floods


Photo credit: Rich Hayes

Floods, Droughts, and Soil: The Movie (or, Why I Destroyed a Small City for Page Views)

, Kendall Science Fellow

Our new report, Turning Soils into Sponges: How Farmers Can Fight Floods and Droughts, is a serious scientific analysis that documents how soil-covering farm practices can help farmers and communities better withstand rainfall variability. It took me the better part of two years to complete. But—lucky you!—we also made a quirky little movie about it that you can watch in less than three minutes. Read more >

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Soil scientist Natalie Lounsbury and farmer Jack Gurley inspect a tillage radish cover crop as part of a project funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program. This plant’s roots penetrate soil deeply, reducing compaction, and increasing water infiltration, making it an excellent cover crop to improve soil structure. Image: USDA-SARE/Edwin Remsberg.

How Healthier Soils Help Farms and Communities Downstream Deal with Floods and Droughts

, Kendall Science Fellow

A scan of recent news reveals the wide-ranging impacts of too much or too little rain: intensifying drought in the Great Plains; the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico ever recorded, driven in large part by a wet spring that flooded parts of the Midwestern Corn Belt; and historic summertime rain in the mid-Atlantic. Climate change promises to bring more of this rainfall variability, with devastating effects on farmers and communities. But a new report we released today contains good news: healthier soil on farms can help combat the impact of floods and droughts.

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Photo: NPS

Will the US Choose to Be on the Right Side of History and Welcome Climate Refugees?

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

How the US and the world respond to the growing global refugee crisis will be a defining moral issue for this generation. And understanding how climate change will impact the future flow of refugees and displaced persons is one of the most important challenges we face today. Read more >

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California Floods Remind Us To Make Agricultural Water Conservation a Top Priority

, Kendall Science Fellow

Yes, you’ve been reading the headlines correctly the last few weeks. There’s been so much rain in drought-stricken California that excess water has led to flooded homes, damaged roads, dangerous mudslides and tragically, several fatalities. To make matters worse, the abundant rainfall hasn’t even cured the state’s current woes. Read more >

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The Second Worst Flooding in Iowa History That You Probably Didn’t Read About

, Kendall Science Fellow

“No news is good news” was a take-home message from heavy rains that soaked Northern Iowa in late September, raising river levels to their second highest mark ever. Thanks to proactive work of emergency responders, community leaders, flood scientists and eager volunteers, there were not damages on the scale of other recent deadly floods in Louisiana and North Carolina.

However, the increasing intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall means that the damages escaped this time around should not lead to complacency. Rather, even more proactive planning will be required, particularly in agricultural areas, in order to prevent future floods from making headlines. Read more >

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