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Water in the West: before and after satellite imagery shows snow boom per year, but…



As shown in the animation below, this was indeed a snow boom year in the western United States. This is especially true in water-stressed California and the mega-drought-hit Colorado River Basin, whose dwindling water is supporting a $1.4 trillion economy.

Before and after satellite images, one taken on April 8, 2022 by the NOAA-20 satellite and another taken on April 10, 2023 by the Suomi-NPP spacecraft, show a striking difference in snow cover in the mountains of the American West. . Snow cover is now much higher than average almost everywhere. (Source: images from NASA Worldview, animation by Tom Yulsman)

Incredible snow cover in California’s Sierra Nevada continues to make headlines, especially as heat builds up. threatens to meltraising the already high risk of flooding. As of April 26, snowpack levels across the Sierra Nevada were over 200 percent of the average for that date. In the southern part of the Sierra, this figure exceeded 300 percent of the average.

These numbers are not uncommon. right now in the western US, as shown on this map:

Credit: USDA/NRCS National Water and Climate Center.

All these blues and greens show where the snow cover is above average.

The abundance of snow in the mountains of the Colorado River Basin is a relief to the 40 million people in the seven states, Mexico and the numerous Indian tribes that depend on its waters. Two large reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which were needed to meet their water needs, have dropped to record lows. The water level in other reservoirs of the basin dropped sharply.


But now the snow cover gives hope that a further decline can be avoided – at least in the upcoming warm season. Based current forecaststhe reservoir for the basin as a whole will be filled to approximately 44 percent capacity on 30 September, at the end water year 2023. This is more than 33 percent at the beginning of the water year in October. January 1, 2022. Some good news for a change, but almost certainly not in the long run.

Satellite images of the Colorado Rockies before and after, the first image was taken on April 4, 2022, and the second on April 16 this year. (Source: images from NASA Worldview, animation by Tom Yulsman)

“This winter’s snow cover is promising and gives us an opportunity to help replenish Lakes Mead and Powell in the near term, but the reality is that drought conditions in the Colorado River Basin have been in place for more than two decades,” the US Bureau said. Land Reclamation Commissioner Camilla Kalimlim Tuton, in statements.

Recent Research shows that the region has suffered from the worst drought in the region for at least 1200 years. In the study, just over 40 percent of its severity was attributed to human-caused climate change, mostly due to rising temperatures that caused increased aridity.

As Touton points out, “despite welcome snow this year, the Colorado River system remains under threat from the ongoing effects of the climate crisis.”

Landsat-8 images of the upper Colorado River show a dramatic difference in snow cover between April 2022 and 2023. In both images, bodies of water are artificially tinted blue to make them stand out. (Source: Images via Sentinel Hub, animation by Tom Yulsman)

Assuming that this year’s abundance of snow results in expected runoff into streams and rivers – which isn’t really a given – it would give politicians a little more time to make some very difficult decisions about how to deal with the inevitable fact that much more water is being used. for agriculture, industry and municipal needs than flows in the Colorado River. That is why Lake Mead and Powell have shrunk to record lows. And thanks to the climate crisis, the flow deficit is unlikely to be eliminated in the long term.

This long-term perspective is associated with rising temperatures due to the rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which continue to their historically high growth rates in 2022, according to NOAA scientists.

“The bottom line is that to see any reduction in CO2 growth rates, emissions reductions need to be sustained and significant,” says Arlene Andrews, head of NOAA’s greenhouse gas emissions team.

Right now, we’re nowhere near seeing a reduction in emissions. Vice versa. In 2022, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 0.9 percent, according to the International Energy Agencyreaching a record level of almost 37 billion tons.


Japanese company says spacecraft likely crashed on moon



The Japanese company’s spacecraft apparently crashed while trying to land on the Moon on Wednesday, losing contact minutes before landing, and flight controllers had a hard time figuring out what happened.

More than six hours after the communications blackout, Tokyo-based ispace finally confirmed what everyone suspected, saying there was a “high possibility” that the lander had crashed into the moon.

It was a disappointing setback for ispace, which, after a 4.5-month mission, was on the verge of what only three countries had managed to do: successfully land a spacecraft on the moon.

Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace, remained hopeful even after contact was lost as the lander descended the final 33 feet (10 meters). Air traffic controllers stared at their screens in Tokyo as the minutes ticked by and the moon was silent.

The grim-faced crew surrounded Khakamada as he announced that the landing had probably failed.

The official word finally came in a statement: “It has been determined that there is a high probability that the lander eventually made a hard landing on the lunar surface.”

Had all gone well, ispace would have been the first private business to land on the moon. Khakamada promised to try again, saying that a second moon shot was already in preparation for next year.

Only three governments have successfully landed on the Moon: Russia, the US and China. An Israeli non-profit organization attempted to land on the moon in 2019. but his spaceship was destroyed on impact.

“If space is hard, landing is harder,” Lori Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tweeted. “I know from personal experience how terrible it is.”

The 7-foot (2.3-meter) Japanese lander carried a mini-lunar rover for the United Arab Emirates and a toy robot from Japan, designed to ride in the moon dust for about 10 days.

