Science news and reports: Scary Halloween invasives, Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated, Fish and Fukushima, and more…

Antennas are  installed throughout an antenna ground plane, which collects data to measure wind speed and direction, as part of the installation of an atmospheric river observation at the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, CA, on March 19, 2013.  In the background is a 10 meter meteorological tower, which measures atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and net radiation.

Antennas are installed throughout an antenna ground plane, which collects data to measure wind speed and direction, as part of the installation of an atmospheric river observation at the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, CA. Photo courtesy of DWR

Weekly Science News

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Scary Halloween invasives: Don't open your door to these trick or treaters:Many of the alien species invading California’s lakes and streams would make for wickedly good Halloween costumes.  Take the Shokihaze goby, Tridentiger barbatus (above and right), now common in Suisun Bay and the lower Sacramento River. Its spiky stubble of whisker-like barbels about the mouth and cheeks defines “ugly.” And its eyes, ringed with heavy mascara and seemingly misplaced near the top of its head, are downright spooky. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Don’t open the door to these trick-or-treaters

Coping with water scarcity: Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated:  “As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, Southern California water agencies have turned to new pricing structures, expanded rebate programs and implemented other means to encourage their customers to reduce consumption.  Some of those policies have greatly reduced per capita consumption, while others have produced mixed results, according to a report published in the UC Riverside School of Public Policy journal Policy Matters. The journal is published quarterly by the School of Public Policy, and provides timely research and guidance on issues that are of concern to policymakers at the local, state, and national levels. ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here: Coping with water scarcity: Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated

Faculty Research Lecture: Scientist reconstructs Earth’s climate history using tiny marine fossils:On the walls of Howard Spero’s office hang photos of what resembles an exploding star — brightly sparkling, shimmering threads shoot in a ripple of light from a dark center into an expanse of black. While it may appear intergalactic, the image comes from the sea. It is a photo of a planktonic foraminifera, roughly the size of the head of a pin, and it is the centerpiece of Spero’s work to reconstruct climatic history. Spero, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, is the recipient of this year's Faculty Research Lecture Award. In receiving the Academic Senate's highest accolade, Spero gets a $1,000 cash prize and gives a lecture. He will deliver the free, public talk on Thursday, Oct. 30, on “The Paleoceanography Frontier: Geochemistry, Marine Plankton and 21st-Century Technologies.” … ”  Read more from UC Davis here: Faculty Research Lecture: Scientist reconstructs Earth’s climate history using tiny marine fossils

Reclamation and Department of Water Resources to Release the CalLite 3.00 (Beta) Model:On November 7, 2014, the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources will jointly release the CalLite 3.00 (Beta) Model, a Central Valley Project and State Water Project water operations simulation screening tool. The CalLite model runs faster and provides results within 5 percent of the more detailed CalSim II model. CalLite is simple enough to be used as an educational resource for stakeholders, yet sophisticated enough to provide powerful analytical capabilities for more experienced modelers.  … ”  Continue reading from the Bureau of Reclamation here:  Reclamation and Department of Water Resources to Release the CalLite 3.00 (Beta) Model

Fish and Fukushima:  “The largest-ever discharge of radionuclides into the ocean from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011 prompted many health concerns. However, as we described in our previous Fish Report, there is no great danger posed by Fukushima radioactivity in seawater because the material is now greatly diluted in the naturally radioactive ocean (see Swimming in a radioactive sea). But should we be worried about the levels of radiation in fish living in that seawater, which might end up on our plates? … ”  Read more from the FishBio blog here:  Fish and Fukushima

From water to agriculture, more evidence that human relationships matter: The interest in and recognition of the value of relational work when it comes to science and conservation, and really across all sectors, seems to be reaching a critical point. Just this week, several pieces on everything from farming to water scarcity to forest management directly addressed the generative power of relationships between people in environmental work. I am thrilled, to say the least.  Brett Walton at Circle of Blue reports on the Water for Food Global Conference, a gathering of experts from around the world focused on the role of “big data” in global water and food security, where a University of Nebraska agronomist argues that data is not as useful as it could be without the human relationships that lead to social change. … ”  Read more from The Science Unicorn here: From water to agriculture, more evidence that human relationships matter

Options for climate policy well-defined, says study: Policy options for climate change risk management are straightforward and have well understood strengths and weaknesses, according to a new study by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Policy Program.  “Large gaps remain in society's consideration of climate policy,” said Paul Higgins, the author of the study. “This study can help in the development of a comprehensive strategy for climate change risk management because it explores a much larger set of policy options.” ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Options for climate change policy well characterized, study says

Five things to know about global temperatures:  “No doubt about it: 2014 will go down as one of the warmest years on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s global surface temperature monitoring. Here are five global temperature items to keep in mind as 2014 closes out: 1. We’ve already set records at the yearly scale. People organize their lives around the calendar year, so it’s comfortable to organize our assessment of climate that way. Indeed, year-to-date (“since January”) temperature is a lens we use at the National Climatic Data Center. For the climate system, however, there’s nothing magical about the specific January-through-December twelve-month run relative to other twelve-month runs. A trip around the Sun is a trip around the Sun, whether you start the timer in January or, say, October. … ”  Read more from Climate.gov here:  Five things to know about global temperatures

Climate change caused by oceans, not just atmosphere:  “Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. But in a new study published in Science, a group of Rutgers researchers have found that circulation of the ocean plays an equally important role in regulating the earth's climate.  In their study, the researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean — which pulls in heat and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic and moves them through the deep ocean from north to south until it's released in the Pacific. ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Climate change caused by oceans, not just atmosphere

And lastly … For some interesting pictures, check out 40 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photos

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