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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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 a Sept. 28, 2020 launch attempt.

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 Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., 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 maintained by the NWS nationwide. 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 NWS radars at adjacent offices in State College, Pa.; Pittsburgh; Mount Holly, N.J.; Wakefield, Va.; Dover, Del.; 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 Andrews Air

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Companies Vie to Design New Weather Satellite

Companies Vie to Design New Weather Satellite

iStock illustration

Multiple defense contractors have been chosen to develop a prototype design for the Space Force’s next-generation electro-optical infrared weather satellite.

The Space Enterprise Consortium awarded $309 million in the form of three other transaction authority agreements for the first phase of the program. Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group and Raytheon received OTAs.

The spacecraft will help “inform operators and warfighters on decisions on how to execute missions,” said Shawn Cochran, senior business development manager for space and C2 systems at Raytheon Intelligence and Space. “It’s really designed from the onset to help us better understand clouds, cloud movement, and characterize them to enable things like air-to-air refueling missions, or [operations] where clouds could be covering an area of interest.” 

The companies will be working on phase 1 for eight months, Cochran said. Phase 2 is

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Sparse Antenna Array for Detailed Climate and Weather Modeling




R-MXAS is a revolutionary aerospace architecture for realizing a synthetic aperture imaging radiometer (SAIR) in a manner affording unprecedented sparsity in terms of number of antenna elements. As such, it enables a feasible path to space-based implementation of RF apertures of unprecedented size. The R-MXAS system is a single platform comprising a 1-D sparse antenna array on a rigid tether and one or more additional tethered antennas that rotate in a plane orthogonal to the 1-D array.

The processing exploits the interferometric baselines formed between the rotating tethered antenna(s) at radius R and each of the antennas of the 1-D array on the rigid tether. A half-revolution of the rotating antenna(s) engenders a continuum of projected baselines into a horizontal plane which becomes the virtual 2D aperture. Applications of such

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