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Researchers Predict More Frequent, Severe Megastorms Due to Climate Change

A study last week predicts that massive, often-devastating “hundred-year storms” may occur three times as often and be 20% more severe in the U.S. due to climate change. The researchers, in a paper published in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future, found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at a rapid rate, the continental U.S. would likely see such mega-storms every 33 years.

The occurrence of historic rainfall events, like the ones that caused Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and California’s Great Flood of 1862, are likely to increase faster than lower-magnitude events, which already happen about every decade, according to UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.

Yes, There’s Microplastic in the Snow

This is the year we found microplastic in the snow.

Although microplastics have been popping up everywhere from the waters of Antarctica to our table salt, the idea that it could blow in the wind or fall as precipitation back down to Earth is extremely new. The main mode of microplastic transport, as far as we knew as recently as last year, was water. It had already shown up in drinking water a few years prior. But microplastic in snow suggests something different: Microplastics carried by wind, and settling out of the air along with the frosty flakes.