SCIENCE NEWS: Are surveys missing the boat on longfin smelt?; Bioremediation efforts mushroom in the aftermath of North Bay Fires; Delta Science Plan Workshop Summary now available; Distribution of West Coast atmospheric rivers during WY2018; and more …

Mt. Ranier, photo by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Are surveys missing the boat on longfin smelt?  “Long-term monitoring studies are the unsung heroes in the field of ecology. They are often unrecognized and taken for granted, but provide essential sources of information to tell stories of the natural world. In March, FISHBIO attended the Interagency Ecological Program’s Annual Workshop in Folsom, California, which highlights the work done each year by state and federal agencies and partner organizations conducting monitoring studies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This consortium of agencies has been working on long-term monitoring and research in the Delta since the 1970s and provides vital information on the ecology of the Bay-Delta ecosystem. According to Steve Culberson, the IEP Lead Scientist, more than 50 scientific manuscripts related to IEP’s work were published last year, indicating the importance of these long-term monitoring programs for moving science forward. Despite this body of work, many people outside of IEP are not familiar with what the group does. Culberson encouraged researchers to bring storytelling into their science to help communicate the value of IEP’s efforts. … ”  Read more from the FishBio blog here:  Are surveys missing the boat on longfin smelt?

Bioremediation Efforts Mushroom in the Aftermath of California’s North Bay Fires:  “Fifty miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, California’s Sonoma County is famous for its wine-country image — a patchwork of picturesque rolling hills and vineyards graced with moderate temperatures all year round. Beyond the grapes and quaint roadside tasting rooms, oak woodlands rich with black oak, Douglas fir, madrone, and California laurel provide habitat for abundant wildlife and ecological services like erosion control and water filtration to the surrounding area. Typically hot and dry from midsummer through late fall, these woodlands also comprise an ideal environment for wildfires. It was here that flames ignited on the evening of October 8, 2017, fueled by winds of 50 miles per hour. … ”  Read more from the Earth Island Journal here:  Bioremediation Efforts Mushroom in the Aftermath of California’s North Bay Fires

Delta Science Plan Workshop Summary now available:  A summary of the topics discussed at the Delta Science Program‘s April 6, 2018 public workshop on the Delta Science Plan review and update is now available online.  To access the workshop summary, please click here.

Distribution of Landfalling Atmospheric Rivers on the U.S. West Coast During Water Year 2018: A series of graphs from the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes that can be found here.

Odds of Reaching 100% of normal water year precipitation: A series of graphics from the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes can be found here.

Invasive bat-eating fish threatens Washington salmon future:  “There is a rapidly growing threat to salmon in the Columbia River that biologists say could wipe out tens of millions of dollars in restoration efforts.  On the surface of Lake Roosevelt, it may look like a picture-perfect day. Underwater, the scenery is anything but perfect.  The Spokane Tribe built a boat to deal with the invasive predator lurking beneath the surface. … ”  Read more from Channel 5 here:  Invasive bat-eating fish threatens Washington salmon future

Before the flood arrives:  “River floods are one of the most common and devastating of Earth’s natural disasters. In the past decade, deluges from rivers have killed thousands of people every year around the world and caused losses on the order of tens of billions of U.S. dollars annually. Climate change, which is projected to increase precipitation in certain areas of the planet, might make river floods in these places more frequent and severe in the coming decades.  Now, a new study led by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzes what it would take for river-observing satellites to become an even more useful tool to mitigate flood damage and improve reservoir management globally in near real-time. ... ”  Read more from NASA here:  Before the flood arrives

Twin spacecraft to weigh in on Earth’s changing water:  “A pair of new spacecraft that will observe our planet’s ever-changing water cycle, ice sheets and crust is in final preparations for a California launch no earlier than Saturday, May 19. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), will take over where the first GRACE mission left off when it completed its 15-year mission in 2017.  GRACE-FO will continue monitoring monthly changes in the distribution of mass within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within the solid Earth itself. These data will provide unique insights into Earth’s changing climate, Earth system processes and even the impacts of some human activities, and will have far-reaching benefits to society, such as improving water resource management. ... ”  Read more from NASA JPL here:  Twin spacecraft to weigh in on Earth’s changing water

How landscapes and landforms ‘remember’ or ‘forget’ their initial formations: “Crescent dunes and meandering rivers can “forget” their initial shapes as they are carved and reshaped by wind and water while other landforms keep a memory of their past shape, suggests a new laboratory analysis by a team of mathematicians.  “Asking how these natural sculptures come to be is more than mere curiosity because locked in their shapes are clues to the history of an environment,” explains Leif Ristroph, an assistant professor at New York University’s Courant Institute and the senior author of the paper, which appears in the journal Physical Review Fluids. “In our lab experiments, we found that some shapes keep a ‘memory’ of their starting conditions as they develop while others ‘forget’ the past entirely and take on new forms.” ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here: How landscapes and landforms ‘remember’ or ‘forget’ their initial formations

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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