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Posts Tagged ‘Rainfall’

Prepare for the Next Conflict: Water Wars

April 18, 2011 Comments off

huffingtonpost

Every minute, 15 children die from drinking dirty water. Every time you eat a hamburger, you consume 2400 liters of the planet’s fresh water resources — that is the amount of water needed to produce one hamburger. Today poor people are dying from lack of water, while rich people are consuming enormous amounts of water. This water paradox illustrates that we are currently looking at a global water conflict in the making.

We are terrifyingly fast consuming one of the most important and perishable resources of the planet — our water. Global water use has tripled over the last 50 years. The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages with more than 2.8 billion people living in areas of high water stress. This is expected to rise to 3.9 billion — more than half of Read more…

Drought In Amazon Could Lead To Accelerated Global Warming

March 30, 2011 Comments off

ibtimes.com

A new study reveals a drought last year in the Amazon basin caused the forest to lose significant levels of vegetation, which in turn could accelerate the pace of global warming.

The study, conducted by an international team of scientists and funded by NASA, uses specific satellite imaging data provided by the agency to draw its conclusions. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellites provided more than a decade’s worth of data for scientists who studied the de-vegetation of the Amazon rainforest.

(Photo: NASA/BU) NASA satellite sensors, such as MODIS, showed an average pattern of greenness of vegetation on South America: Amazon forests which have very high leaf area are shown in red and purple colors, the adjacent cerrado (savannas) which have lower leaf area are shown in shades of green, and the coastal deserts are shown in yellow colors.

 

The scientists say changing climates with warmer temperatures and altered rainfall could lead to the rainforests turning into grasslands or woody savannas. This causes carbon stored in the rotting wood to be released into the atmosphere, which would add to the greenhouse gases present.

“The greenness levels of Amazonian vegetation — a measure of its health — decreased dramatically over an area more than three and one-half times the size of Texas and did not recover to normal levels, even after the drought ended in late October 2010,” Liang Xu, the study’s lead author from Boston University, said in a statement.

“The MODIS vegetation greenness data suggest a more widespread, severe and long-lasting impact to Amazonian vegetation than Read more…