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Hurricane Satellites Reveal Flooding on Earth

No. 1 US Utility PG&E Prepares Bankruptcy Filing After California Wildfires

PG&E Corp., owner of the biggest U.S. power utility by customers, said on Jan. 14 it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as soon as this month amid pressure from potentially crushing liabilities linked to California’s catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

PG&E, which provides electricity and natural gas to 16 million customers in northern and central California, faces widespread litigation, government investigations, and liabilities that could potentially exceed $30 billion due to the fires, the company said.

The most recent fire last November killed at least 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive blaze in California history…

 

Hurricane Satellites Reveal Flooding on Earth

river

The Amazon River basin and its tributaries are clearly visible in this imagery from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System. Credit: Clara Chew, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Researchers examining data produced by small satellites launched in 2016 to track ocean winds were surprised the mission produced valuable information on soil moisture and flooding.

NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, a constellation of eight 30-kilogram satellites built by the Southwest Research Institute and the University of Michigan, observed the Amazon River basin in far more detail than NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive mission even when SMAPs radar still worked.

“These images got us excited about the potential for doing new land-applications science with the Cygnus data,” said Chris Ruf, CYGNSS principal investigator and University of Michigan climate and space science professor. “Now a number of people on the science team are working on soil moisture retrieval algorithms and flood inundation algorithms based on these early…

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