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In a New Book, Annie Proulx Shows Us How to Fall in Love with Wetlands – Inside Climate News

In a quiet corner of the oldest botanic garden in North America grows a tree with long, graceful branches and leaves that curl like rust-colored tongues. When it’s blooming, the tree’s snow-white flowers are said to…


Long stretches of the Mississippi River have run dry. What’s next?

By Laurence C. Smith Photo: Trent Bozeman

Last month, record low water levels in the Mississippi River backed up nearly 3,000 barges — the equivalent of 210,000 container trucks — on America’s most important inland waterway. Despite frantic dredging, farmers could move only half the corn they’d shipped the same time last year. Deliveries of fuel, coal, industrial chemicals and building materials were similarly delayed throughout the nation’s heartland.


At 51 miles long, it’s one of America’s largest infrastructure projects.

By Michael Kimmelman Photo: Adali Schell

February 1938 WAS a wet month in Los Angeles. The ground, where it hadn’t been paved over, was saturated, which meant rain had nowhere to go except into the streets, canals and washes. On the 27th, a storm arrived. During the following days, the city received its second-highest 24-hour rainfall in history. Reservoirs overflowed, dams topped out and floodwaters careered down Pacoima Wash and Tujunga Wash toward the Los Angeles River. By the time the river peaked at Long Beach, its flow exceeded the Mississippi’s at St. Louis. “It was as if the Pacific had moved in to take back its ancient bed,” wrote Rupert Hughes in “City of Angels,” a 1941 novel that climaxes with the flood. In an instant, the Lankershim Bridge in North Hollywood collapsed, and five people were swept away. Sewer and gas lines ruptured; communications were cut; houses were lifted straight off their foundations and sank into the water. In all, 87 people died.


What it looks like as drought strangles the mighty Mississippi

By Brady Dennis, Laris Karklis, Scott Dance and Tim Meko Photo: Jeff Roberson/AP

Sandra Nelson crouched at a spot of riverbed that would normally be deep underwater, gathering rocks and jars of soil as souvenirs. Nearby, a man with a metal detector roamed the barren ground for treasures at twilight. A father carried his daughter on his shoulders to witness a sight not seen for generations.


Building with nature: Can reviving a marsh save this California town from sea level rise?

By Rosanna Xia Photo: Paul Kuroda, Los Angeles Times

Standing on the edge of a repurposed marina, at the end of a long wooden walkway that harked back to more prosperous times, Brenda Buxton took in the disorienting landscape.


When the water rises

By Carol Kaufmann Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A wildlife refuge along the Chesapeake Bay offers a “fast-motion” view of the effects of climate change and rising waters along the nation’s coastlines.


Mississippi River Basin adapts as climate change brings extreme rain and flooding

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images

After a torrential downpour began on Aug. 7, the Pecatonica River jumped its banks in Freeport, Ill. and flooded the basement of Laurie Thomas’ family home, nearly to the ceiling.
This latest was Freeport’s fifth major flood in just the past four years. Thomas and her mother have experienced flooding at least 15 times in the past 20 years.


Lake Mead water crisis is exposing volcanic rock from eruptions 12 million years ago

By Rachel Ramirez Photo: Eugene Smith and Others

Lake Mead’s falling water level has exposed several shocking things in recent months – previously sunken boats, old war ships and human remains. Now scientists are reporting a new discovery on Lake Mead’s dry bed: rocks laced with volcanic ash that rained down on southern Nevada during explosive eruptions roughly 12 million years ago.


Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests

Wetlands are home to indigenous peoples and a natural source of livelihoods for their communities. They provide drinking water, energy, fisheries, agriculture, transport, recreation, cultural values and tourism.
While human-made wetlands – largely rice paddy and reservoirs – have almost doubled between 1970 and 2015, natural wetlands have been progressively declining.


Mississippi River levels are dropping too low for barges to float

By Scott Dance Photo: Luke Sharrett, Bloomberg News

The Mississippi River is flowing at its lowest level in at least a decade, and until rain relieves a worsening drought in the region, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain water levels high enough to carry critical exports from the nation’s bread basket.