The Stream, May 15: Record Rainfall and Floods Inundate Bosnia and Serbia

Extreme Weather
Regions of Bosnia and Serbia experienced the heaviest rainfall event in 120 years of records this week, with more rain falling in one day than in several months, Reuters reported. The rain led to widespread flooding that has killed three people and cut electricity to at least 100,000 households.

Tropical cyclones are moving away from the Equator and toward the poles, meaning some Pacific islands will be less affected by the storms but could also lose out on the rain that sustains their freshwater supplies, according to a new study published in the journal Nature, Reuters reported. The shift also means that places like Japan and South Korea could be hit harder by cyclones in the future.

North America

Groundwater pumping for agriculture in California’s Central Valley may be leading to an increased risk of earthquakes, according to a new study published in the journal Nature, the Guardian reported. The loss of water is putting extra pressure on the San Andreas fault, the study says.

Canada is attempting to allay public concerns about oil pipelines, such as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to ports in British Columbia, by increasing pipeline operator liability and giving more enforcement power to safety regulators, Bloomberg News reported. The Northern Gateway pipeline has faced opposition from groups concerned about oil spills that could contaminate water and land resources.

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