A team of scientists at Utah State University has developed a new tool to forecast drought and water flow in the Colorado River several years in advance. Although the river’s headwaters are in landlocked Wyoming and Colorado, water levels are linked to sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the water’s long-term ocean memory. The group’s paper, “Colorado River water supply is predictable on multi-year timescales owning to long-term ocean memory” was published October 9 by Communications Earth and Environment, an open-access journal from Nature Research.
The Colorado River is the most important water resource in the semi-arid western United States and faces growing demand from users in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Because water shortages in the Colorado River impact energy production, food and drinking water security, forestry and tourism, tools to predict drought and low water levels could inform management
In July heavy rains triggered landslides and floods in Nepal that ultimately killed more than 130 people. As soon as the rain started falling, BYU professor Jim Nelson knew things could get bad.
That’s because the water-modeling software created by Nelson and colleagues from NASA under the Group on Earth Observations Global Water Sustainability (GEOGloWS) Partnership can predict the rise and fall of every river on the face of the planet. And in the case of Nepal, the streamflow forecasts were warning of severe flooding throughout the country.
Fortunately, the predictive models, accessible through the BYU software, made it into the hands of emergency agencies in Nepal, saving many lives in what could have been a catastrophic loss of life.
Nepali officials being able to access this vital information through Nelson’s large-scale visualization hydrologic data
Thirty-one million people living in river deltas are at high risk of experiencing flooding and other impacts from tropical cyclones and climate change, according to a study by Indiana University researchers.
“To date, no one has successfully quantified the global population on river deltas and assessed the cumulative impacts from climate change,” said Douglas Edmonds, the Malcolm and Sylvia Boyce Chair in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and lead author on the study. “Since river deltas have long been recognized as hotspots of population growth, and with increasing impacts from climate change, we realized we needed to properly quantify what the cumulative risks are in river deltas.”
The findings are the result of a collaboration facilitated by IU’s Institute for Advanced Study with support from the Environmental Resilience Institute.
The team’s analysis shows that river deltas occupy 0.5 percent of the earth’s land surface, yet they contain 4.5
A river’s only consistent attribute is change. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus remarked, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” Although this dynamic nature is often out of sight and mind, forgetting about it has led to many a historical catastrophe.
Recently, UC Santa Barbara geomorphologist Vamsi Ganti and his collaborators published a study finding that sea level rise will cause rivers to jump course, or avulse, more often on deltas than in the past. Now his team has discovered that a perfect storm of factors—including larger floods and finer sediment size—will enable these destructive events to occur farther and farther inland. Their results, which appear in Geophysical Research Letters, warn of major disasters poised to hit many urban centers that
Kids will be able to see and learn more about native Hudson River wildlife and more.
Today, the Hudson River Park Trust’s River Project unveiled a jam packed lineup of virtual lessons as part of their annual SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival on Thursday, September 24. The marine science festival that usually brings kids of all ages to the New York City waterfront will instead host a full day of interactive virtual science available to anyone, regardless of location.
This marine-focused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) festival covenes educators, scientists and performers to bring marine science to life, including along the city’s waterways. By incorporating a wide range of fun, interactive educational activities, the festival aims to engage children with marine science and help them learn about the ecological importance of Hudson River Park’s 400-acre unique Estuarine Sanctuary.
“Every year we bring science to life for students in all five