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Atmospheric Rivers of vapor streaming through the sky

Posted August. 22, 2020 07:49,   

Updated August. 22, 2020 07:49


Studies on rivers streaming over the skies are recently drawing attention in the science community. As water vapor that was evaporated from land and the ocean reassemble in the atmosphere to take the form of a long belt, it is called an “Atmospheric River.” Some of Atmospheric Rivers contain vapor more than twice the amount in the Amazon River, the longest river on the globe. While three to five of Atmospheric Rivers float over the skies, they send vapor to the Earth. More than 90 percent of vapor formed in subtropical regions move to drier and colder regions of higher latitude through Atmospheric Rivers. Sometimes, Atmospheric Rivers are a cause for torrential rain and floods. According to studies by the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences, 35 percent of summertime precipitation in southern regions of South Korea is related to Atmospheric Rivers.

In the ocean, an amount of water large enough to lower the sea level by one meter evaporates and goes up to the skies every year, and turns into the same amount of precipitation through rain or snow, before falling onto the land surface to maintain the sea level constantly and stably. When temperatures rise, the amount of vapor also increases in tandem, and thus the amount of precipitation mounts proportionately. Every time the temperature rises by one degree Celsius, the amount of vapor in the atmosphere increases by 7 percent. A warmer Earth, which gets hotter due to constantly accelerating global warming, supplies a huge volume of vapor to Atmospheric Rivers, and people live amid a constant risk of embracing the massive amount of water that could fall as torrential rain or snow anytime, completely unpredictably. The problem is that such Atmospheric Rivers can appear in the form of extreme weather such as torrential rain and flood to threaten us. If they are combined with a typhoon or monsoon, they could inflict tremendous damage.

Typhoons are created through vapor released by seawater that gets hotter during the summer, and are increasingly gaining strength due to global warming in recent years. With record-high earth temperatures since April and higher seawater temperatures in the regions hit by typhoons, the energy that has been built could gradually develop into an extraordinarily powerful typhoon.

The more moisture is formed in Atmospheric Rivers that stream through the skies, the bugger vessel is needed to contain such water on land. The government should repair those regions with rivers and streams that suffered heavy rainfall damage, which is “common sense” response.