The Stream, December 7: Severe Rainstorms In United States Will Become More Frequent, Study Finds

The Global Rundown

Rising global temperatures, driven by carbon emissions, will significantly increase the intensity and frequency of rainstorms across the United States, researchers found. Discharges of polluted wastewater threaten the water quality of Pakistan’s Manchar Lake, as well as the livelihoods of the region’s fishermen. Thousands of migrating snow geese likely died in Montana after landing on a toxic lake in an abandoned mine pit. A conservation group in Canada filed a lawsuit against the De Beers diamond company over mercury monitoring in waterways near an Ontario mine. Google announced that it will source all of its electricity from renewable energy projects next year, and may soon expand its portfolio to include hydropower.

“This lake is gifted from God. But all its beauty has been ruined.” –Mustafa Mirani, a member of the Pakistani Fishermen Forum, on the declining quality of Manchar Lake in southern Pakistan. Fishermen that have lived on barges in the lake for generations say discharges of agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastewater are killing fish and threatening their way of life. (AFP)

By The Numbers

100 percent Amount of Google’s electricity needs that will be generated from renewable energy sources next year, the company announced this week. Much of the renewable power comes from wind and solar, but representatives said Google is also looking to invest in low-impact hydropower, biomass, and even nuclear. Guardian

In context: Explore the relationship between energy and water in the United States with Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: U.S. project.

10,000 snow geese Preliminary estimate of number that landed on the contaminated waters of Berkeley Pit, an old mine and Superfund site in Montana. Officials say thousands of the migrating birds were killed, but they are still verifying the final count. Montana Standard

Science, Studies, And Reports

The frequency and intensity of rainstorms in the United States could increase 400 percent and 70 percent, respectively, by the end of the century, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers attribute the change to rising global temperatures, and expect the biggest increases in storm activity to occur along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Climate Central

In context: Read how regulators, scientists, and cities are pulling stormwater under the auspices of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

On The Radar

The Toronto-based Wildlands League filed a lawsuit against the De Beers diamond company over concerns about water pollution. The lawsuit alleges that, over a 7-year period, the company failed to disclose surface water monitoring results for mercury and methylmercury near the Victor mine in Ontario. De Beers says mercury naturally occurs in the area and that it does not use mercury in its mining processes. Reuters