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Science & Technology

Harvey Dumped Up To 127 Billion Tons Of Water On Texas

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How much rain fell on Texas when Hurricane Harvey struck in August? Scientists have inferred the weight of the water by measuring how much the Earth was compressed - up to half an inch, meaning somewhere up to 34 trillion gallons or 127 billion tons or 26,000 Superdomes filled with water, according to Adrian Borsa from the Scripps Institute. The American Geophysical Union met this week in New Orleans, where researchers told the gathering that Harvey's heavy rainfall was aggravated by the extra warming of greenhouse gases.

There were record-breaking global temperatures in 2016, which helped raise ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Warm water fuels storms, and the rainfall was especially intense along the Texas coastline, where hurricane Harvey stalled with stinging wind and ceaseless rain. Put simply, they say it was one of the heaviest precipitation events in recorded human history. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.