Science news: Visualizing species movement due to climate change; Instream flow and groundwater management in the Scott Valley; Winter-run salmon and the delicate dance of temperature; and more, plus everything that scientists joked about in 2015

Hubble spots a starburst galaxy

Hubble Spots a Secluded Starburst Galaxy

In science news this week: Migration in motion: visualizing species movement due to climate change; Scott Valley pioneers instream flow and groundwater management for reconciled water use; Winter-run salmon and the delicate dance of temperature; Taking the long view – the very long view – on California drought; The West without water: What can past droughts tell us about tomorrow?; The return of the salmon cannon: PNNL helping make hydropower cheaper, more fish-friendly; Forest and watercourse interplay important for restorations; And lastly … Everything that scientists joked about in 2015

Migration in motion: visualizing species movement due to climate change: As climate change alters 
habitats and disrupts ecosystems, where will
 animals move to survive?
 And will human development prevent them from getting there?  Now you can see those migrations in motionNew research from Conservancy scientists revealed that only 41 percent of the natural land area in the United States retains enough connectivity to facilitate species tracking their preferred climate conditions as the global climate changes. As part of that study, scientists modeled the distribution and habitat needs of 2,903 vertebrate species in the Western hemisphere against land use and projected climate patterns. ... ” Read more from the Cool Green Science blog here:  Migration in motion: visualizing species movement due to climate change

Scott Valley pioneers instream flow and groundwater management for reconciled water use: The Scott River is one of California’s four major undammed streams and important spawning habitat for coho (a species listed as “threatened”) and Chinook salmon. This peaceful and pastoral agricultural valley is at the center of several water-related conflicts and lawsuits. However, it is also pioneering a range of instream flow and groundwater management activities that could set the example for balanced water use in California.  At first glance, water management in the Scott Valley appears to be a story of farms vs fish, one that is common in California … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Scott Valley pioneers instream flow and groundwater management for reconciled water use

Winter-run salmon and the delicate dance of temperature: Winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are the most endangered of California’s four salmon runs. These salmon return to freshwater in the winter, and historically sought refuge in the cooler headwaters found in Northern California to survive the state’s blistering summers. Now that dams block access to their historic habitats, winter-run salmon have to make do in significantly altered river reaches much further downstream. Helping this race of salmon survive in a novel environment requires an elaborate balancing act of temperature controls to provide suitable conditions. As the state continues to endure a historic drought, the management of Lake Shasta in northern California to support winter-run on the Sacramento River has become a complex process of give and take.  ... ” Read more from the FishBio blog here:  Winter-run salmon and the delicate dance of temperature

Taking the long view – the very long view – on California drought:  “When we talk about water in California, we tend to focus on the past 100-150 years because it is the timeframe that corresponds with modern record keeping. At the same time, it’s a relatively short period that doesn’t yield much long range climate insight.  That’s where other methods of looking into the past become important. For example, tree ring analysis has offered a much lengthier view – going back 1000 or so years. But, what about the deep past?  Matthew Kirby, a professor of geology at California State University-Fullerton, uses lake sediments to reconstruct California’s water history over the past 100,000 years. He has a special focus on the most recent 11,700 years, also known as the Holocene or the time since the end of the last ice age. ... ”  Read more from the Confluence blog here:  Taking the long view – the very long view – on California drought

The West without water: What can past droughts tell us about tomorrow? Almost as soon as European settlers arrived in California they began advertising the place as the American Garden of Eden. And just as quickly people realized it was a garden with a very precarious water supply. Currently, California is in the middle of a years-long drought and the water crisis is threatening the region’s vital agricultural economy, not to mention the quality of life of its people, plants, and animals. This month B. Lynn Ingram, Professor of Geography and Earth & Planetary Science, examines how a deep historical account of California’s water patterns can help us plan for the future. … ”  Read it from OSU here: The West without water: What can past droughts tell us about tomorrow?

The return of the salmon cannon: PNNL helping make hydropower cheaper, more fish-friendly:The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will evaluate Seattle-based Whooshh Innovations’ technology, officially known as the Whooshh Fish Transport System, with a $300,000 grant from DOE’s Small Business Vouchers Pilot. The company will provide PNNL an additional $60,000 in in-kind support for the study.  PNNL fisheries biologist Alison Colotelo and her colleagues will compare the performance of the Whooshh system and ladders to move Pacific Coast salmon around barriers in the Columbia River. The results could help the technology obtain federal approval to transport Endangered Species Act-listed Pacific salmon around dams.  … ”  Read more from Phys Org here:  The return of the salmon cannon: PNNL helping make hydropower cheaper, more fish-friendly

Forest and watercourse interplay important for restorations:  “Humans utilize forests and watercourses in a way that depletes ecosystem habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Many areas are restored to break the trend, but to succeed you need to consider not only the ecosystem in mind, but also surrounding ecosystems. This according to researchers in Umeå in Sweden in an article published in BioScience.  “Despite evident correlations between land and water ecosystems, forests and watercourses are nearly always restored separately in small-scale projects. When a forest ecosystem abounding in water has been depleted, it can be a struggle to retain its original status by restoring only one part of it. Instead, both land and aquatic environments need to be integrated in the restoration,” says Christer Nilsson, Professor at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences at Umeå University. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Forest and watercourse interplay important for restorations

And lastly … Everything that scientists joked about in 2015:  “Everyone seems to think of scientists as a bunch of nerds, but this is really just a stereotype; they actually have a great sense of humor and like to make intricate and witty jokes.  Throughout the year, Bright Side collected some of the best scientific jokes. Take a look, and see if you can get through without letting out a little chuckle! ... ”  Check it out at Bright Side here:  Everything that scientists joked about in 2015

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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