As atmospheric carbon rises, so do rivers, adding to flooding

flood
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

When it comes to climate change, relationships are everything. That’s a key takeaway of a new UO study that examines the interaction between plants, atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising water levels in the Mississippi River.


Published recently in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today, the study compared historical atmospheric carbon data against observations of herbarium leaf specimens to quantify the relationship between rising carbon levels and increasingly catastrophic floods in the American Midwest.

Using data covering more than two centuries, researchers demonstrated that as carbon levels in the atmosphere have risen due to the burning of fossil fuels, the ability of plants to absorb water from the air has decreased. That means more rainfall makes its way into rivers and streams, adding to their potential for damaging floods.

Co-authored by UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History geologist Greg Retallack and earth sciences

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New woodlands can help reduce flooding risk within 15 years — ScienceDaily

The planting of woodlands in upland areas could play a significant role in preventing the flash flooding which has increasingly affected communities across the world in recent years.

A new study by the University of Plymouth (UK) has shown that within just 15 years of being planted, native broadleaf trees can have a marked impact on soil’s response during extreme weather events.

It means the huge quantities of rainwater generated can be more readily absorbed, rather than it simply running over the surface and into rivers where it subsequently causes severe flooding.

Writing in Land Degradation & Development, scientists say their findings show the establishment of more native woodlands in upland areas could be an effective and natural flood management tool.

This nature-based solution could be extremely timely, given the UK government commitment to planting 30 million trees a year by 2025 and other environmental schemes designed to enhance

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Using drones to better predict urban flooding

Using drones to better predict urban flooding
Credit: University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg and the start-up RSS-Hydro are working together to optimize the prediction of flooding in Burange in the south of Luxembourg. Supported by the City of Dudelange, the project aims at building a unique and precise urban terrain model with the help of drones, aerial and satellite images to feed state-of-the art flood models.


Floods in cities: Rising impact

This phenomenon is observed with increasing frequency and intensity and is probably linked to climate change. “Floods and especially flash floods in urban areas are some of the main natural hazards in Europe and worldwide that are fuelled by shorter and more severe weather events amidst otherwise prolonged dry periods,” says Professor Norman Teferle who leads the Geodesy and Geospatial Engineering group at the University of Luxembourg.

In their paper, “Towards a high-resolution drone-based 3-D mapping dataset to optimize flood hazard modeling,” the team

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Apple CEO Cook hopes wildfires, hurricanes, flooding will prove climate change

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Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said he tries to focus on policy, not politics.


James Martin/CNET

Get Tim Cook talking about privacy, renewable energy or even the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s happy to give you his perspective. Talk about President Donald Trump, and he almost immediately wants to change the topic.

The dynamic played out several times with Cook, who participates in only a handful of interviews per year, while talking with the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, in a video-recorded interview Monday. 

Goldberg asked about Cook’s conversations with Trump, who’s invited the Apple CEO to White House events on manufacturing and the economy. Cook said he didn’t want to share them out of respect for Trump’s privacy. Goldberg asked how Cook would rate America’s response to the coronavirus. Cook once again declined.


Now

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