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New Large-Scale Modeling Gives Worsening Picture of the Nation's Flood Risk

#artificialintelligence

It's well known that the current FEMA flood maps need updating, but some new information in a study done by researchers in the U.S. and England paints an even more ominous picture of the risk Americans face from flooding. The study estimated that slightly more than 40 million people in the continental U.S. are at risk for a 100-year flood event and that just 40 percent of the country is mapped. That 40 million is three times more than currently estimated and the amount of property in harm's way is twice what the current risk is estimated to be. The study has been in the works for more than a year and involves using faster computers and new data from the EPA. The model looks at risk today and projects future risks based on where people will be moving and developing in the future.


Sinking land and rising seas: the dual crises facing coastal communities

National Geographic

The world's coastal residents are experiencing more extreme sea level rise than is widely appreciated because they are concentrated in places where the land is sinking rapidly, a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change has found. Sea levels are rising globally as Earth's ice sheets melt and as warming sea water expands. But on a local scale, subsidence, or sinking land, can dramatically aggravate the problem. Cities like New Orleans and Jakarta are experiencing very rapid sea level rise relative to their coastlines--the land itself is sinking as the water is rising. Now, an international team of researchers has demonstrated that this one-two punch is more than a local problem.


Imgur user shows map of every river basin in the US

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A stunning new map shows the complex network of rivers and streams in the contiguous United States. Created by Imgur user Fejetlenfej, a geographer and GIS analyst with a'lifelong passion for beautiful maps,' it highlights the massive expanse of river basins across the country – in particular, those which feed the Mississippi River. The map visualizes Strahler Stream Order Classification, the creator explains, with higher stream orders indicated as thicker lines. Created by Imgur user Fejetlenfej, a geographer and GIS analyst with a'lifelong passion for beautiful maps,' it highlights the massive expanse of river basins across the country – in particular, those which feed the Mississippi River, in pink It was created using the open-source QGIS software, and the high resolution prints are available on Etsy. There are 18 major river basins in the 48 states of the contiguous US, but much of the map is dominated by the massive catchment area for the Mississippi River, including the Upper and Lower Mississippi River Basins, along with Missouri River Basin and the Arkansas-White-Red Basin, as seen in pink.


Flood raises fears of pollution at Michigan toxic waste site

Associated Press

It took seven years to settle on a plan for cleansing two rivers and floodplains polluted with dioxins from a Dow Chemical Co. The work itself has lasted nearly twice as long, with plenty still to do. Now, scientists and activists fear some of the progress may have washed away with floodwaters that overwhelmed two dams this week, chasing 11,000 people from homes in and near Midland, the company's headquarters city. The Tittabawassee River flows past the Dow plant and eventually meets the Saginaw River, which continues into Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. That 50-mile stretch is tainted with dioxins -- highly toxic compounds that researchers say can damage reproductive and immune systems and cause cancer.


Michigan Officials Add Insect, Plant to Invasives Watch List

U.S. News

The Japanese chaff flower has turned up in nine states along the Ohio River and a tributary, the Big Sandy River. It grows up to 6 feet high and displaces native plants by forming large, dense stands in floodplains, forested wetlands and disturbed habitats.