Current Levees News and Events

Current Levees News and Events, Levees News Articles.
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Natural disasters must be unusual or deadly to prompt local climate policy change
Natural disasters alone are not enough to motivate local communities to engage in climate change mitigation or adaptation, a new study from Oregon State University found. Rather, policy change in response to extreme weather events appears to depend on a combination of factors, including fatalities, sustained media coverage, the unusualness of the event and the political makeup of the community. (2020-08-28)

Sea-level rise could make rivers more likely to jump course
A new study shows that sea level rise will cause rivers to change course more frequently. (2020-08-12)

Southern Illinois' Len Small levee likely to fail even if repaired, study says
Alexander County sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, at the southernmost tip of Illinois. The sparsely populated jurisdiction is perhaps best known for devastating floods resulting from repeated failures of the Len Small levee in 1993, 2011, and 2016. Homes and businesses have been severely damaged, residents stranded, and rich agricultural land irreversibly degraded by sand deposition and erosion. (2020-02-04)

Study finds flooding damage to levees is cumulative -- and often invisible
Recent research finds that repeated flooding events have a cumulative effect on the structural integrity of earthen levees, suggesting that the increase in extreme weather events associated with climate change could pose significant challenges for the nation's aging levee system. (2020-01-21)

Mississippi River diversions: Driving land gain or land loss?
River diversions have not created or maintained land, but resulted in more land loss, according to a new paper in the peer-reviewed science journal Restoration Ecology. (2019-08-19)

Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger
Sea level rise puts coastal areas at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, but new research shows they face other climate-related threats as well. Scientists found that the energy of ocean waves has been growing globally, and they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy. (2019-01-14)

Catastrophic floods can trigger human resettlement away from rivers
A new study by researchers at Uppsala University, published in the journal Science Advances, uses satellite nighttime light data to reveal how flood protection shapes the average distance of settlements from rivers. (2018-08-22)

Nighttime satellite data reveals global flood response patterns
By harnessing repositories of satellite data, scientists have discovered that human settlements with low flood protection levels tend to resettle further away from rivers after catastrophic flood events compared to settlements with more protective infrastructure. The findings shed light on the various strategies that communities adapt to cope with flood risk, a key topic in an age when booming populations mean that more people live in flood-prone areas. (2018-08-22)

Environmental changes in the Mekong Delta spell trouble for farmers
The Mekong Delta is home to 15 million people, many of whom rely on the delta's rich soil and water resources for farming and fishing. But their livelihoods are being threatened by rising sea levels, droughts, dams, and other hydrological shifts. A new article from researchers at the University of Illinois and Iowa State University explains the challenges. (2018-07-23)

FSU research: New model could help rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana
A Florida State University researcher has developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in coastal Louisiana. (2018-05-07)

Nature-based solutions can prevent $50 billion in Gulf Coast flood damages
While coastal development and climate change are increasing the risk of flooding for communities along the US Gulf Coast, restoration of marshes and oyster reefs are among the most cost-effective solutions for reducing those risks, according to a new study. (2018-04-11)

Reversal of fortunes
Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast. This research was published recently in the journal Marine Geology. (2018-04-03)

Proposed border wall will harm Texas plants and animals, scientists say
In the latest peer-reviewed publication on the potential impacts of a border wall on plants and animals, conservation biologists, led by a pair of scientists from the University of Texas at Austin, say that border walls threaten to harm endangered Texas plants and animals and cause trouble for the region's growing ecotourism industry. (2018-03-30)

Micro to macro mapping -- Observing past landscapes via remote-sensing
New multi-scale relief modelling algorithm helps archaeologists rediscover topographical features of the past. (2018-02-08)

Winters on Mars are shaping the Red Planet's landscape
Winter temperatures on the Red Planet sublimate carbon dioxide from a gas to a solid. These solid carbon dioxide blocks are then thought responsible for making gullies and furrows on Mars' landscape based on innovative lab experiments. (2017-10-27)

Study: After Hurricane Katrina, personal debt fell for those worst hit -- but at a cost
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans a dozen years ago, there was a sharp and immediate drop in personal debt among residents living in city's most flooded blocks, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study. (2017-08-28)

Before the flood: What drives preparedness?
More targeted efforts are needed from both the public and private insurance sectors in order to encourage people to take action to reduce their risk of flood damage, according to a new study of three European countries. (2017-08-21)

'Big Muddy' Missouri river needs a plan
As the Missouri River flows across the Great Plains to where it meets the Mississippi River at St. Louis, it accumulates such a large sediment load that it has earned the nickname 'Big Muddy.' A recent University of Illinois study looks at the history of the river, damages and changes from the 2011 flood, and its current post-flood condition. The study concludes that the river needs a comprehensive plan with multi-state cooperation. (2017-07-11)

New flood study reveals America's most vulnerable communities
Floods are the natural disaster that kill the most people. They are also the most common natural disaster. As the threat of flooding increases worldwide, a group of scientists at LSU have gathered valuable information on flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability in counties throughout the US (2017-06-21)

Will naming the Anthropocene lead to acceptance of our planet-level impact?
Does a name in itself have sufficient symbolic power to cause a paradigm shift in how humans perceive our role in the changing geological patterns of the planet? That is among the questions with which David Casagrande, associate professor of anthropology at Lehigh University and his colleagues grapple in their latest article in Anthropology Today: 'Ecomyopia in the Anthropocene.' (2017-02-27)

