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Tue, 26 May 2020
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Cloud Lightning

Understanding what causes rain

Weather models are not good at predicting rain. Particularly in hilly terrain, this can lead to great damage arising from late warnings of floods, or even none at all. From June 1 to September 1, 2007 Delft University of Technology is participating in a major international experiment in Germany's Black Forest, to learn more about what causes rain. Aircraft and an airship are to be used alongside ground-based observatories. Satellites will be used to gather the large-scale information.

The creation of rain is the result of a variety of physical processes. These processes influence each other and play out both at an extremely small scale (several micrometres) and on a very large one (100 kilometres). The spatial scale of weather models is a few kilometres, and physical processes which occur at a smaller scale have to be approximated. Cloud formation is an example of this. The complexity and differences in scale make weather modelling inaccurate in predicting the time and place of a downpour, and the quantity of rain which will ultimately fall.

Snowman

Hundreds of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers accelerating as climate warms

Hundreds of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are flowing faster, further adding to sea level rise according to new research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Climate warming, that is already causing Antarctic Peninsula increased summer snow melt and ice shelf retreat, is the most likely cause.

Using radar images acquired by European ERS-1 and -2 satellites, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) tracked the flow rate of over 300 previously unstudied glaciers. They found a 12% increase in glacier speed from 1993 to 2003. These observations - that echo recent findings from coastal Greenland - indicate that the cause is melting of the lower glaciers, which flow directly into the sea. As they thin, the buoyancy of the ice can lift the glaciers off their rock beds, allowing them to slide faster.

Magic Wand

Study of underground lakes in Antarctica could be critical, prof says

The discovery of interconnected lakes beneath kilometers of ice in Antarctica could be one of the most important scientific finds in recent years, but proper procedures need to be established before investigation begins, says a Texas A&M University scientist who is a leader in the research efforts.

Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt II, professor of oceanography and director of the Sustainable Development Program in Texas A&M's Office of the Vice President for Research, says the National Science Foundation and 11 countries involved in the research and exploration are seeking agreement on how best to study these unique environments, which include at least 145 lakes under Antarctica's massive ice sheets. Several of the lakes are immense, and one, Lake Vostok, is similar in size to Lake Ontario, roughly 5,400 square miles, scientists note.

Participants in the project known as The Russian Antarctic Expedition have announced their intentions to penetrate Lake Vostok during the coming Antarctic field season.

"These lakes were rediscovered within the past 10 years or so, but no one yet has penetrated them and we want to make sure that the research is done properly and adheres to the highest environmental stewardship principles," says Kennicutt, who also serves as a director of the SALE (Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments) office, which is maintained at Texas A&M.

Light Saber

World Environment Day homes in on fear of melting ice

TROMSOE, Norway - The world marked Environment Day on Tuesday with cheerful events like tree-planting and solar cooking in the heat of Asia, but also gloomier talk in the not-so-frozen north of melting polar caps.

The United Nations chose Tromsoe in Norway to host the day this year to highlight the dangers of melting snow and ice.

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone Gonu's Winds Blast Oman Coast

MUSCAT, Oman - Thousands of people fled low-lying areas as the strongest cyclone to threaten the Arabian Peninsula in 60 years blasted Oman's eastern coast early Wednesday with strong winds and waves, Civil Defense officials said. Southern Iran and the oil-rich Persian Gulf were next in its path.

Bomb

Jungle For Sale: Going... Going...

A charity is appealing for people to buy up small patches of rainforest to help prevent it disappearing forever and combat climate change.

Every year, the destruction of tropical land releases more climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the entire USA.

The trees are felled for logging and farming.

Cool Earth - launched today - leases and maintains endangered land, giving local people access.

Red Flag

Bali suffers climate change effects

Bali's tourist pulling-power may be a thing of the past.

In the West Bali National Park, the once common sight of vibrantly-colored clown fish swimming among healthy pink anemones is becoming rare. And larger fish are increasingly uncommon.

Rising sea temperatures are aiding the bleaching process on coral reefs.

Experts say climate change is hitting Bali's coral reefs hard, turning once vibrant diving locations into bleached shadows of their former glory.

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone Gonu heads for Oman

Cyclone Gonu packing winds of up to 260km an hour advanced on Tuesday towards the oil-producing Gulf state of Oman where it was expected to make landfall within 24 hours.

The sultanate's weather service said the cyclone formed in the Indian Ocean and reached the Gulf of Oman on Monday, some 280km off the east coast of Oman.

©Weather Underground

Attention

Update! 180,000 displaced after strong quake hits SW China city

About 180,000 people have been displaced and 90,000 houses have collapsed following the earthquake in Yunnan Province, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

At least three people, including a four-year-old boy, were killed and 313 injured in the quake which hit the tea-producing Pu'er City and its surrounding area early on Sunday morning, when most people were in bed. Twenty-eight seriously injured people arestill receiving treatment in hospital.

Comment: Though it doesn't get much attention in Western media, it still has affected many people.

Imagine for instance if an earthquake in the US displaced 180000 and collapsed 90000 houses. It would be covering the news for weeks round the clock.

Magnify

Magnitude 5.3 quake jolts Philippine capital, no damage or injuries reported

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 shook the Philippine capital's seaside tourist district and outlying rural regions late Sunday, but was not strong enough to cause any injuries or damage, officials said.