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Fires in Manitoba, Canada, Continue to Blaze

57.3N 93.6W

June 30th, 2013 Category: Fires, Rivers MODISAqua

Canada – June 28th, 2013

Fires northwest of the mouth of the Nelson River, in Manitoba, Canada, near the shores of the Hudson Bay, continue to release thick plumes of smoke. Here, winds are carrying the smoke principally in a southwesterly direction.

Fires Near Mouth of Nelson River, Canada

57.7N 93.9W

June 28th, 2013 Category: Fires, Rivers MODISTerra

Canada – June 28th, 2013

Plumes of smoke from several fires near the Hudson Bay, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, waft towards the southwest, away from the bay. In the bay itself, ice can be seen melting as summer begins, while sediments from the Nelson River enter in the lower right quadrant.

Environmental Issues for Volga River, Russia – June 16th, 2013

46.0N 49.2E

June 16th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Rivers MODISAqua

Russia – June 16th, 2013

Draining most of western Russian, the Volga is the largest river in Europe. From its source in the Valdai Hills north east of Moscow the river flows east and south east to the Caspian Sea. This thumbnail images focuses on its delta at the shores of the Caspian Sea, while a larger portion of the river’s meanderings can be seen to the north upon opening the full image.

A large number of tributaries make up the Volga river system the delta where the river enters the Caspian is composed of hundreds of channels and lies 28 m below sea level. For three months of the year the river is frozen for most of its length, the presence of a large number of dams has improved navigation but has reduced the river’s flow.

Consequently the river is suffering from pollution compounded by the fact that it flows through some of the most populated area of the country and includes an important agricultural area. Half of all river freight in Russia uses the Volga, which is connected to the Black sea via the Don river and canals (click here for more information).

Sediment Loads of the Amazon River, Brazil

0.3N 49.9W

June 4th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Sediments MODISAqua

Brazil – June 4th, 2013

Sediment loads can be calculated by converting cosmogenic nuclide-derived rates using their sediment-producing areas. The fluctuations in the modern sediment loads of the Amazon River are due to the absence of long-term deposition within the basin and to the buffering capability of the large Amazon floodplain. The buffering capability dampens short-term, high-amplitude fluctuations (climatic variability in source areas and anthropogenic soil erosion) by the time the denudation rate signal of the hinterland is transmitted to the outlet of the basin (click here for more information).

Drought in the Amazon Delta Region and Effects on Global Warming – June 2nd, 2013

0.0N 51W

June 2nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Brazil – June 1st, 2013

An increased frequency of droughts in the Amazon, particularly the delta region (visible here), such as the ones that occurred in 2005 and 2010, threatens to turn the world’s largest tropical forest from a sponge that absorbs greenhouse gases into a source of them, causing accelerating global warming. This is because the trees normally absorbing carbon dioxide as they grow, helping to cool the planet, release these gases when they die and rot.

The 2010 drought caused a reduction of rainfall in an area of 3 million square kilometres of forest – far more than the 1.9 million square kilometres affected in 2005. Because of this, the Amazon forest will no longer absorb in 2010 and 2011 its usual volume of 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Moreover, the dead and dying trees will release 5 billion tons of gas over the next year, causing the cumulative impact to reach 8 billion tons.

Emissions caused by the two droughts were probably sufficient to cancel all of the carbon absorbed by the Amazon forest in the last ten years. If such events occur more frequently, the Amazon forest would reach a point where, from a valuable store of carbon reducing the speed of climate change, it would change into a large source of greenhouse gases, which could accelerate global warming (click here for more information).

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