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Posts Tagged ‘snowmelt’

West Antarctica Warming in Triple Time

December 26, 2012 Comments off

discovery.com

Bromwich

The study by Bromwich and colleagues suggests that such exceptional melting events as in January 2005 could become more frequent in the future. Top: Map of Antarctica showing the extent of surface melting in January 2005 observed from space. Bottom: Time series of mean January temperature at Byrd Station from 1957 to 2011 with the warm January 2005 highlighted with a yellow circle. Credit: background map from Google Earth; satellite observations of surface melting courtesy of G. Picard (LGGE)

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming at twice the rate previously thought, say scientists who have teased the information from more than 50 years of temperature data at Byrd Station, in the center of the ice. The average temperature at that station has risen Read more…

Categories: Antarctica Tags: , ,

Melting glaciers store up trouble

July 14, 2011 Comments off

swissinfo

A Greenpeace activist walks a tightrope over a glacier lake.

Image Caption: A Greenpeace activist walks a tightrope over a glacier lake. (Keystone)

by Julia Slater, swissinfo.ch

As the alpine glaciers shrink they will affect the flow of Europe’s biggest rivers, impacting areas of the economy ranging from shipping to power generation.

Glaciologist Matthias Huss of Fribourg University has discovered that right down to the sea, the Danube, Rhine, Rhone and Po contain a larger proportion of water from glaciers than previously thought.

For example, more than a quarter of the water that flows from the Rhone into the Mediterranean in August has its origin in alpine glaciers. At its mouth in the Netherlands seven percent of the water in the Rhine is Read more…

2010 – 2011: Earth’s most extreme weather since 1816?

June 28, 2011 Comments off

wunderground

Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur. But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen. The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I’ve been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I’ve finally managed to finish, so fasten Read more…

Local levees threatened by record-setting releases into Missouri River

June 6, 2011 Comments off

columbiamissourian

COLUMBIA — Workers at the city’s water treatment plant in the Missouri River bottoms are getting the boats out of storage.

Two levees protect McBaine from river levels up to 32 feet, and a flood wall at the plant itself can withstand up to 40 feet, said Floyd Turner, Columbia’s manager of water operations.

Extremely high amounts of rainfall and melting snow along the northern sections of the Missouri River are expected to raise river levels enough to possibly overwhelm levees throughout the state. One of those at risk, the McBaine Levee District, protects the Columbia Drinking Water Plant.If the Missouri River overflows the levees along the river, though, plant workers will need their two 14-foot boats to navigate between the nearby wells and possibly transport workers to and from the plant.

The water plant’s staff was stockpiling sand for spot leaks along with other supplies in case floods limit access to the plant, engineer Michael Anderson said Friday. Workers at the plant were also checking on emergency generators in the event the plant loses electricity.

A forecast from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the Missouri River overflowing as many as 58 levees between Kansas City and St. Louis by the end of the month.

After a year’s worth of rain in recent weeks and snowpack 140 percent above average in the Read more…

Scores flee homes as surging Mississippi nears record level

May 9, 2011 Comments off

smh.com

Houses have been engulfed by water in Memphis, Tennessee.Houses have been engulfed by water in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo: Getty Images

Tourists gathered and gawkers snapped photos of the rising Mississippi River, even as more residents were told to flee their homes and the river’s crest edged towards Memphis in Tennessee.

US officials went door-to-door on Sunday, warning about 240 people to get out before the river reached its expected peak on Tuesday.

In all, residents in more than 1300 homes have been told to go, and about 370 people were staying in shelters.


The Mississippi spared Kentucky and north-west Tennessee catastrophic flooding, but some low-lying towns and farmland along the Read more…