Investigating the dynamics that reshape permafrost environments

When permafrost thaws, water can flow more quickly through the ground, creating a complex subsurface flow system. Researchers at the Barrow Environmental Observatory in Alaska gained insight into this process by taking daily ...

No relief as heat wave in US moves east

A heat wave that baked much of the central United States last week will start to move eastward with dangerously high temperatures, forecasters said Monday.

Study explores uncertainties in flood risk estimates

Flood frequency analysis is a technique used to estimate flood risk, providing statistics such as the "100-year flood" or "500-year flood" that are critical to infrastructure design, dam safety analysis, and flood mapping ...

Small catchments sustain silicon signatures following storms

The outer skin of our planet—the critical zone—stretches from treetops to the lower limits of groundwater. In this layer, interactions between rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms shape Earth's surface and sustain ...

Southwestern US on alert for dangerous heatwave

A large swathe of the southwestern United States was on alert Thursday for a potentially deadly heatwave that could push temperatures as high as 47 degrees celsius (117 Fahrenheit) over the coming days.

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Rain

Rain is liquid precipitation. On Earth, it is the condensation of atmospheric water vapor into drops heavy enough to fall, often making it to the surface. Rain is the primary source of fresh water for most areas of the world, providing suitable conditions for diverse ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation. However, not all rain reaches the surface; some evaporates while falling through dry air. This is called virga, a phenomenon often seen in hot, dry desert regions. The METAR code for rain is RA.

Rain is also known or suspected on other worlds. On Titan, Saturn's largest moon, infrequent methane rain is thought to carve the moon's numerous surface channels. On Venus, sulfuric acid virga evaporates 25 km from the surface. There is likely to be rain of various compositions in the upper atmospheres of the gas giants, as well as precipitation of liquid neon and helium in the deep atmospheres.

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