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Bin Guan
Postdoctoral Scholar

Total column water vapor of the atmosphere observed by the AIRS instrument onboard the NASA Aqua satellite on February 23, 2009. The spike-like structure offshore California is referred to by meteorologists as an “atmospheric river”. Formed over the extra-tropical oceans, atmospheric rivers act as pipelines for transporting water vapor out of the warm, moist tropics. Increased stream flow and flooding can be caused when atmospheric rivers deliver heavy precipitation to the U.S. West Coast—a major natural hazard that needs to be aware of and prepared for under climate change.

bin.guan@caltech.edu

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