Understanding a California “Megaflood” | NASA ISS studies severity of California wildfires | Book “Origin: a genetic history of the Americas”.

Vines at Korbel Vineyards are submerged by floodwater Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, near Guerneville, Calif. The Central Valley produces $17 billion worth of crops each year.

Ben Margot/AP Photo


New research predicts that climate change is increasing the chances of a catastrophic mega-flood in California, flooding the Sacramento and Central Valleys. NASA measures that the “sweat” of plants contributes to the intensity of forest fires. Donna Apidone shares her conversation with author Jennifer Raff about her recently released book Telling Us Where We Come From.

The California mega-flood

The word megaflood has sparked many conversations and thought-provoking worst-case scenarios this week. The research that has taken off across the country has been published in the journal Science Advances. Predicting that climate change increases the risk of a California mega-flood, the intensity of which we have never seen before, with devastating effects that will affect every corner of the state. And the odds of that happening in our lifetime become more likely if the planet continues to warm. The researchers behind the study said the aim of the research was to be solution-oriented, not to be alarmist or doomsday. Because we can do a lot to prepare for extreme weather events, including megastorms, and this research is part of that preparation. To learn more about what’s planned and how the state is using this research to develop solutions, Insight invited Michael Anderson, state climatologist with the California Department of Water Resources, and research scientist Jeffrey Mount. principal at the Public Policy Institute of California. .


NASA ISS studies California

At an altitude of about 250 miles from the Earth’s surface, NASA is working to better understand the California wildfires. On board the International Space Station, NASA launched ECOSTRESS, which stands for Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station. The instrument can measure a patch of Earth smaller than the size of a football field from space. A study published this month measured plant temperatures through the footprints of six California wildfires from 2020 to better understand how plant “sweat,” the unscientific equivalent of evapotranspiration, can contribute to the severity of forest fires. Madeleine Pascolini-Campbell, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and led the study, joined Insight to talk about her research and explain that the results aren’t just that dry plants burn more than plants. hydrated, but it’s more complicated. . And understanding why can hopefully predict the likelihood of wildfire severity before they start.


“Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas”

Today on Insight we have a history lesson. This is not the story of our city, state or country, but rather the story of the human race. Anthropologist Jennifer Raff has uncovered the untold story and mystery of the first human migration to the Americas. The book is called Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas. CapRadio’s Donna Apidone spoke with Jennifer about her new book Telling Us Where We Come From.

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