ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

Archive for 2019

Climate Catastrophe Across Europe Including Venice

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Nothing could give us a visual reminder of what happens when the sea rises than the city of Venice. It has experienced the highest tides in Venice in 50 years, which is putting the entire town at risk. And yet, politicians are dragging their feet and lining their pockets.

from: Om Malik: “Venice and Climate Change

Catastrophic Weather around the Mediterranean. The biggest flood in Venice since the 60’s caused the largest publicity, but also other severe events

There are multiple lines of evidence:

The Washington Post reports in “Venice floods threaten priceless artwork and history — and a unique way of life”:

Flooding in Venice is not merely an inexpensive inconvenience. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Venice is home to priceless works of art by such Italian Renaissance masters as Tintoretto, Giorgione and Titian; historic basilicas; and a unique way of lagoon-based metropolitan living for about 50,000 residents. According to experts, it’s also a sobering preview of how climate change, accelerated by human behavior, will not just complicate Venetians’ unique and fragile way of life but wash it away entirely.

and a quote from Michael Oppenheimer:

The threat is if Venice becomes uninhabitable by normal humans beings. One of the great things about Venice is that real people live there and go about their daily business

(Venice also hosts many old texts in the Biblioteca Marciana)

The German weather service (DWD) explains the meteorological cause for this havoc in many parts of Europe: relatively stationary conditions of a high pressure in eastern Europe, and low pressure over France. This leads to cold air with polar origins being drawn into western Europe at the western side of the low pressure system, take up moisture over the still relatively warm Mediterranean Sea, and are being moved northwards, against the Alps on the western side of the high pressure system.

The jet stream, as discussed by Stefan Rahmsdorf, tells the same story: southward movement of air west of the UK, movement across the warm Mediterranean Sea, and northward movement over Italy.

The jet stream during the recent unusual weather events across Italy, Austria, and large parts of southern central Europe.

But, not only in Europe: No rain together with fires in Australia.

Written by Claus

November 21st, 2019 at 9:03 pm

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Water Risk Atlas

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The Water Resources Institute released their “Water Risk Atlas“.

Screenshot 2019 08 20 at 16 30 51
A screenshot from the WRI’s Water Risk Atlas – dark red indicates high water risk

A German and an US newspaper have recently posted their perspectives:

Written by Claus

August 20th, 2019 at 4:35 pm

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Water in the News

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Water in the News

Here are four recent articles (three in German) about water-related issues:

Written by Claus

July 12th, 2019 at 9:11 am

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What are Random Numbers?

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I did a wonderful #statistics experiment with students in stats class the other day on random numbers:

I divided the class into two groups. I gave a coin to one group and told them to flip this coin 20 times and record the resulting sequence of heads and tails. I asked the other group to come up with sequence of heads and tails in their heads and record the best sequence they can come up with. I told them I would leave the room and come back after five minutes, look at both sequences, and tell them which was created by the coin and which one in the heads of the other group.

These are the two sequences they came up with




Two “random” sequences created during statistics-class. Which one was created by a coin-flipping experiment?

Can you guess which sequence was constructed by what group?

Here is some background:

Written by Claus

June 24th, 2019 at 4:25 pm

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ssh fun

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I have setup a raspberry pi as a measurement computer. Now I can access it

a) on my Mac by mounting a directory, using SSHFS 2.5.0 via

sshfs -o volname="<MOUNT_NAME>" <USER>@<IP_ADRESS>:<directory_on_raspberry> <directory_on_my_mac>

b) on my iPad! I use OpenTerm to ssh into the machine, run scripts, and I use ShellFish (currently in beta) to basically mount the directory with the output into the file system (I mean into the Files App) on my iPad.


Written by Claus

June 14th, 2019 at 1:41 pm

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Starting a New Blog

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I had linked to a post by Peter Rukvina’s last time. I am doing it again – this time he linked to Rosie, who started a blog in 2019 called “press pound”.

I can’t applaud Peter’s comment enough:

I’m happy to see the corner turn from “why did blogging die when we loved it so?” to “I’m going to start a new blog!”

Written by Claus

June 11th, 2019 at 12:57 pm

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Moving to Personal

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Since I while I have a new job at the Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation (VEGAS) at the University of Stuttgart (link to newly setup webpage and twitter presence). I’ve been thinking about it for a while and came to the conclusion that both this blog and the associated planetwater twitter presence will move to more private conversations, although still associated to water.

As a first, I want to give a shout out to Peter Rukvina at There is a lot of talk about a renaissance about the open web. A renaissance of RSS. A renaissance of blogging. Peter has been there since before I started to be there — and he is still there, stronger than ever! His recent post, My Own Private Underhay, is an orbitruary on surface. Really, he is laying out his way of life. He boils it down to this:

What I have started to do, in my daily life, is that when I’m faced with small forks in my road–take the car or take the bike? watch TV or join a committee? have a nap or call my mother? order pizza or learn to make pizza? –- I will take the fork that, while it might be a little harder, require a little more effort, might take me out of the realm of things I’m comfortable doing, is the fork that’s best for my family, my community, and the planet.

I encourage everyone to go to Peter’s site and check out his humanitarian- printing- open- (source) and overall kind- ness!

Written by Claus

May 20th, 2019 at 4:20 pm

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Ein Regengenerator der anderen Art… nicht multi-site und nicht vektor-autoregressiv, aber trotzdem schön… 🙂

Written by Claus

January 3rd, 2019 at 11:13 am

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