Science and Nature

Our (slightly doomed) flight to an atmospheric river

Only a few weeks wait on, I discovered myself on a puny and loud C130 cargo airplane, flying headlong out to the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. The airplane and crew have been part of the Air Energy’s fabled “Hurricane Hunters” — they hover into hurricanes to achieve a really needed information on the storms.

On this mission, they have been after a apparent phenomenon: an atmospheric river. They’re gigantic, a puny mysterious climate strategies that supply California with up to half of its annual rainfall. Understanding and predicting them is a really important to a train that’s continually ping-ponging between drought and flood conditions.

Scientists discovering out atmospheric rivers bask in partnered with the Air Energy for information sequence missions, as they dwell with extra stormy and violent hurricanes. We acquired to affix a race for the day, alongside dilapidated Verge Science reporter Rachel Becker. She’s now a reporter at CalMatters, a nonprofit publication specializing in California politics and coverage.

Check out the video above to glimpse how the flight went (spoiler: by no ability the way it become as quickly as supposed to whisk). Then, for a well-known deeper watch into atmospheric rivers, test out Rachel’s glorious epic over at CalMatters.

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