SCIENCE NEWS: Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in the Bay Area; Rainbow trout: Should I stay or should I go?; Podcast: Protecting spring-run chinook salmon; Fixing damaged ecosystems: How much does restoration help?; and more …

In science news this week: Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in the Bay Area; Rainbow trout: Should I stay or should I go?; Protecting spring-run chinook salmon in Northern California; Small but mighty: Tijuana River NERR makes the most of reverse estuarine system; Fixing damaged ecosystems: How much does restoration help?; and more …

Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in the Bay Area:  “Hazard maps use estimated sea level rise due to climate change to determine flooding risk for today’s shoreline, but don’t take into account that some land is sinking. A precise study of subsidence around San Francisco Bay shows that for conservative estimates of sea level rise, twice the area is in danger of flooding by 2100 than previously thought. Some landfill is sinking 10 mm per year, threatening the airport and parts of Silicon Valley.  Rising sea levels are predicted to submerge many coastal areas around San Francisco Bay by 2100, but a new study warns that sinking land — primarily the compaction of landfill in places such as Treasure Island and Foster City — will make flooding even worse. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in the Bay Area

Rainbow trout: Should I stay or should I go?  “Few species have captured the attention of anglers, aquaculturists, and researchers quite like the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. We recently discovered that more has been written about rainbow trout than any other fish in the scientific literature. Perhaps one of the most intriguing qualities of rainbow trout is their ability to follow various life-history pathways. The species is capable of living its life entirely within a stream (the “rainbow trout”), or may migrate to the ocean and return to freshwater to reproduce (the “steelhead”). In waterways connected to the ocean, both rainbow trout and steelhead can coexist in a complex interplay of genetic, biological, geographic and environmental factors. Scientists have long been fascinated by the factors that can influence the ratio of steelhead in a population, which were recently featured in a prominent publication by Kendall et al. (2015).  … ”  Read more from FishBio here:  Rainbow trout: Should I stay or should I go?

Podcast: Tricia Parker and Jim Smith, USFWS: Protecting spring-run chinook salmon in Northern California:  “Join in as Tricia and Jim talk about the role that USFWS plays in monitoring the health of our streams. Learn about the different interests various stakeholders and local governments have in the different projects the agency oversees. Hear the different challenges that USFWS has, in particular since they are not the regulatory agency for anadromous fish, and have to rely on partnerships with NOAA.  Also hear about different projects that have been accomplished, such as replacing a fish ladder from the 1940s, and projects that are in the pipeline. Much of these projects are a result of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) which came about due to Spring Run Chinook Salmon becoming listed on the Endangered Species Act. Jim and Tricia discuss the challenges of determining which strategies are helping salmon populations, due to the cyclical nature of their populations. ...”  Listen to podcast from the Barbless here:  Podcast: Tricia Parker and Jim Smith, USFWS: Protecting spring-run chinook salmon in Northern California

Small but mighty: Tijuana River NERR makes the most of reverse estuarine system:  “While every one of the 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) in the U.S. has features that define it, Tijuana River NERR has some characteristics that may be unique. Jeff Crooks, the research coordinator at Tijuana River NERR, has been exploring the NERR since his days as a student in the 80’s when he was at San Diego State. He also worked for Professor Joy Zedler of San Diego State University. “There aren’t many places like Tijuana River NERR,” he says. “For one thing, it’s probably one of the few estuaries where the river is dry much of the year.” ... ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here:  Small but mighty: Tijuana River NERR makes the most of reverse estuarine system

Fixing damaged ecosystems: How much does restoration help?  “Across the globe, billions of dollars are spent annually on repairing ecosystems damaged by people. Forests denuded by logging. Rivers polluted by industry. Grasslands converted to agriculture.  A new meta-analysis of 400 studies that document recovery from such large-scale disturbances worldwide suggests that while ecosystems can bounce back, they rarely mend completely, with the final stages of recovery being most difficult.  Surprisingly, the new study also found that more costly active restoration efforts did not consistently result in faster or more complete recovery. ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Fixing damaged ecosystems: How much does restoration help?

Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in Western US:  “A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites — and one-third of the declines were deemed significant.  Since 1915, the average snowpack in western states has declined by between 15 and 30 percent, the researchers say, and the amount of water lost from that snowpack reduction is comparable in volume to Lake Mead, the West’s largest manmade reservoir. The loss of water storage can have an impact on municipal, industrial and agricultural usage, as well as fish and other animals. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in Western US

Spring has arrived 22 days early in some parts of the US: “Across wide swaths of the United States, spring has arrived two to three weeks earlier than normal, with temperatures hovering well above average and plants already budding, according to data from the U.S. Geological SurveyAs Vox reports, for almost the entire U.S. West Coast, Southwest, and mid-South — including Washington, D.C., where temperatures hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit on February 21 — spring has arrived as much as 22 days earlier than the 50-year average. Spring in the U.S. Southeast, in contrast, is arriving a few days later than normal due to abnormally cool temperatures. The USGS data is compiled by the National Phenology Network, a collaborative initiative that maps the timing of seasonal events through temperature trends and plant activity. … ”  Read more from Yale 360 here:  Spring has arrived 22 days early in some parts of the US

Nature can reduce pesticide use, environmental impact:  “Farmers around the world are turning to nature to help them reduce pesticide use, environmental impact and, subsequently, and in some cases, increasing yields.  Specifically, they’re attracting birds and other vertebrates, which keep pests and other invasive species away from their crops. The study, led by Michigan State University and appearing in the current issue of the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, showcases some of the best global examples. ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Nature can reduce pesticide use, environmental impact

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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