Invisible Rivers In The Sky Are Changing Our Planet

What do catastrophic floods, extratropical
cyclones, debilitating drought, and a massive oyster die-off have in common? Rivers in the sky. No, really. Rivers in the sky. Hey waterbabies, it’s Natalia for DNews! California is currently in the middle of a
relentless drought, but it might be alleviated with a super interesting weather phenomena
called atmospheric rivers — those rivers in the sky I was telling you about. Atmospheric rivers, or ARs, deliver the bulk
of the precipitation to the state — on average, each one delivers at least one Mississippi
river’s worth of rain — and they actually occur around the the world. ARs form in the tropics when winds from a
cyclone draw moisture into long, narrow bands that move ahead of a cold front. In their wake, they often bring winds that
can rival hurricane speeds. ARs usually arrive in 4-5 separate plumes
of moisture that are, on average, 2000 kilometers in length and up to 1000 kilometers in width. Because they can bring such monumental amounts
of precipitation, they can cause devastating floods, landslides, and even snowstorms when
they reach the mountains. In California, this rain and snowfall is actually
vital to the state. A whopping 30-50% of California’s annual
precipitation is made up of just a few of these atmospheric rivers. And all 7 floods in the state’s Russian
River from 1997 to 2006 were caused by atmospheric rivers. They are truly a blessing and a curse! In fact, California has suffered through many
AR floods. In 1861, a flood hit the state that killed
thousands of people and drowned 800,000 cattle. In 2005 the small coastal town of La Conchita
was in the path of an AR that caused a massive landslide that killed 10 people. And these events and floods are not new developments. Research of geologic cores show that the region
has been hit by megastorms causing catastrophic floods every 200 years. But it wasn’t until the 1990s, with the
advent of new satellite technology, that scientists could truly understand and track these ‘sky
rivers’. Sidebar — ARs are also called “the Pineapple
Express,” a term that was coined by newscasters in the 1960s after they noticed these recurring,
excessively wet weather events coming from Hawaii. Just so you know. New research shows that climate change could
make these ARs even more dangerous, as there will be increased evaporation of water due
to higher temperatures, leading to larger ARs. Some scientists say they may even cause cataclysmic,
extinction level floods. But ARs are not exclusive to California. There are 7 to 12 ARs present around the world
at any given time! There are instances of ARs in the middle of
the United States, North Africa, and Western Europe. In fact, in 2015, a monster AR spanning over
8,000 kilometers accompanied Storm Desmond that caused flooding in the United Kingdom,
Ireland, and Norway. And according to scientists, they have been
increasing in frequency in Western Europe in recent years. Aside from crazy weather, ARs can also have
secondary consequences, like killing off oysters. In 2011, there was a massive wild Olympia
oyster die-off in Northern California. Scientists found that these oysters were sensitive
to low salinity levels caused by excess freshwater from the 20 ARs that passed through the region
between October 2010 and September 2011. Although our research couldn’t find any
immediate implications for other sea life, it will be interesting to see what other marine
animals may be affected by an increased frequency of ARs. If you like life or death situations, you
might get hooked watching Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel! Now you can watch that and all your favorite
Discovery Channel Shows on the Discovery Go app! Download for free at your app store or look
at the link below to learn more! So, California is still in a drought — and
that drought is affecting the rest of the world. Find out how, here. And what do you think? Have you been affected by AR events? Tell us in the comments below. And thanks for watching DNews! Subscribe and come back every day for new

100 thoughts on “Invisible Rivers In The Sky Are Changing Our Planet

  1. You are not discovering anything watching the deadliest catch. Are they still catching crabs in storms? Is there drama and tension? Wow that is sooo fascinating. I learnt so much when I watched the first episode. Come on discovery channel. You were once educational and interesting.

  2. Ecosystem…. look for the documentary "how wolves change rivers"for a perfect example of the huge difference one change could lead to….

