SCIENCE NEWS: The twilight world of gray foxes; Fish in CA estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat; Coastal fog linked to high levels of mercury found in mountain lions, study finds; In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change; and more…

Mountain Lion Source: Wiki Commons

In science news this week: The Twilight World of Gray Foxes; Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat; Coastal fog linked to high levels of mercury found in mountain lions, study finds; In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change; A lifetime of noise: what are the costs?; Hide and Go Seek: “Bodysnatching” Fungus Uses Other Species as Shelter During Fire Events; Fish size affects Snake River salmon returns more than route through dams; New technology developed to improve forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis; Scientists unravel the mystery of volcanic eruptions; and more…

The Twilight World of Gray Foxes “A fox seems to be strolling up to the hidden camera, perhaps spotting it, or perhaps just wandering by. The camera, placed by Susan Ferry, is deep within Henry W. Coe State Park, the largest state park in Northern California, with plenty of space for foxes to roam and survive.” Read more from Bay Nature here: The Twilight World of Gray Foxes

Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitatThe threespine stickleback, a small fish found throughout the coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, is famously variable in appearance from one location to another, making it an ideal subject for studying how species adapt to different environments. A new study shows that stickleback populations in estuaries along the coast of California have evolved over the past 40 years as climate change has altered their coastal habitats.” Read more from Science Daily here: Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat 

Film Friday: Trout Waiting for Salmon Eggs “Salmon migrate hundreds of miles just to lay their eggs, but some of the eggs never stand a chance. Hungry mouths, like the trout in this video, are waiting for the chance to snag a salmon egg snack. Watch the drama unfold in today’s Film Friday!” Read more from FishBio here: Film Friday: Trout Waiting for Salmon Eggs

Coastal fog linked to high levels of mercury found in mountain lions, study finds “Marine fog brings more than cooler temperatures to coastal areas. Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have discovered elevated levels of mercury in mountain lions, the latest indication that the neurotoxin is being carried in fog, deposited on the land, and making its way up the food chain.” Read more from Phys.org here: Coastal fog linked to high levels of mercury found in mountain lions, study finds

In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change “The sugar pine, with its foot-long cones and feathery branches that stretch out high above the forest, used to be one of the most common trees standing guard over Lake Tahoe’s clear waters. But drought, bark beetles and climate change have ravaged this beloved conifer, whose population was already diminished by logging, development and other human activities.” Read more from Phys.org here: In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change 

A lifetime of noise: what are the costs? “The visible cringe. The reflex to cover your ears. A constant piercing noise can be a horrific experience for a person. Research has shown that noise pollution can negatively impact the health of humans, animals and possibly entire ecosystems. What are the consequences of a lifetime surrounded by noise? Two scientists aim to characterize the costs of chronic noise pollution on the survival, growth and reproductive success of animals over their entire lifetime.” Read more from Envirobites here: A lifetime of noise: what are the costs?

Poison Paradise: Is climate change making toxic algal blooms worse? “Algal blooms aren’t a new environmental problem, but is climate change making them worse? In this study scientists use a new method to see how the occurrence and severity of algal blooms has changed in lakes around the world as the climate has been getting warmer.” Read more from Envirobites here: Poison Paradise: Is climate change making toxic algal blooms worse?

Changing experiences of the natural world “Author Professor Les Firbank, from the University of Leeds’ School of Biology and Global Food and Environment Institute, said: “Our growing digital connection to wildlife, aided by broadcasters such as David Attenborough, may be crucial to securing broad public support for the protection of wildlife, which we are currently driving to extinction at record rates.” Read more from Science Daily here: Changing experiences of the natural world 

Hide and Go Seek: “Bodysnatching” Fungus Uses Other Species as Shelter During Fire Events “If you’ve ever been for a hike in the woods after it rains, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a mushroom in the wild. But did you know that what we think of as “mushrooms” are really the fruiting body of a fungus? Some species of fungus use a spooky strategy to survive wildfires – hiding in the bodies of their neighbors!” Read more from Envirobites here: Hide and Go Seek: “Bodysnatching” Fungus Uses Other Species as Shelter During Fire Events

Fish size affects Snake River salmon returns more than route through dams “The survival and eventual return of juvenile Snake River salmon and steelhead to spawning streams as adults depends more on their size than the way they pass through hydroelectric dams on their migration to the ocean, new research shows.” Read more from Science Daily here: Fish size affects Snake River salmon returns more than route through dams

New technology developed to improve forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis “University of South Florida geoscientists have successfully developed and tested a new high-tech shallow water buoy that can detect the small movements and changes in the Earth’s seafloor that are often a precursor to deadly natural hazards, like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.” Read more from Science Daily here: New technology developed to improve forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis

The invasive turkeyfish: To beat it, try eating it “Viewed from the right angle, the ornate fins of the lionfish resemble turkey plumage. That’s why ‘turkeyfish’ is one of the many imaginative names people use when referring to the lionfish. Depending on where you live, you may also hear the lionfish called a devil fish, red lionfish, scorpion-cod, zebrafish, ornate butterfly-cod, featherfins, butterfly cod, Indian turkeyfish, soldier lionfish, or poisson scorpion!” Read more from NOAA here: The invasive turkeyfish: To beat it, try eating it 

Scientists unravel the mystery of volcanic eruptions “Russian and Italian scientists have recently come closer to understanding volcanic eruptions by studying Monte Nuovo near Naples as a basis. Lava, the molten rock that forms and then solidifies on the Earth’s surface, contains information that can not only reveal the causes of eruptions, but also unravel the mysteries of the planet’s past and future.” Read more from Phys.org here: Scientists unravel the mystery of volcanic eruptions

Stanford scientists link Neanderthal extinction to human diseases “For tens of thousands of years, modern humans and Neanderthals lived side-by-side in the region where Africa meets Eurasia. And then, some 40,000 years ago, our evolutionary cousins suddenly went extinct, leaving us as the only human species surviving on the planet.” Read more from Stanford News here: Stanford scientists link Neanderthal extinction to human diseases

Pilot plant in Vietnam: Water for 10,000 people “More than 20 percent of the world’s population are dependent on karst groundwater. In these regions, large amounts of water seep into the porous rock and are available at great depths only. Moreover, karst water is susceptible to pollution. Use for sustainable water supply is a challenge in threshold and developing countries. With the Seo Ho water pumping plant, scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now implemented a viable water supply system in North Vietnam within the framework of the KaWaTech Solutions project. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will fund the project until 2020.” Read more from Phys.org here: Pilot plant in Vietnam: Water for 10,000 people 

Extraterrestrial impacts may have triggered ‘bursts’ of plate tectonicsWhen—and how—the Earth’s surface evolved from a hot, primordial mush into a rocky planet continually resurfaced by plate tectonics remain some of the biggest unanswered questions in earth science research. Now a new study, published in Geology, suggests this earthly transition may in fact have been triggered by extra-terrestrial impacts.” Read more from Phys.org here: Extraterrestrial impacts may have triggered ‘bursts’ of plate tectonics

Lisa’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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