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How Much Drought Can a Forest Take?

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Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought.

Science

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California No Longer in Drought, Says UC Davis Watershed Expert

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Science

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Game Theory, tragedy of the commons, Drought

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Game Theory Shows How Tragedies of the Commons Might be Averted

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Lake Lanier in Georgia is the primary water reservoir serving suburban and metropolitan Atlanta. When the lake’s water level drops below a certain point, calls go out for water conservation and news reports show images of the red mud shoreline. In some affected counties, water restrictions are imposed. The combination of usage restrictions and changes in precipitation eventually averts the crisis. But, when the crisis ends, water usage rebounds – until the next shortage.

Science

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Soil Moisture, Snowpack Data Could Help Predict 'Flash Droughts'

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Severe 2012 drought could have been predicted months in advance.

Science

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Drought, wastewater recycling, wastewater treatment, Agriculture, irrigated agriculture

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Blending Wastewater May Help California Cope with Drought

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Researchers at UC Riverside have developed an economic model that demonstrates how flexible wastewater treatment processes which blend varying levels of treated effluent can create a water supply that benefits crops and is affordable.

Science

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Climate Change, atmosphere science, Fisheries and aquaculture, marine and freshwater biology, pollution and remediation, temperature dependent phenomena

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With Droughts and Downpours, Climate Change Feeds Chesapeake Bay Algal Blooms

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Nitrogen-rich agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay presents an ongoing environmental and economic concern for the bay's massive watershed. Pollution from fertilizer application feeds algal blooms that poison humans and marine life, and devastate fisheries.

Science

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Climate Change, Earth Science, Geology & soil, geographics, Gravity, Oceanography

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Researchers Pinpoint Abrupt Onset of Modern Day Indian Ocean Monsoon System

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A new study by an international team of scientists reveals the exact timing of the onset of the modern monsoon pattern in the Maldives 12.9 million years ago, and its connection to past climate changes and coral reefs in the region. The analysis of sediment cores provides direct physical evidence of the environmental conditions that sparked the monsoon conditions that exist today around the low-lying island nation and the Indian subcontinent.

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As Hazard Warnings Increase, Experts Urge Better Decisions on Who and When to Warn

Effective warnings are a growing need as expanding global populations confront a wide range of hazards, such as a hurricane, wildfire, toxic chemical spill or any other environmental hazard threatens safety.

Science

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Drought, Water Resources, snowfall amounts, Rainfall, New York State

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Low Snowfall, Missing Rain Making NY’s Creeks Run Dry

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Science

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Atmospheric & climate research, Atmospheric Chemistry, Energy Sources, Geography, Forestry, temprature, dependent phenomena

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Drought Stalls Tree Growth and Shuts Down Amazon Carbon Sink, Researchers Find

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A recent drought completely shut down the Amazon Basin's carbon sink, by killing trees and slowing their growth, a ground-breaking study led by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Leeds has found. Previous research has suggested that the Amazon -the most extensive tropical forest on Earth and one of the "green lungs" of the planet -- may be gradually losing its capacity to take carbon from the atmosphere. This new study, the most extensive land-based study of the effect of drought on Amazonian rainforests to date, paints a more complex picture, with forests responding dynamically to an increasingly variable climate.

Science

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Climate Change, Ecology, Environment, Forestry, Pollution

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Droughts Across Europe Affect British Trees Most

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Environmental scientists from the University of Stirling have found beech forests across western Europe are increasingly at risk from drought - with areas of southern England worst affected.

Science

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Drought, Climate Change, DOE Office of Science

How Ameriflux Helped Determine the Impact of the 2012 U.S. Drought on the Carbon Cycle

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In 2012, the United States experienced the warmest spring on record followed by the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl. A team of scientists used a network of Ameriflux sites to map the carbon flux across the United States during the drought.

Science

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unmanned aerial systems, unmanned aerial vehicle, Drone, Weather and Forecasting, Drought, weather modeling, drone technology, drone testing

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Autonomous Cloud Seeding Aircraft Successfully Tested in Nevada

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A team of Nevada scientists and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) engineers have successfully flight tested the first-ever autonomous cloud seeding aircraft platform. Cloud seeding flare tests were deployed from Drone America’s DAx8 UAS aircraft flown in Reno in late January.

Science

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Forest, Ecology, Climate Change, fire, Environment

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Drought Alters Recovery of Rocky Mountain Forests After Fire

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A changing climate is altering the ability of Rocky Mountain forests to recover from wildfire, according to a new study published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. When warm, dry conditions lead to drought in the years following fires, it impedes the growth and establishment of vulnerable new post-fire seedlings. The study also shows that forest recovery has been negatively affected by increased distances between burned areas and the sources of seeds that typically replace trees lost to fire.

Science

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Weather, extreme weather events, Crop Production, Drought, extreme heat, Agriculture, Harvests

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Droughts Hit Cereal Crops Harder Since 1980s

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Drought and extreme heat events slashed cereal harvests in recent decades by 9% to 10% on average in affected countries – and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in the developed nations of North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study.

Science

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Declining Snowpacks May Cut Many Nations' Water

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Gradual melting of winter snow helps feed water to farms, cities and ecosystems across much of the world, but this resource may soon be critically imperiled. In a new study, scientists have identified snow-dependent drainage basins across the northern hemisphere currently serving 2 billion people that run the risk of declining supplies in the coming century. The basins take in large parts of the American West, southern Europe, the Mideast and central Asia. They range from productive U.S. farm land to war-torn regions already in the grip of long-term water shortages.

Science

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Climate Science, Meteorology, El Nino, El Nino Southern Oscillation, Drought, Flood, California, Climate Model, Global Warming

California 2100: More Frequent and More Severe Droughts and Floods Likely

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A study published in Nature Communications suggests that the weather patterns known as El Nino and La Nina could lead to at least a doubling of extreme droughts and floods in California later this century.

Science

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South Dakota State University, Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, West Africa, Sahel region, Drought, regreening, grasslands vegetation, grasslands ecosystem, National Science Foundation, pastoral societies, Hydrology, Ecology

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Trees Tell Story of Regreening of West African Grasslands

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Regrowth of trees explains why grasslands in western Africa known as the Sahel have recovered after devastating droughts in the 1970s and 1980s, according to South Dakota State University professor Niall Hanan. “Studies in the past have suggested that the Sahara Desert was marching southward,” noted Niall, but the study refutes this notion. “Our results show the resilience of the Sahel, with much of the area getting greener and responding better to rainfall.”

Science

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Ault, El Nino, California, Drought, Caribbean, Weather, Climate Change

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Climate Change Plus El Niño Could Equal Destruction for California and Caribbean

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Science

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Amir AghaKouchak, Drought, Heat Wave

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UCI Study Finds Dramatic Increase in Concurrent Droughts, Heat Waves

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Droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past, according to research by climate experts at the University of California, Irvine. Their findings appear today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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