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What Is This “Atmospheric River” That Is Flooding California? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

What Is This “Atmospheric River” That Is Flooding California? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In 1861 an atmospheric river that brought storms for 43 days turned California’s Central Valley into an inland sea 300 miles long and 20 miles wide. Thousands of people died, 800,000 cattle drowned and the state went bankrupt. A similar disaster today would be much more devastating, because the region is much more populated and it is the single largest food producer in the U.S.


"So maybe 1861 was an oddity. Not really. Geologic core samples show that extreme floods like the one in 1861 have happened in California about every 200 years, since the year 200 A.D. So the next disaster could be coming around the bend. The West Coast has actually been slowly constructing large, specialized, meteorological observatories that can sense atmospheric rivers as they develop, so forecasters can give early warnings."

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Cloudy With a Chance of Beer

Cloudy With a Chance of Beer | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The Weather Company’s Vikram Somaya talks about why marketers are clamoring for weather data.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "We have a division, WSI, that does nothing but build applications for insurance companies. There’s one that interacts with a professional hail-zone data feed: essentially, 30 minutes before a hailstorm hits an area that an insurance company covers, an SMS text is sent to everyone in that area saying, “Pull your cars in because you are about to be hit by hail.” In a medium-size hailstorm, that saves the company anywhere between $1 million and $5 million."

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Previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon discovered

Previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon discovered | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Recent research results show that an atmospheric hole over the tropical West Pacific is reinforcing ozone depletion in the polar regions and could have a significant influence on the climate of the Earth.
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