Mighty river, mighty filter
Researchers are reviving one of the Mississippi River's main filters: the floodplain. The result is a unique environment that removes nitrogen, a contributor to the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone. (2017-01-18)

New study calls for old methods of coastal management
A recent collaborative research effort published in Sustainability Science seeks to highlight this enclave of stability against the stark reality of Louisiana's predominantly sediment-starved, sinking deltaic systems. (2016-07-06)

New study shows impact of man-made structures on Louisiana's coastal wetlands
As Louisiana's wetlands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, a new study has pinpointed the man-made structures that disrupt the natural water flow and threaten these important ecosystems. The findings have important implications for New Orleans and other coastal cities that rely on coastal wetlands to serve as buffer from destructive extreme weather events. (2016-06-28)

Cooler and wetter: Study links irrigation to inaccurate climate perception
Irrigation systems caused New Zealand farmers to think their local area cooler and wetter than it was -- inaccurate perceptions that may slow their efforts to address climate change. The study is the first to look at infrastructure's impact on climate perception and suggests it may be a significant overlooked factor in climate change discussions. (2016-06-01)

EARTH: Protracted drought threatens California levees
Although the El Nino-induced floods are making the most news in California right now, it's not actually the floods that are threatening some California levees the most. Instead it's the severe drought over the last four years that has taken its toll on thousands of kilometers of century-old earthen levees. (2016-03-18)

Wetland enhancement in Midwest could help reduce catastrophic floods of the future
Restoration of wetlands in the Midwest could significantly reduce peak river flows during floods -- not only now, but also in the future if heavy rains continue to increase in intensity, as climate models predict. New financial models and flood management policies may be needed to actually accomplish this. (2016-03-16)

Behind the levees
The long-term damage of levees can be far worse for those living behind them than if those levees were not there, a UC Davis case study of the Sny Island levee district found. (2016-02-09)

Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity, scientist says
Why was the New Year's flood in Missouri so bad? Most news reports blamed it on the heavy rain, but Robert Criss, Ph.D., professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis says analysis of the flood data shows much of the damage was due to recent modifications to the river. (2016-02-05)

Climate change: Ocean warming underestimated
To date, research on the effects of climate change has underestimated the contribution of seawater expansion to sea level rise due to warming of the oceans. A team of researchers at the University of Bonn has now investigated, using satellite data, that this effect was almost twice as large over the past twelve years than previously assumed. That may result in, for example, significantly increased risks of storm surges. The scientists are presenting their findings in the renowned scientific journal 'PNAS'. (2016-01-25)

Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences
1.2 million acres of farmland are protected from Ozark Plateau runoff by the Headwaters Diversion in Missouri. Climate scientists predict a continued pattern of extreme rainfall events in the upper Mississippi River region. When levees fail under pressure from heavy flooding, farmland and livelihoods are at risk. Preventative policies are needed (2016-01-06)

Embrace the chaos: Predictable ecosystems may be more fragile
A new study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says managing our environment for predictable outcomes is risky. In fact, more often than not, it backfires. 'By making things predictable in the short term, we make them unpredictable in the long term,' says Steve Carpenter, director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of the report. 'We actively make things worse.' (2015-10-06)

Predicting the shape of river deltas
Now researchers from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have devised a simple way to predict a river delta's shape, given two competing factors: its river's force in depositing sediment into the ocean, and ocean waves' strength in pushing that sediment back along the coast. Depending on the balance of the two, the coastline of a river delta may take on a smooth 'cuspate' shape, or a more pointed 'crenulated' outline, resembling a bird's foot. (2015-07-22)

Restored streams take 25 years or longer to recover
New research has found that the number of plant species growing just next to restored streams can take up to 25 years to increase above those channelized during the timber floating era. This is according to doctoral student, Eliza Maher Hasselquist, and other researchers from UmeƄ University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. (2015-06-30)

Major Midwest flood risk underestimated by as much as 5 feet, study finds
As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain. (2015-06-30)

Proposed floodplain restoration reduces flood risk and restores salmon habitat
Salmon are severely impacted by the loss of floodplain habitats. In few places is this more pronounced than in Oregon's Tillamook Bay, where nearly 90 percent of estuaries' tidal wetlands have been lost to development -- threatening the survival of federally-protected coho salmon and the safety of the local community. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Fisheries, and others have come together to reduce flood risk, increase resiliency of the ecosystem, and restore salmon habitat in Tillamook Bay. (2015-06-18)

Levee detonations reduced 2011 flood risk on Mississippi River, UCI-led study finds
A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding in a city upstream, lowering the height of the rain-swollen river just before it reached its peak, according to a newly published computer modeling analysis led by UC Irvine scientists. (2015-03-20)

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding
Researchers hope to better forecast the flood risk from a combination of heavy rains and melting snow, which are most of the worst West Coast floods. (2014-12-17)

EARTH Magazine: How much natural hazard mitigation is enough?
It's a question that arises in the wake of most natural disasters: What steps can society take to protect itself from storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions? (2014-11-17)

Humans have been changing Chinese environment for 3,000 years
A widespread pattern of human-caused environmental degradation and related flood-mitigation efforts began changing the natural flow of China's Yellow River nearly 3,000 years ago, setting the stage for massive floods that toppled the Western Han Dynasty, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis. (2014-06-19)

Traces of recent water on Mars
New research has shown that there was liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago. The results have been published in the prestigious International Journal for Solar System Studies. 'We have discovered a very young crater in the southern mid-latitudes of Mars that shows evidence of liquid water in Mars' recent past' says Andreas Johnsson at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. (2014-04-25)

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