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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 - Improving Access.pdf

24 Pages

Earth Sciences
Course Code
Luc Bernier

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Improving Access Part 1 Improving Monitoring Improving Monitoring Monitoring lies at the heart of water management It helps in predicting waterrelated disasters such as floods It helps assessing the available water Historically monitoring has relied on a network of stations worldwide for instance stations measuring water discharge can be used to predict floods The numbers of these stations have been decreasing over the last 40 years The same has happened with station measuring evaporative losses There are many reasons for this decline for instance budget cuts also the privatization of water services in some countries in some countries has led to layoffs Automated Monitoring Will play an increasingly important role Partly due to the lack of man power the use of more advanced techniques such as automated monitoring is called to play an increasingly important role in water management Automated stations allow 24 hour monitoring and can operate for weeks or even months without human assistance The data can either be recorded or transmitted via radio signals Weather Radars Over the past 50 years: have become a vital tool in storm monitoring There are now extensive radar networks in Europe and North America These radars can track the speed at which storms are moving, they can immediately track changes in rainfall intensity even better than weather stations Information collected can be linked to forecasting of river flow and help predict the likelihood of a flood as well as help make decisions in terms of public safety For instance this approach was taken in the US after the 1993 Mississippi flood Water and Satellites Can generate profiles, images and: help delineate cloud cover and state of the clouds The use of satellites has revolutionized observations of weather systems and patterns and communications They can be connected to ground radars for instance They can also collect data from ground sensors and they themselves can incorporate a number of sensors that for instance can measure the vertical profiles in air temperature or humidity NASAs Landsat program NASAs Landsat program is an example of the impact of observations made by satellites Improving Access Landsat provides the longest coverage of earths conditions at its surface Landsat has been observing the earth since 1972 and has measured changes in land cover and vegetation For example, the growth of Shangai in China over a 20 year interval and the accompanying changes to the landscape The key feature of the program is that the data collected is available for download for free Part 2 Tracking Climate A New Map of Earths Climates Climate classification is improved by: adding river discharge monitored by satellites to help define distinctions between different climate zones and types at the earths surface This system is based on the well known Koppen Classification and has led to a redefinition to the original climate types which are essentially based on differences in vegetation between tropical, arid, temperate, cold, and polar climates Large difference between climate types can be observed in terms of river discharge For instance low flows persists in dry climates such as deserts with little precipitation Higher flows are observed in tropical rainforests which have year round precipitation The temperate polar climate reveals important pulses of melt water in the spring This new system incorporates now and temperature as well as river discharge in the redefinition of old climate types Snow Cover in the Northern Hemisphere Mean number of days per year with snow on the ground: 19721988
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