are likely to be disrupted in southern and central Honshu.

Typhoon Ma-on will generate heavy Read more…

Drought conditions taking toll on Texas lakes

June 21, 2011 Comments off

kens5

 The boat ramps at Lake Medina just seem to go on and on. What used to be only a few feet to the water are now hundreds of feet and getting further every day. While Medina is by far the lowest of the area lakes, it isn’t alone in its shrinking shoreline.

Medina Lake is down almost 30 feet, Canyon Lake is down 5 feet, Lake Buchanan is down 14 feet; even Lake Travis is down 34 feet.

The summer drought has depleted these reservoirs one by one, with areas of shoreline exposed for the sun for the first time in two years.

Across the state, the combined totals of Texas’s reservoirs are down to 71.8 percent, a decline of almost five percent since May 22, with lake levels dropping a combine 2,700,000 feet. Read more…

Categories: Droughts Tags: , ,