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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Floods & Flood Safety

Originally posted on CBS Denver:

DENVER (CBS4) – Severe weather season can bring many hazards to Colorado including floods and flash floods.

A flood is a rise in water along a river, creek or stream caused by either runoff from melting snow or several days of heavy rain.

Floods can often be predicted in advance and while they do present a danger, people living in or near a flood zone typically have time to protect their property and evacuate.

Boulder Creek swells in size after three days of heavy rainfall in September 2013. Flash flood sirens warned people to stay away from Boulder Creek and seek higher ground.  (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images) Boulder Creek swells in size after three days of heavy rainfall in September 2013. Flash flood sirens warned people to stay away from Boulder Creek and seek higher ground. (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

A flash flood, however, is much different because they happen very fast and catch people off guard.

Flash floods are most often associated with slow moving strong to severe thunderstorms, but can also be caused by a dam break or a clog…

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Water supplier OKs 15% cuts to cities, including San Diego

Jay Z Blog:

LOS ANGELES – The agency that typically provides Southern California with about half its water supply tightened the spigot Tuesday when its board voted to cut regional deliveries by 15%.Water Nozzle

The move by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California increases pressure on Southland residents to further curb water use in the fourth year of one of the worst droughts on record. It follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented order directing Californians to slash urban water use by 25% compared with 2013 levels.

San Diego County Water Authority, the county’s wholesale supplier, gets about half its water from Metropolitan.
Intended to reduce Metropolitan’s overall deliveries by 15%, the cuts will take the form of allocations to the 26 cities and water districts that MWD supplies with water from Northern California and the Colorado River. Agencies that exceed their allocations will have to pay punitive surcharges on the extra water, a cost they will try to avoid by strengthening local conservation measures.

The delivery cut, which will take effect July 1, marks only the fourth time Metropolitan has trimmed wholesale supplies for its member agencies, which in turn sell water to the hundreds of local water districts that supply residential and commercial customers throughout the urban Southland.

A 15% drop in deliveries would conserve about 300,000 acre-feet of water, slowing the drawdown of Metropolitan’s dwindling reserves. One acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, or enough to supply two households for one year.

MWD began the drought in 2012 with record amounts of water stored in groundwater banks and regional reservoirs. But to meet demand as the drought forced the state to slash Northern California water shipments, Metropolitan has steadily drawn on its savings account. This summer, staff projects reserves will have fallen from 2.7 million acre-feet to slightly more than 1 million acre-feet.

The staff recommended a 15% reduction, which a board committee approved Monday despite arguments by some members that a 20% cut was necessary to avoid depleting reserves to dangerous levels.

Metropolitan has trimmed deliveries several times in previous droughts — 10% in 1977, 17% in 1991 and 10% in 2009-10. In each instance, MWD’s member agencies have reined in use enough to avoid financial penalties.

But officials predict it will be tougher this time to attain the necessary water savings to avoid surcharges, given that many Southland cities have significantly reduced their use in recent years.

Read the full story at Los Angeles Times.

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Originally posted on FOX5 San Diego – San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB:

LOS ANGELES – The agency that typically provides Southern California with about half its water supply tightened the spigot Tuesday when its board voted to cut regional deliveries by 15%.

The move by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California increases pressure on Southland residents to further curb water use in the fourth year of one of the worst droughts on record. It follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented order directing Californians to slash urban water use by 25% compared with 2013 levels.

San Diego County Water Authority, the county’s wholesale supplier, gets about half its water from Metropolitan.

Intended to reduce Metropolitan’s overall deliveries by 15%, the cuts will take the form of allocations to the 26 cities and water districts that MWD supplies with water from Northern California…

View original 289 more words

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Giant magnet built in Poway to be used in fusion energy project

Jay Z Blog:

POSTED 8:40 AM, APRIL 10, 2015, BY , UPDATED AT 08:49AM, APRIL 10, 2015ITER Tokamak vaccum vessel via: Fox 5, San diego.

POWAY, Calif. — General Atomics is scheduled Friday to unveil a 1,000-ton superconducting electromagnet to be used in a 35-nation fusion energy study.

According to General Atomics, the Poway-built device that’s powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier out of the water will be showcased at a news conference in Poway.

The 48 elements of the ITER magnet system will generate a magnetic field some 200,000 times higher than that of our Earth. Courtesy: ITER.ORG

The electromagnet will be used in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor experiments in France, in which scientists will try to create a burning plasma that demonstrates the feasibility of fusion energy.

Clean fusion energy has been a holy grail for researchers looking for alternatives to standard nuclear energy and carbon-based fuels. Scientists say fusion energy does not create long-term waste products or meltdown risks.

On its website, the ITER project is described as a “large-scale scientific experiment intended to prove the viability of fusion as an energy source, and to collect the data necessary for the design and subsequent operation of the first electricity-producing fusion power plant.”

