Space & Innovation

Invisible Rivers In The Sky Are Changing Our Planet

Did you know there are rivers in the sky?! Find out how these weather phenomena alleviate droughts, but also cause deadly floods.

It sounds like a lost Pink Floyd album, but it's not: Rivers in the sky are an actual meteorological phenomenon that can alleviate droughts or cause massive flooding and snowstorms. Also known as Atmospheric Rivers, or ARs, they're bands of precipitation that move around in the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteorologists in California are particularly interested in ARs, because they produce anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of annual precipitation in the state. In fact, farmers are hoping an AR or two can help alleviate the ongoing drought. At any given time, seven to twelve ARs are moving around the planet. In today's special edition of DNews, Natalia Reagan explores the fascinating behavior of these sky rivers, and they're odd relation to ... oysters.

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Read More:

NOAA: What are atmospheric rivers?

Science Alert: Giant 'rivers in the sky' could cause vast, extinction-level floods

Scientific American: Global Warming May Alter Critical Atmospheric Rivers