Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest
Rockets represent carbon stored in wood, trees, and soil in four main boreal forest regions. Though fire weather helps “ignite” the rockets, the amount of emissions each forest can produce is determined by fuel load (soil layers) and flammability (soil moisture). Credit: Victor Leshyk, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society

As climate warming stokes longer fire seasons and more severe fires in the North American boreal forest, being able to calculate how much carbon each fire burns grows more urgent. New research led by Northern Arizona University and published this week in Nature Climate Change suggests that how much carbon burns depends more on available fuels than on fire weather such as drought conditions, temperature, or rain. In a large retrospective study that stretched across Canada and Alaska, the international team of researchers found that the carbon stored belowground in soil organic matter was the most important predictor of how

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The weather phenomenon behind yesterday’s storms, explained

At its peak, there were more than a quarter of a million power outages across Massachusetts yesterday caused by a strong line of thunderstorms that moved from Ontario, Canada, all the way across southern New England. As the cleanup continues, you might wonder what caused all the tree damage and resulting power outages.

First of all, what occurred yesterday was not a tornado. Tornadoes are a specific wind phenomenon in which the wind is rotating; we did not have any rotation yesterday. What we did see were microbursts. A microburst is just a small downburst that is usually less than 4 kilometers across. You can contrast this with a derecho, another severe wind phenomenon, which is a line of straight-line winds that lasts a longer time and moves across a wider area. One might even argue that yesterday’s line of microbursts was in a sense a derecho, but I will

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Go Direct Weather System provides a versatile and affordable way for educators to engage students

Vernier recently launched the new Go Direct® Weather System to engage students in hands-on data collection as they learn important environmental science concepts. This affordable wireless sensor can be used in the classroom or out in the field to help middle school, high school, and college-level students investigate and analyze a variety of environmental factors.

“This new sensor for environmental science provides an affordable way for STEM educators to engage their students in data collection as they explore the science of natural phenomena,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “The Go Direct Weather System is notable because students can collect and analyze multiple types of environmental data using just one compact system.”

The two-part Go Direct Weather System consists of the Go Direct Weather sensor and the Go Direct Weather Vane. The handheld weather sensor is used to collect data around ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind

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Montana climate project to install remote weather stations

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — University of Montana researchers recently received a $21 million government contract, bringing more support and longevity to what has been a grassroots effort to build a better climate monitoring network across the state.

The funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pay to expand and enhance a collaborative project spearheaded by UM’s Montana Climate Office in 2016 that aims to fill in gaps in weather and soil moisture data throughout the state.

“This project is very unique,” said Kelsey Jencso, a lead researcher and associate professor of watershed hydrology at UM. “This is a very applied project. It has a particular goal, which is to better monitor soil moisture, snowpack, weather hazards and climate conditions.”

Through partnerships with government agencies, including the Montana Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Land Management, Montana State University, watershed groups, and private farmers and ranchers, the Montana Climate

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Venice’s Controversial Flood Barriers To Rise Today Amid Stormy Weather

Venice will activate its Mose flood barrier system today for the first time, as bad weather and particularly high tides are set to hit the canal city. This will be the first real test of the mobile gates, whose construction has been wildly over budget, years late, and riddled with corruption. 

Venice, in the northern Italian region of the Veneto, is braced for storms over the weekend and is expected to see

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Interview with Friederike Otto, Author of Angry Weather

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped 60 inches of rain on Nederland, Texas. That was over the course of a few days. Notoriously rainy Seattle gets about 38 inches a year. The storm caused over $125 billion worth of damage, according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Was it just a bizarre event, or was it caused by climate change?

In the past, climate scientists have been hesitant to say any particular weather event, no matter how wild, was due to the effects of global warming, greenhouse gases, and other human causes. But Dr. Friederike Otto and the World Weather Attribution team studied Harvey and determined that climate change made the rainfall more intense, causing between 12% and 22% more water to drop on Houston and its surrounding area.

It’s a relatively new science, determining “whether and to what extent anthropogenic — so human-induced — climate change alters the likelihood

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Intellisense Systems Wins Phase II Funding for Fire Weather Observation Sensor from USDA

This sensor builds on the proven Micro Weather Sensor to include fuel moisture, solar radiation, particulate monitoring, and thermal imaging that will improve firefighting efforts.

Torrance ,CA, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — September 29, 2020 – Torrance, CA – Intellisense Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated environmental sensing solutions, won Phase II funding to continue development of the Fire Weather Observation Sensor (FWOS) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FWOS is a stand-alone, unattended, field-deployable sensor for remote measurements of fire weather-related data. These devices will be placed throughout forests and areas prone to wildfire outbreak and transmit data via satellite from anywhere in the world. This development will integrate new sensing capabilities to the proven Micro Weather Sensor (MWS®) platform, including fuel moisture, solar radiation, particulate monitoring, and thermal imaging.

 

In 2020, the Western United States experienced a record-setting number of wildfires, which have

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SpaceX delays next Starlink satellite fleet launch due to bad weather

SpaceX postponed the launch of a new fleet of Starlink internet satellites today (Sept. 28) due to bad weather at the mission’s Florida launch site. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch 60 Starlink satellites from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:22 a.m. EDT (1422 GMT), but thick clouds over the launch site prevented the flight. 

“Unfortunately, it looks like due to weather violations, we’re going to to have to scrub today,” Alex Seigel, a senior material planner with SpaceX, said in live commentary. “But again, the most important thing is reducing as much risk on the mission as possible, and with that comes waiting for a window of good weather.”

Related: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink internet satellites stands atop Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida during

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Doppler weather radar for Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia is broken

That radar, a WSR-88D model, is the most powerful one tasked with scanning the skies in northern Virginia, central Maryland, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and the District. It’s part of a network of 159 such Doppler radars nationwide maintained by the National Weather Service. Each radar emits high frequency pulses of energy, a portion of which bounce off precipitation targets and offer valuable information from inside a storm.

While the radar is down, forecasters will rely on airport radars and Weather Service radars at adjacent offices in State College, Pa., Pittsburgh, Mount Holly, N.J., Wakefield, Va., Dover, Blacksburg, Va., and Charleston.

This network of radars can stitch together a reasonable representation of storm surveys.

The region has some of the best radar coverage in the country thanks to four smaller, less powerful “terminal” radars at the three major airports, Dulles, Reagan National and BWI Marshall, as well as

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House Science Bills on Space Weather and Election Technology Pass the House

House Science Bills on Space Weather and Election Technology Pass the House

Press Release
From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas praised the passage of two bipartisan Committee bills today on space weather and election technology. 

S.881, the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act, more commonly referred to as the PROSWIFT Act, improves our ability to monitor and forecast space weather. Space weather is generated by magnetic activity on the Sun and can affect technologies on Earth ranging from cell phone communications to GPS navigation to the electric grid. The bill includes an amendment by Lucas to create a pilot program that will ensure that emerging private sector companies have a seat at the table and will be able to provide monitoring and forecast data which
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