The Stream, March 9: Rainfall Extremes Increase Globally, Study Finds

The Global Rundown

The intensity of rainfall events is increasing around the world due to climate change, according to new research. South Africa announced plans to explore for shale gas in the Karoo region within 12 months. Officials in Japan believe it will take four more years to control radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, while cooling water from a nuclear plant in Florida is leaking into Biscayne Bay. The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is calling on state and local governments to tackle drinking water problems.

“The situation has to change. We need a national conversation to make sure this never happens again.” –Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, speaking to local government officials on the need to prevent another drinking water crisis like the one in Flint, Michigan. McCarthy sent letters last week to state governors urging them to take action to protect drinking water. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

2020 Year officials estimate the radioactive water problem will be under control at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was damaged in an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Associated Press

12 months Time period in which shale gas exploration will begin in South Africa’s Karoo region, where critics fear it could contaminate scarce water supplies. Agence France-Presse

Science, Studies, And Reports

Daily rainfall extremes globally have increased 1 to 2 percent each decade since 1950, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The increases occurred in both wet and dry regions, and are expected to continue throughout the century due to climate change. Climate Home

On The Radar

Water used to cool a nuclear power plant in Florida was found to be leaking into Biscayne Bay, the site of a national park. The plant has recently struggled to maintain the proper temperature in its cooling canals, bringing in extra fresh water that may have inadvertently increased the spread of an underground saltwater plume. Miami Herald

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