  3. AR's are so misunderstood. The media is making it seem like they are terrifying, as they can kill hundreds at a time and their cattle, but really they need more of them in places like California and Australia

  4. California's drought ended. It rained so hard the creek that runs through my school turned into a river and its banks got taken out. Yea no more drought! However, Jerry Brown will say if you look at the stats we had less rainfall over the last ten years than normal so that rain does not make up for it. However his stats will only cover 100 something years of California's existence. He will then procede to blame climate change and push for a carbon dioxide tax to further micromanage "citizens" of the U.S. That is why I don't trust DNews. They are so liberal and will spin things there way. #NoDrought

  5. I peeled and ate an orange while watching this, it took me 2:55

    I had the entire orange in my mouth too, it wasn't easy to chew and swallow it

  6. Dominican Republic was hit by this phenomena not long ago. it rained here for two months straight every day. a lot of people lost their homes, 20+ year bridges colapsed, and we're facing famine due to thousand of hectares worth of lost crops.

  7. She's so hot, I could only pay attention to the information the second time I played he video.

  8. if you know they are coming and roughly know where they hit, why don't California dig Deep Caverns as reservoirs.
    Tunnel boring machines can dig 100 feet a day. In no time you can dig huge long caverns. it cost quite a bit, but in the long term, it will solve a lot of water issues.

  9. Great, another natural disaster that can be amplified by climate change. What's next? Metallic rain?

  10. It is raining in Ibiza ( Spain) since middle September, that is abnormal for sure. I have never seen such long period of rain here and we still have all the winter to go. The island is very green, that's good, less risks of fire for the next summer!! If keeps going this way, Ibiza will become a rain forest in 10 years or so.

  11. Intresting video, thanks again guys! The presenter kinda look like Gilians hotter, more succesful sister. Gillian.. from Workaholics..

  12. Of course this is not a new phenomenon…"waters above the firmament" (Genesis 1)


  14. If you hear "Pineapple Express" and you think atmospheric phenomenon then you need to get out more.



  17. Sadly, DNews is still pushing the fake news of climate change, or is it global warming this week?

  18. actual the misting( not rain) will notGiant 'rivers in the sky' could cause vast, extinction-level floods

  19. this channel is the only thing Discovery does right, so please keep the Television ads away.

  20. And now we have another 5,000 mile atmospheric river spanning from China/Japan to Washington state. They’re only going to get larger & more dangerous just like the hurricanes this year. Help us all!!

  21. I read from somewhere that these current weather conditions are from a tropical storm.

  22. Sing my song
    Its getting hot the sun is fire like today again and Sunscreen don't seem to do a thing;

    Cause yesterday the doctor told me the cancer is back again;
    But my politician is telling me its just a mole and the pain l feel is just pretend.

    So l am packing my bags; Cause no one in power is listening to what the signs are saying

    So l am packing my swimming trunk,
    Just in case l have to go swimming
    in the river in the sky ×3 ,

    hopefully the river will wash my sins away,
    so when l meet crying mother nature she won't tell me to go away,

    when l drown
    ln the river in the sky x3

  23. Good, but for me it would have been more complete had she explained how they are created, what determines their directions, and why and when they offload their accumulations.

  24. In the name of ALLAH, the Gracious, the Merciful
    And the unbelievers will accidents will continue to strike, or they will be near their place, because of what they do – until the threat of Allah is fulfilled. Allah will surely keep the promise. #
    He sends down water from the sky, and riverbeds flow according to their capacity. The current carries swelling froth. And from what they heat in fire of ornaments or utensils comes a similar froth. Thus God exemplifies truth and falsehood. As for the froth, it is swept away, but what benefits the people remains in the ground. Thus God presents the analogies.
    For those who respond to their Lord ALLAH is the best. But as for those who do not respond to Him, even if they possessed everything on earth, and twice as much, they could not redeem themselves with it. Those will have the worst reckoning; and their home is Hell—a miserable destination.THE IS ONLY BEGINNING

  25. there are 5 rivers/air- over earth..ALL THE TIME- they have to be lowered by heat.

  26. Dubai- thanks to envoroment control, (WOODPECKER)now has a city like Venice-A city in the desert with ENOUGH WATER TO USE GANDOOLAH BOATS AS TAXIS.!!!

  27. To better understand it all one must look at the atmosphere as a variable but low density fluid, makes way more sense then.

  28. Watch "China's 'Sky River' Will Be The Biggest Artificial Rain Experiment Ever" on YouTube

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