The United States, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and nations in the European Union are involved in the ITER project. Preparation on a site in southern France began seven years ago, and operations are scheduled to begin in 2019, according to an ITER timeline.The unveiling by General Atomics will come on the heels of news last month that scientists at the San Diego-based company and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory discovered how magnets can control damaging heat bursts in a fusion reactor.

The research built on prior studies showing that tiny magnetic fields can suppress the heat bursts — and now energy experts know how the process works.

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Originally posted on FOX5 San Diego – San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB:

POWAY, Calif. — General Atomics is scheduled Friday to unveil a 1,000-ton superconducting electromagnet to be used in a 35-nation fusion energy study.

According to General Atomics, the Poway-built device that’s powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier out of the water will be showcased at a news conference in Poway.

The 48 elements of the ITER magnet system will generate a magnetic field some 200,000 times higher than that of our Earth. Courtesy: ITER.ORG The 48 elements of the ITER magnet system will generate a magnetic field some 200,000 times higher than that of our Earth. Courtesy: ITER.ORG

The electromagnet will be used in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor experiments in France, in which scientists will try to create a burning plasma that demonstrates the feasibility of fusion energy.

Clean fusion energy has been a holy grail for researchers looking for alternatives to standard nuclear energy and carbon-based fuels. Scientists say fusion energy does not create long-term waste products or meltdown risks.

On its website, the ITER project is described as a “large-scale…

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Scientists descend on New Mexico to solve methane plume mystery

Originally posted on KRQE News 13:

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a scientific mystery: Why is there a giant plume of methane hovering over the Four Corners region?

Scientists from NASA and other top research agencies are spending the month here in New Mexico to try to figure it out.

Images picked up by a European satellite, published last year, show the nation’s largest plume of methane is hanging over the San Juan Basin. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

“You infer there’s likely some local sources that contribute to the levels that were identified by the satellite, but it doesn’t tell you which sources are contributing and by how much,” said Gabrielle Patron, one of the investigators for the project and a scientist with Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).

NASA says the likely sources for the methane are probably venting from oil and gas activities, active coal…

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5,200-Mile Canoe Journey To Arctic Reaches Twin Cities

Originally posted on CBS Minnesota:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Four young men from St. Cloud — along with two of their friends — are taking a spring break trip that’s hard to fathom. Theirs is a nine-month journey that will wind through 10 states and five Canadian provinces.

The canoe trip started January 2 in New Orleans. The six paddlers plan to finish at Bathurst Inlet in the Arctic Ocean by early September.

Three months after they put their canoes to water, the “Rediscovering North America” team notched a huge milestone. After dodging ice cakes the size of pool tables near St. Louis and strong currents the entire trip, the expedition paddled into St. Paul.

Expedition member Winchell Delano said, “We’re right around the date when we thought we would be in St. Paul. Ice was slowing us down in St. Louis and we’ve made up all the time we’ve needed to make up.”

Their goal of…

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Former city attorney slams SoCal Edison plan for San Onofre waste

Originally posted on FOX5 San Diego – San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB:

[ooyala code=”80bDdjdDo7UrH3fJ5PhB2q_SJm9HssHc” player_id=”7f13b2020e924f7bb1bc00c770ee5d24″]SAN DIEGO — Three years after the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant, the battle of what to do with the leftover waste continues.

Counter to Southern California Edison, former city attorney Mike Aguirre is proposing to come up with a new solution that moves the fuel elsewhere.

He said he wants the public utilities commission to set up a high-level group of experts to reexamine a better idea instead of settling for what Edison plans to do.

“The greatest nuclear threat that southern Californians is not from Iran but from Southern California Edison,” said Aguirre. “Edison wants to find the cheapest way to do it and run off with the rest of the money.”

Last year, Edison was allocated nearly $5 billion of taxpayer money to shut down the plant and deal with the leftover waste.

By 2019, the utility company hopes to transfer the fuel…

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Astronauts Describe Aroma of The Moon

Originally posted on Ethics Asylum:

The moon has a distinctive smell. Ask any Apollo moonwalker about the odiferous nature of the lunar dirt and you’ll get the same answer.

With NASA’s six Apollo lunar landing missions between 1969 and the end of 1972, a total of 12 astronauts kicked up the powdery dirt of the moon, becoming an elite group later to be tagged as the “dusty dozen.”

From the modest 2.5 hour “moonwalk” of Apollo 11 to the forays totaling just over 22 hours outside a spacecraft on Apollo 17, NASA’s Apollo landing crews could not escape tracking lunar material inside their moon lander homes.

Decades later, moonwalkers and lunar scientists are still trying to appreciate exactly what the moon’s aroma brings to the astronaut’s nose.

That fresh lunar regolith smell

“All I can say is that everyone’s instant impression of the smell was that of spent gunpowder, not that it was ‘metallic’ or…

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