Leshin worked on NASA’s Mars Polar lander, which crashed on the red planet in 1999.

The 7-foot (2.3-meter) Japanese lander carried a mini-lunar rover for the United Arab Emirates and a toy robot from Japan, designed to ride in the moon dust for about 10 days. This was how everything else in the mission should have continued.

The spacecraft, named “white rabbit” in Japanese, has targeted the Atlas crater in the northeastern part of the Moon’s near side, more than 50 miles (87 kilometers) in diameter and just over 1 mile (2 kilometers) deep.

He made a long detour to the moon, following December start, shining with photographs of the Earth along the way. The lander entered lunar orbit on March 21.

Flight controllers were able to determine that the lander was upright as it used its engines to decelerate during its last approach on Wednesday. According to ispace, engineers monitoring the fuel gauge noticed that as the tank approached empty, the lander picked up speed as it descended, after which communication was lost. That’s what makes them think the lander crashed.

ispace, founded in 2010, hopes to start turning a profit as a one-way taxi service to the moon for other businesses and organizations. The company has already raised $300 million to cover the first three missions, Khakamada said.

“We will continue, never stop the lunar search,” he said.

For this test flight, the government sponsored two major experiments: the UAE’s 22-pound (10-kilogram) Rashid rover, named after Dubai’s royal family, and the Japan Space Agency’s orange-sized sphere designed to transform into a wheeled robot on the Moon The UAE sought to spread its presence on the Moon, already in orbit around the Earth from astronaut aboard the International Space Stationand in orbit around Mars.

The moon suddenly becomes hot again, and many countries and private companies are demanding to join the lunar bandwagon. China successfully landed three spacecraft on the Moon since 2013, and the satellites of the United States, China, India and South Korea are currently orbiting the Moon.

NASA’s first test flight as part of its new Artemis lunar mission program has ended. moon and back at the end of last year, paving the way for four astronauts to follow by the end of next year, and two others who will actually land on the Moon a year after that. Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology and Houston-based Intuitive Machines are gearing up to launch lunar landers later this year at NASA’s direction.

Hakuto and the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet have been shortlisted for the Google Lunar X Prize, which requires a successful moon landing by 2018. The top prize of $20 million remained unclaimed.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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COVID found in California mule deer, first wild case here



California wildlife officials have confirmed the state’s first case of COVID-19 in a wild animal, found in a mule deer killed in 2021 in Eldorado County.

Coronavirus has been confirmed in pets and animals in zoos, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said this is the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in “California wildlife.” agency press release.

An infected deer was killed by a hunter in 2021 and was sampled at that time for chronic wasting disease, a type of neurodegenerative disorder affecting deer, elk, and moose. The agency said the disease has never been found in deer or elk populations in the state, but the Department of Fish and Wildlife monitors it regularly.

Following recent media reports on COVID-19 in free range deer in Canada and other states, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife decided to test archival deer samples for coronavirus, finding a positive case in deer from Eldorado County.

“We do not view SARS-CoV-2 as a threat to our deer populations, but we continue to work with partners to better understand what severe SARS-CoV-2 infections in the wild could pose to wildlife and humans, if any.” , said the doctor. . Brandon Munk, senior wildlife veterinarian for the state agency, said in a statement. He said other researchers have found that while deer can become infected and transmit COVID-19 to other deer, they don’t appear to get sick with the virus.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service continuing to follow cases of COVID in animals, including deer. The agency said the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with federal officials to sample and test more California deer for COVID-19.

According to USA Centers for Disease Control and Preventionhumans can transmit COVID-19 to animals, but the risk of animals transmitting the virus to humans is considered low.

“This is definitely another reminder not to intentionally feed deer,” Munch said. “Artificial aggregation of deer increases the likelihood of spreading the disease and may be a source of infection for deer with SARS-CoV-2.”

There is no evidence that people can become infected with COVID-19 by eating the meat of an infected animal, but the Department of Fish and Wildlife urged hunters to “take appropriate precautions when handling and butchering game, and to practice good food hygiene when handling their animals.”

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New Razer Headset with High Quality Microphone and USB-C




Razer sells a lot of gaming headsets, and at least some of them are excellent. Now there is another option aimed at improving the quality of the microphone: BlackShark V2 Pro.

Razer has announced the BlackShark V2 Pro, its latest gaming headset. Like other Razer products, it’s marketed as “built by gamers for gamers” and has some really compelling specs. First, it has a “Hyperclear” ultra-wide-band microphone for amazing sound quality, as well as 50mm titanium drivers and noise-isolating ear cups to ensure that what you hear doesn’t leak out. As for battery life, it doesn’t disappoint either, with 70 hours of battery life on a single charge with support for Type-C charging.

These are Razer’s most premium headphones to date, and the feature set certainly shows it well. The only bad thing about them is the price. They cost $199.99, which means they are also one of the most expensive gaming headphones that money can buy. Again, looking at the specs, they’re probably worth it if you’re looking for headphones that are perfect for those hard-hitting gaming sessions.

You can check them out at Razer Online Storeand soon they should appear in other stores.

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