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Colorado’s Flooding Becomes A 1,000 Year Event As Rescuers Search For 500 Missing People

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Colorado’s Flooding Becomes A 1,000 Year Event As Rescuers Search For 500 Missing PeopleBY KATIE VALENTINE ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2013 AT 12:18 PM, http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/15/2621881/colorado-floods/ CREDIT: AP/Colorado Heli-Ops, Dennis Pierce Boulder County, Colorado is bracing for up to four more inches of rain Sunday afternoon, a forecast that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says would magnify the problems rescuers are already facing in trying to reach stranded residents. Hickenlooper said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that the forecast of more rain in a region that’s received more than 14 inches in the last week is troubling because the ground is already saturated with water, making it easy for more rain to lead to even more flooding. So far, rescuers have moved 2,000 people out of Boulder, but 500 are still missing and at least four have been killed. This week’s rain has already washed away roads leading into smaller valley regions, Hickenlooper said, and more rai…

IO9- What really causes that amazing "after the rain" smell?

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From the great blog and website, IO9, an explanation about the why it smells so nice after a rainfall  What really causes that amazing "after the rain" smell?
After a rainstorm, especially a rain storm that breaks a long dry spell, the world smells different. What causes that strange, clean, earthy smell? A few things that aren't so clean. One of the benefits of living in California is the extraordinary smell you get after the first rain of the fall. Generally it's in October or November, in a climate where warm summer rainstorms are unheard of and nothing has seen moisture in half a year. Right after the rain there's an intense smell that you have to huff while you can. It's incredibly strong. But we're not the only place that gets such a smell. People everywhere notice it, and scientists have a few theories as to what causes it. Some of the smell, especially the parts that people identify as "clean," probably come from ozone. Oxygen atoms usual…

Welcome to the Curated Web

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All of the rivers in the USA

Photo: mishagl: All of the rivers - Perhaps inspired by All Streets, Ben Fry’s map of all the streets in the... http://t.co/4xO9KdIdtP
— RDickinson (@RDickinson) June 20, 2013
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Out Of The Holocene
Bill McKibben begrudingly welcomes a new era in climate change via http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/10/out-of-the-holocene-1.html So far we’ve raised the temperature of the earth about one degree Celsius, and two decades ago it was hard to believe this would be enough to cause huge damage. But it was. We’ve clearly come out of the Holocene and into something else. Forty percent of the summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone; the ocean is 30 percent more acidic. There’s nothing theoretical about any of this any more. Since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 4 percent wetter than it used to be, which has loaded the dice for drought and flood. In my home country, 2011 smashed the record for multibillion-dollar weather disasters—and we were hit nowhere near as badly as some.

Everyone Should Write

Everyone Should WriteSays James Somers: You should write because when you know that you’re going to write, it changes the way you live. I’m thinking about a book I read called Field Notes on Science & Nature, a collection of essays by scientists about their notes. It’s hard to imagine a more tedious concept — a book of essays about notes? — but in execution it was wonderful. What it teaches you, over and over again, is that the difference between you and a zoologist or you and a botanist is that the botanist, when she looks at a flower, has a question in mind. She’s trying to generate questions. For her the flower is the locus of many mental threads, some nascent, some spanning her career. Her field notebook is not some convenient way to store lifeless data to be presented in lifeless papers so that other scientists can replicate some dull experiment; it’s the site of a collision between a mind and a world. More interesting insight: When I have a piece of writing in mind, what I h…

You Don't Work as Hard as You Think You Do

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You Don't Work as Hard as You Think You Do —By  | Fri Oct. 19, 2012 8:14 AM PDT Via Matt Yglesias, here's an interesting BLS study from David Yanofsky about how many hours people say they work vs. how many hours they actually work. This is actually sort of a pet topic of mine. My experience is solely with white-collar offices, but for years I noticed that my colleagues routinely overestimated how many hours they worked. As it happened, I frequently worked a little late and a little on weekends, so I had a good sense of just how many people were in the building after 6 pm or on Saturdays. Answer: virtually no one. You could fire a cannon through the place and not risk hitting anyone. And yet, people routinely thought they worked something like 50 hours a week. But guess what? 50 hours a week is actually a lot. It means working until 7 pm every night. Or it means working until 6 pm every night and then working a solid chunk of hours on Saturday. And there just weren'…

Benefits of Urban Trees

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Via   http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/what_trees_mean_to_communities.html

If you’re interested in the subject of the community benefits of trees, you can get additional information from the websites of the National Arbor Day Foundation and theUS Forest Service.  Among the tidbits I learned on one or the other of those two sites are these: The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3 percent less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12 percent. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.  A number of studies have shown that real estate agents and home buyers assign between 10 and 23 percent of the value of a residence to the trees on the property. Surgery patients who could see a grove of deciduous trees recuperated faster and required less pain-killing m…

The Biggest Storm Ever on a Small, Small World

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From the Great, great and great physics blog Starts With a Bang a story about a monster storm on Titan “For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature.” -Ann Druyan Here on Earth, we are well aware of how devastating storms can be. From hurricanes to flash floods, an unpredictable change in weather can turn a serene setting into a catastrophe in no time at all. The clouds that fill the skies can often portend what type of weather is coming, and to me, the most impressive and fearsome of all is the rare and remarkable supercell.
Image credit: Sean Heavey / Barcroft Media, from Glasgow, Montana. The least common and most severe type of thunderstorm, supercells form when a warm, moist layer of air (typically found above a cold layer, since heat rises) slides below an even higher-elevation cold layer. The wind sh…

