SCIENCE NEWS: Monitoring the Salinas River; The differing diets of wild and hatchery salmon; Using big data analytics to enhance conservation efforts; and more …

In science news this week:

Open for Spawning: Monitoring the Salinas River:  “Formed by the confluence of the San Antonio, Nacimiento, and Arroyo Seco rivers, the 172-mile-long Salinas is the largest river on California’s Central Coast, and it supports a small run of threatened steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The status of this South Central California Coast Distinct Population Segment (SCCC DPS)  is of interest to both researchers and managers, and since 2011, FISHBIO has annually installed and managed a Vaki Riverwatcher-equipped fish counting weir during the steelhead spawning season to monitor these fish of concern. However, the Salinas presents some unique challenges for weir installation that require careful planning, creative problem solving, and lots of hard work by our technicians. … ”  Read more from FishBio here:  Open for Spawning: Monitoring the Salinas River

Surf and Turf: The Differing Diets of Wild and Hatchery Salmon: “Estuaries like the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay provide a smorgasbord of delicious invertebrates for the fish living there. As juvenile Chinook salmon are currently migrating downstream towards the ocean, they will try to take advantage of this extravagant snack bar, eating ravenously and growing rapidly. But one big downside to this buffet is that these feasting fish are not just diners, they’re also on the menu. Numerous predators stand between juvenile salmon and their ocean destination, and when it comes to surviving this gauntlet there are few better strategies than growing as quickly as possible. Although outmigrating salmon pass through highly productive areas like estuaries, getting the best food can still be a challenge. This is because they are accompanied on their journey by several million of their relatives, many of whom are stocked from hatcheries. … ”  Read more from FishBio here:  Surf and Turf: The Differing Diets of Wild and Hatchery Salmon

Using big data analytics to enhance conservation efforts:  “The term “big data” is becoming more and more commonplace recently as technology allows for vast amounts of data to be collected and produced, far surpassing the amount of data previously available. But the term “big data” can be a bit ambiguous, leaving questions about what exactly falls under this growing area. Put simply, big data refers to large amounts of data that are not easily managed with traditional data-processing software. Big data, as the name suggests, are cumbersome in size and therefore pose difficulty associated with analyzing and distilling the data down into concise findings. Big data extends to all fields from research to business to entertainment. With such growth, new technology has emerged to examine and analyze large datasets.  … ”  Read more from EnviroBites here:  Using big data analytics to enhance conservation efforts

Environmental ‘time bomb’ warning for world’s groundwater reserves: “Future generations could be faced with an environmental ‘time bomb’ if climate change is to have a significant effect on the world’s essential groundwater reserves.  This is according to a researcher from Cardiff University and a team of international collaborators who have for the first time provided a global insight in to what will happen should our groundwater systems start to see changes in their replenishment.  In a new paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the research team have shown that in more than half of the world’s groundwater systems, it could take over 100 years for groundwater systems to completely respond to current environmental change. ... ”  Read more from Science Daily here: Environmental ‘time bomb’ warning for world’s groundwater reserves

The water in your toilet could fight climate change one day:  “Day after day, you pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, whether you’re driving or turning on lights or eating meat. You can’t help it, because, really, no human can. But I bet you haven’t stopped to think about how the simple act of pooping is also part of the problem: Worldwide, wastewater treatment facilities account for 3 percent of electricity consumption and contribute 1.6 percent of emissions.  A drop in the horrifying bucket that is climate change, you might say. But researchers are beginning to explore how we might tweak wastewater treatment technology to capture CO2 instead of emitting it, as a way to slow the ravages of climate change. If their plan works out, at least our poop can be guilt-free. … ”  Read more from Wired Magazine here:  The water in your toilet could fight climate change one day

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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