Science news and reports: Estuary News, The Pulse of the Bay 2013, and posters from the State of the Estuary conference, plus Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement & adaptive management, climate change and more

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The Delta Science Program's “By the Numbers” Report

October Estuary News now available highlights 20 years of CCMP accomplishments:  The latest issue of Estuary from the San Francisco Estuary Partnership is now available online. This month's issue celebrates the accomplishments of the the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and it's successes with aquatic resources, wetlands and wildlife, pollution, dredging, land use and more.  You can access the individual articles on this page, or download the entire issue by clicking here.

Special insert to Estuary News celebrates 20 years of the Regional Monitoring Program: The insert summarizes the history of the RMP and describes how the Program has evolved over the past 20 years.  For more information and to download a copy, click here.

2013 Pulse of the Bay now available:  A product of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in the San Francisco Bay, this edition of the Pulse of the Bay focuses on Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in the Ba, including profiles of the CECs of greatest concern, which summarize information on their use, properties, recent findings from monitoring in the Bay and elsewhere, and developments in management.  For more information and to download the report, click here.

Posters from the State of the Estuary Conference available online: 

From UC Davis, produced by Fallout Pictures for Greenpeace’s Postcards from Climate Change:


Weekly Science News

Click here for more editions of Science News.

Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement will restore natural stream patterns, use adaptive management The agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will restore 19 miles of Rush, Lee Vining, Parker and Walker creeks and their fisheries, streamside forests, birds, and wildlife:  “The Agreement, negotiated jointly with California Trout and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), implements a comprehensive plan for streamflow delivery, monitoring, and adaptive management built on extensive scientific stream studies over the past 15 years. In short, the Agreement will make the most of the water allocated to the creeks and lake under Los Angeles’ Mono Basin water licenses.  Natural streamflow patterns will be mimicked to rebuild the health of the streams and fisheries. Rush Creek’s valuable and rare bottomlands forest and channel habitat will be restored. Walker and Parker creek flows will benefit trout all the way to the lake’s edge. Lee Vining Creek flows will be optimized for fish and habitat.  Under the Agreement, collaborative operational planning will assure reliable Mono Basin operations to achieve both restoration and water export. Costs will be shared and compliance will be simplified. Additionally, scientific monitoring and adaptive management, directed by independent scientists, will assure that recovery is achieved. … ”  More – a lot more – from the Mono-Logue blog here: Diving into the Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement

Bayland Nature Preserve attracts multitudes of birds:  It's a winter birder's paradise, says KQED Science:  ” … The majority of these birds make their temporary home from the Sacramento Valley to the Salton Sea. In the San Francisco Bay Area, up to 150 species of birds can be found at the Baylands Nature Preserve, which include the endangered clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus). Within the preserve, the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center is a homey building that provides visitors with nostalgic small-scale exhibits and information about the space and species to be seen. There’s even an aquarium that holds some native wetland fishes that hikers would not be able to see otherwise. … ”  Read more from KQED Science here:  The Baylands Nature Preserve: A Winter Birder’s Wonderland

Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish:  ” … Of millions of migratory fish disappearing. It’s a story of almost-incomprehensible loss.  But why dwell on the past?  It’s human nature to assume that the way things are today are “normal.” Scientists have a term for this: shifting baseline syndrome.  The dozens of salmon in a river become the baseline, the new normal — even though fifty years ago, there were tens of thousands, and before that, millions. And when the fish disappear, it’s as if they were never there. My former colleague and salmon conservationist Mark Davidson (now with Trout Unlimited) so often said:  “You lose the memory, you lose the fish.”  Read more from the Cool Green Science blog here:   Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish

Energy costs of tagging aquatic animals studied:  Researchers in Canada and America have completed a study that quantifies the energy costs of tagging aquatic animals with research equipment:  ” … Studying fibreglass casts of sea turtles in a wind tunnel, the team found that while most commercially available tags increased drag by less than five per cent for large adult animals in the wild, these same devices increased drag by more than 100 per cent on smaller or juvenile animals. … ”  More from Science Direct here:  Tagging Aquatic Animals Can Disrupt Natural Behavior

California on target to meet 2020 targets for greenhouse emissions, but the 2050 target won't happen without bold new policies and techniques:  ” … A 2005 executive order requires California to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons—to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “This is quite a stringent requirement, and even if we aggressively expand our policies and implement fledgling technologies that are not even on the marketplace now, our analysis shows that California will still not be able to get emissions to 85 metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year by 2050,” said Jeff Greenblatt, a Berkeley Lab researcher who created the GHGIS. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  New ideas needed to meet California’s 2050 greenhouse gas targets, study reports

New GRACE map shows decade of declining water resources:  “This map shows how water supplies have changed between 2003 and 2012. GRACE measures subtle shifts in gravity from month to month. Variations in land topography or ocean tides change the distribution of Earth’s mass; the addition or subtraction of water also changes the gravity field. In the past decade, groundwater supplies have decreased in California’s Central Valley and in the Southern High Plains (Texas and Oklahoma)—places that rely on ground water to irrigate crops. Eastern Texas, Alabama, and the Mid-Atlantic states also saw a decrease in ground water supplies because of long-term drought. The flood-prone Upper Missouri basin, on the other hand, stored more water over the decade. “Groundwater reserves, the traditional backup for water supplies during extended periods of drought, are in decline globally,” James Famiglietti (University of California, Irvine) and Matthew Rodell (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) noted in a paper published in Science. This means that the water issues they observed in the United States are issues that other countries face as well. … ”  Read more from NASA here:  NASA’s GRACE satellites show decade of declining water reserves

Parts of Pacific Ocean warming fifteen times faster than in the past 10,000 years:  “… A new study in the leading journal Science adds support to the idea that the oceans are taking up some of the excess heat, at least for the moment. In a reconstruction of Pacific Ocean temperatures in the last 10,000 years, researchers have found that its middle depths have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during apparent natural warming cycles in the previous 10,000.  “We're experimenting by putting all this heat in the ocean without quite knowing how it's going to come back out and affect climate,” said study coauthor Braddock Linsley, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “It's not so much the magnitude of the change, but the rate of change.” … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Is Global Heating Hiding out in the Oceans? Parts of Pacific Warming 15 Times Faster Than in Past 10,000 Years

The XKCD Comic of the Week:

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