The Stream, September 2: El Nino Could Be Strongest on Record But Arctic Warming Complicates Forecasts

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The eastern Pacific Ocean continues to warm, but predicting rainfall is an uncertain business. India’s subpar monsoon leads to water cuts in the country’s largest city, and drought in Zambia prompts power cuts to save water. Meanwhile, water managers in Australia reckon that an idled desalination plant might be back in service by 2020. Researchers in the United States find a correlation between carbon and water in soils.

“The truth is we don’t know what will happen. Will the two patterns reinforce each other? Will they cancel each other? Are they going to act in sequence? Are they going to be regional? We really don’t know.” — David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Program, talking about El Nino forecasts being complicated by the effects of Arctic warming. Reuters

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

50 percent: Cut in water delivered to commercial users in Mumbai because poor monsoon rains have left the city’s reservoirs with insufficient supplies. Hindustan Times

2020: Year when the desalination plant in Tugun, Australia could be operated to meet peak summer demand, according to estimates of population growth and water demand. The $AU 1.2 billion facility began operating in 2009, during a historic drought, but was shut down 18 months later because of high operating costs. Brisbane Times

$US 275 million: Cost of wastewater facility in West Virginia that will treat fracking waste for reuse in oil and gas operations. The plant will begin operating in three years. West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Science, Studies, And Reports

University of Minnesota researchers find a strong correlation between the depth of the water table and the loss of soil carbon in the peatlands of Southeast Asia. The correlation allows for a simpler method of calculating greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental Research Web

On the Radar

On The Radar

To conserve water until the rainy season begins in November, Zambia cut power generation at its largest dam, where water levels have plunged. The North Bank power station at Kariba Dam is operating at roughly 30 percent of capacity. Reuters

Olympic officials in Rio de Janeiro will test for viruses in the polluted bays that will be used as competition sites in 2016. Officials had previously stated that only bacterial tests would be carried out. Associated Press

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