Science news: Learning how to manage white sturgeon in the Delta; Hydropeaking effects on insects in regulated rivers; Historical records miss a fifth of global warming; and more …

Sodium Chloride crystals on ISS NASA

Sodium Chloride crystals on the International Space Station (Photo by NASA)

In science news this week: Learning how to manage white sturgeon in the Delta; Watershed degradation costs global cities $5.4 billion in water treatment annually; Hydropeaking effects on insects in regulated rivers; Historical records miss a fifth of global warming; Happy Snow New Year from NCEI

Learning how to manage white sturgeon in the Delta: In the past, little was known about how and when White Sturgeon used the San Joaquin River in California. Most San Joaquin River basin fish sampling efforts focus on salmon and those efforts have never captured a sturgeon, thus contributing to the belief that sturgeon rarely, if ever, visit there. Additionally, before 2007, anglers didn’t have an easy way to report sturgeon catches.  Since 2011, several steps have been taken that has helped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Anadromous Fish Restoration Program (AFRP) better understand the population. … ”  Read more from the US FWS Field Notes here:  Learning how to manage white sturgeon in the Delta

Watershed degradation costs global cities $5.4 billion in water treatment annually:  “There is a large body of science evidence from particular water utilities that urban water-treatment costs depend on the water quality at the city’s source, which in turn depends on the land use in the source watersheds. And there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from particular source watersheds that land-use has really degraded water quality.  But nobody had a good estimate of how significant this process was globally. How much has watershed degradation really increased water treatment costs for the world’s cities?  Our study, entitled “Estimating watershed degradation over the last century and its impact on water-treatment costs for the world’s large cities” basically focused on quantifying this one number. … ”  Read more from the Cool Green Science blog here:  Watershed degradation costs global cities $5.4 billion in water treatment annually

Left high and dry: Hydropeaking effects on insects in regulated rivers:  “Dramatic rising and falling of water levels is a common experience for sea stars, mussels, and other marine invertebrates adapted to life on the rocky coast – but not so for insects living in rivers, at least historically. However, once a hydroelectric dam is built, a river’s flow no longer depends on the rhythm of the seasons, but is managed to accommodate the demand for electricity. In a paper recently published in the journal BioScience, a team lead by the United States Geologic Survey demonstrates that daily changes in river flow based on energy demand, known as hydropeaking, can wipe out some groups of aquatic insects, such as mayflies, that are accustomed to laying their eggs on surfaces near the river’s edge (Kennedy et al. 2016). However, the results also suggest that hydropeaking practices could be modified to help alleviate some of these negative impacts. ... ”  Read more from the FishBio blog here:  Left high and dry: Hydropeaking effects on insects in regulated rivers

Historical records miss a fifth of global warming:  “A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models.  The study applied the quirks in the historical records to climate model output and then performed the same calculations on both the models and the observations to make the first true apples-to-apples comparison of warming rates. With this modification, the models and observations largely agree on expected near-term global warming. The results were published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Mark Richardson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the lead author. … ”  Read more from NASA here:  Historical records miss a fifth of global warming

Happy Snow New Year from NCEI:It might seem strange to be talking about Northern Hemisphere Snow cover during the heat of summer, but July 1st was “Snow New Year”: the end of the 2015-16 meteorological snow year and the start of the 2016-17 “snow year.”  As most people do at the start of a new year, we’re reflecting on events from the past year to understand where we have been and where we might be going. In this Beyond the Data blog post, we will dig deeper into the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during the 2015-16 snow season and explore change in snow cover over time.  To understand Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent, it helps to examine its history. Thanks to the hard work of scientists at NOAA, NASA, and the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, we have weekly and monthly snow cover extent data back to November 1966, when satellite records began … ”  Read more from Climate.gov here:  Happy Snow New Year from NCEI

 

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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