Atmospheric river storms are getting stronger

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture in the atmosphere that extend from the tropics to higher latitudes. These rivers in the sky can transport 15 times the volume of the Mississippi River. When that moisture reaches the coast and moves inland, it rises over the mountains, generating rain and snowfall and sometimes causing extreme flooding.

Recently…a team of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Army Corps of Engineers in the first systematic analysis of damages from atmospheric rivers due to extreme flooding. We found that while many of these events are benign, the largest of them cause most of the flooding damage in the western U.S. And atmospheric rivers are predicted to grow longer, wetter and wider in a warming climate.

RTFA. More info. A scale for evaluating the dangerous potential in these rivers. Another wake-up call for this nation.

Rising forest density offers potential offsets to climate change

Rising forest density in many countries is helping to offset climate change caused by deforestation from the Amazon basin to Indonesia, a study shows.

The report indicated that the size of trees in a forest — rather than just the area covered — needed to be taken into account more in U.N.-led efforts to put a price on forests as part of a nascent market to slow global warming.

“Higher density means world forests are capturing more carbon,” experts in Finland and the United States said of the study in the online journal PLoS One, issued on June 5 which is World Environment Day in the U.N. calendar.

Trees soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow and release it when they burn or rot. Deforestation in places from the Congo basin to Papua New Guinea is blamed for perhaps 12 to 20 percent of all emissions by human activities.

The report, based on a survey of 68 nations, found that the amount of carbon stored in forests increased in Europe and North America from 2000-10 despite little change in forest area.

And in Africa and South America, the total amount of carbon stored in forests fell at a slower rate than the loss of area, indicating that they had grown denser…

“Forests that were established in China a few decades ago are now starting to reach their fast-growing phase. That is a reason for rising density now,” lead author Aapo Rautiainen said…

The United States has had among the most striking shifts — timberland area expanded by just one percent between 1953 and 2007 but the volume of growing stock surged by 51 percent…

The report also suggested that forest managers might rotate fellings less frequently since trees kept thickening.

Ain’t nothing wrong with good news. Not that good news means anything to climate change-deniers. They’re unwilling to accept any scientific understanding no matter how it impacts their ideology.

Unwillingness to investigate fits right in with fear of responsibility.