Sewer Toshers

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Sewer Toshers from Smithsonian Blog:  the men who made it their living by forcing entry into London’s sewers at low tide and wandering through them, sometimes for miles, searching out and collecting the miscellaneous scraps washed down from the streets above: bones, fragments of rope, miscellaneous bits of metal, silver cutlery and–if they were lucky–coins dropped in the streets above and swept into the gutters.
A London sewer in the19th century. This one, as evidenced by the shaft of light penetrating through a grating, must be close to the surface; others ran as deep as 40 feet beneath the city. Mayhew called them “sewer hunters” or “toshers,” and the latter term has come to define the breed, though it actually had a rather wider application in Victorian times–the toshers sometimes worked the shoreline of the Thames rather than the sewers, and also waited at rubbish dumps when the contents of damaged houses were being burned and then sifted through the ashes for any items of value. …

A Canopy of Man-Made Solar-Powered Supertrees Flourishes in Singapore

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A Canopy of Man-Made Solar-Powered Supertrees Flourishes in Singapore
A national park filled with electrified, man-made trees sounds like a paradox. But Singapore’s latest landscaping project, a 250-acre site called Gardens by the Bay, mixes nature and mechanics with an "artificial forest" full of glowing trees, globally-sourced plants, heritage vegetation, and a conservatory built around a 35-meter mountain complete with the world's tallest indoor waterfall. The project is pushing the boundary of what an urban park can be. On June 29, Singapore’s National Parks Board will open a section of this project, called Bay South Garden, to the public, welcoming visitors to 18 just-installed "Supertrees," climbing to 50 meters in height. "Many countries now do tree-planting and call themselves garden cities," CEO of Gardens by the Bay, Dr. Kiat Tan explained in a 2011 speech. "To retain our edge and continue to improve our living environment, we have bee…

Mind The Crap From the Dish

Mind The Crap From the Dish
Sally Aldee fell in the Thames and gashed her leg, a prospect that horrified every medical professional she met. She subsequentlytracedthe river's pollution from Victorian times to today:
The river – which by the way was both the source of the city’s drinking water and the repository for all its poop – became choleric and pestilent. In the summer of 1858, the fumes became so bad they got a name. The "Great Stink" forced members of Parliament to write the legislation that gave the all-clear toJoseph Bazalgette, London’s chief engineer of public works, to build the two massive interceptor sewers that catch London’s sewage and run-off before they’re belched into the Thames. To this day, these brick and mortar Victorian artifacts comprise the backbone of London’s sewer system. ... http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/mind-the-crap.html

A feedback loop involves four distinct stages

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A feedback loopinvolves four distinct stages. First comes the data: A behavior must be measured, captured, and stored. This is the evidence stage. Second, the information must be relayed to the individual, not in the raw-data form in which it was captured but in a context that makes it emotionally resonant. This is the relevance stage. But even compelling information is useless if we don’t know what to make of it, so we need a third stage: consequence. The information must illuminate one or more paths ahead. And finally, the fourth stage: action. There must be a clear moment when the individual can recalibrate a behavior, make a choice, and act. Then that action is measured, and the feedback loop can run once more, every action stimulating new behaviors that inch us closer to our goals, From Wired Magazine http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/ff_feedbackloop/all/1

Heavier Rainstorms Ahead in the Future

Heavier Rainstorms Ahead Due To Global Climate Change, Study Predicts
ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2009) — Heavier rainstorms lie in our future. That's the clear conclusion of a new MIT and Caltech study on the impact that global climate change will have on precipitation patterns.

But the increase in extreme downpours is not uniformly spread around the world, the analysis shows. While the pattern is clear and consistent outside of the tropics, climate models give conflicting results within the tropics and more research will be needed to determine the likely outcomes in tropical regions.
Overall, previous studies have shown that average annual precipitation will increase in both the deep tropics and in temperate zones, but will decrease in the subtropics. However, it's important to know how the frequency and magnitude of extreme precipitation events will be affected, as these heavy downpours can lead to increased flooding and soil erosion.
It is the frequency of these extreme events…

World Rainfall

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Wave Of Sewage Flows Toward Tampa Bay

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TBO > News Wave Of Sewage Flows Toward Bay Tribune photo by CANDACE C. MUNDY Workers with Spectrum Underground Inc. work to repair a 20-inch sewage pipeline which broke in Town 'N Country this afternoon.
The Tampa Tribune Published: September 13, 2008 TOWN 'N COUNTRY - Approximately 200,000 gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Sweetwater Creek on Friday afternoon, prompting a warning to residents along the creek to avoid the water, Hillsborough County officials said. The spill occurred along Comanche Avenue just east of Hanley Road when a 20-inch sewage pipeline ruptured. The break was at a connection point to a section that had been replaced about eight weeks ago, officials said. Because the work had been done so recently, it was under warranty, and the original contractor returned to fix the break, said Bill Bozeman, project manager for the county's water resource services. Bozeman did not know what caused it. The fracture, reported by a passer-by at about 12:45 p…

How Much Can You Learn From a Home DNA Test?

How much does your DNA determine your future? Our reporter has her DNA analyzed by three different labs, and shares every detail of the results... as well as how she copes with them.

read more | digg story

Hurricane Dennis, Tampa 2005

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