Researchers forecast longer, more extreme wildfire seasons:  “In California, a changing climate has made autumn feel more like summer, with hotter, drier weather that increases the risk of longer, more dangerous wildfire seasons, according to a new Stanford-led study.   The paper, published in Environmental Research Letters, provides insights that could inform more effective risk mitigation, land management and resource allocation. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: Researchers forecast longer, more extreme wildfire seasons

Almond orchard recycling a climate-smart strategy:  “Recycling trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California’s irrigated almond orchards, finds a study from the University of California, Davis.   Whole orchard recycling is when old orchard are ground, chipped and turned back into the soil before new almond trees are planted. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: Almond orchard recycling a climate-smart strategy

There’s too much nitrogen and phosphorus in U.S. waterways:  “Even minor amounts of human activity can increase nutrient concentrations in fresh waters that can damage the environment, according to a new study.  These findings suggest most U.S. streams and rivers have higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorus than is recommended. Although nutrients are a natural part of aquatic ecosystems like streams and rivers, too much of either nutrient can have lasting impacts on the environment and public health. ... ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: There’s too much nitrogen and phosphorus in U.S. waterways

NASA, University of Nebraska Release New Global Groundwater Maps and U.S. Drought Forecasts:  “NASA researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions and one to three-month U.S. forecasts of each product. While maps of current dry/wet conditions for the United States have been available since 2012, this is the first time they have been available globally.  “The global products are important because there are so few worldwide drought maps out there,” said hydrologist and project lead Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Droughts are usually well known when they happen in developed nations. But when there’s a drought in central Africa, for example, it may not be noticed until it causes a humanitarian crisis. So it’s valuable to have a product like this where people can say, wow, it’s really dry there and no one’s reporting it.” … ”  Read more from NASA here: NASA, University of Nebraska Release New Global Groundwater Maps and U.S. Drought Forecasts

Bioprospecting for industrial enzymes and drug compounds in an ancient submarine forest:  “Nearly 60,000 years ago, a bald cypress forest flourished on the banks of a prehistoric river near the Gulf of Mexico. Over time, the massive trees grew and died, their enormous trunks falling and becoming entombed in a protective covering of peat and sediment. As sea level rose and the coastline receded, these ancient forest remains were buried beneath the sea surface off the coast of Alabama, where they remained undisturbed for millennia. Intensifying storms along the coast, however, have scoured the seafloor, beginning to expose this ancient submarine forest.  Now, a team of scientists from Northeastern University and the University of Utah, funded by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), are working to unlock the forest’s secrets, including its potential to harbor new compounds for medicine and biotechnology. … ”  Read more from NOAA here: Bioprospecting for industrial enzymes and drug compounds in an ancient submarine forest

Landmark study concludes marine life can be rebuilt by 2050:  “An international study recently published in the journal Nature, led by KAUST Professors Carlos Duarte and Susana Agustí, lays out the essential roadmap of actions required for the planet’s marine life to recover to full abundance by 2050.  The project brings together the world’s leading working across four continents, in 10 countries and from 16 universities, including KAUST, Aarhus University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Colorado State University, Boston University, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Sorbonne Universite, James Cook University, The University of Queensland, Dalhousie University and the University of York. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: Landmark study concludes marine life can be rebuilt by 2050

A climate fluctuation that could improve forecasts remains a mystery:  “What keeps people awake at night? For baseball players, it might be a late-breaking fastball. It looks like you could hit it right out of the park until it curves.  For meteorologists, an equivalent problem is called the Madden-Julian oscillation, or the MJO. It consists of patterns identified by two scientists in 1971 that suggested a connection between far-flung weather extremes, like monsoons in India and hurricanes in the North Atlantic, and a large blob of warming water in the Indian Ocean. ... ”  Read more from Scientific American here:  A climate fluctuation that could improve forecasts remains a mystery

Featured image creditPhoto by NASA via Flickr.  On Feb. 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for Antarctica. Thermometers at the Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reached 18.3°C (64.9°F) — around the same temperature as Los Angeles that day. The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers.

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

 


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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