Saving endangered coho salmon in Central California:  “Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), also known as silver salmon, have lived in California’s coastal watersheds for thousands of years. Today their populations have declined to just a fraction of historical levels, endangered by a wide range of factors. In Central California in particular, the situation is dire, with the species listed as endangered under both the state and federal Endangered Species Acts. Many populations are in danger of declining to the point of local extinction.  Recognizing the recovery of Coho salmon in central California’s streams and rivers as a high priority, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is collaborating with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and other partner agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement recovery actions. The tricky part is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to saving the species. … ”  Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here: Saving endangered coho salmon in Central California

Tule Red Restoration Project: “On the morning of October 15, 2019, on the northeastern side of Grizzly Bay, looking out over the bay, small waves lapped against the nearby shore with blue skies overhead. Turning south, a large excavator has already begun removing the final stretch of earth separating the tidal channel on Tule Red from Grizzly Bay. By 10 A.M., more than one-hundred people had gathered. Representatives from Westervelt Ecological Services (WES), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Department of Water Resources (DWR), Solano County, State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA), Suisun Resources Conservation District and other public and private entities were present to witness the final breach of the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project. … ”  Read more from Westervelt Ecological Services here: Tule Red Restoration Project

Improving atmospheric forecasts with machine learning:  “Weather forecasting has improved significantly in recent decades. Thanks to advances in monitoring and computing technology, today’s 5-day forecasts are as accurate as 1-day forecasts were in 1980. Artificial intelligence could revolutionize weather forecasts again. In a new study, Arcomano et al. present a machine learning model that forecasts weather in the same format as classic numerical weather prediction models. … ”  Read more from EOS here: Improving atmospheric forecasts with machine learning

New research highlights important risk of rapid drought to wet period transitions:  “Dramatic transitions or “seesaws” from dry to wet periods can cause greater damage than either event alone to communities across the U.S, ranging from California, to Texas, to South Carolina. For example, a 2017 wet spell in California caused widespread flooding and occurred right after the state’s multi-year (2011-2016) drought, putting additional strains on the state. A study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, funded in part by CPO’s Climate Observations and Monitoring program, shows that while the overall global occurrence of dry-wet spell seesaws is small, they have become more frequent over the past 30 years in some parts of the world. … ”  Read more from the Climate Protection Office here: New research highlights important risk of rapid drought to wet period transitions

NASA fosters innovative ways to understand biodiversity:  “The yellow-billed cuckoo has soft brown wings, a white belly, a long tail with black and white spots, and is running out of places to live. The cuckoo’s population in its native breeding range in the eastern United States has declined in recent decades due to urbanization, heat waves and other factors. Climate change will likely further reduce its suitable habitat.  Although the cuckoo is only one species in a vast world of flora and fauna, its story is not unique. To study and monitor changes in Earth’s biodiversity, or the immense volume of organisms in the world, scientists and citizen scientists record their sightings in the field. At the same time, sensors on the ground and on board satellites and aircraft monitor flora and fauna on a regional to global scale. … ”  Read more from NASA here: NASA fosters innovative ways to understand biodiversity

The world’s forests are growing younger:  “Researchers from Berkeley Lab and 20 other institutions have found that land use and atmospheric changes are altering forest structure around the world, resulting in fewer of the mature trees that are better at storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  The scientists evaluated data and observations from more than 160 previous studies designed to capture how interactions between forest vegetation, climate changes, and disturbance such as drought provoke ecosystem responses including increased tree mortality and decreased forest age. Results of their work, led by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, were published recently in the journal Science. … ”  Read more from Berkeley Labs here: The world’s forests are growing younger

In wake of global shutdowns, researchers expect water quality to improve:  “Researchers have mapped declines in air pollution after lockdowns were imposed around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but those are not the only environmental impacts they expect to see. They think the cleaner air could also mean cleaner water – at least in the short term.  “The connection between atmosphere and surface water quality is very tight,” said Dennis Hallema, a hydrologist and research assistant professor in NC State’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. “These two systems are integrally linked. The question is: How much of a change in quality do we expect to see?” … ”  Read more from Smart Water Magazine here:  In wake of global shutdowns, researchers expect water quality to improve

New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America:  “New research showing how global warming intensifies extreme rainfall at the regional level could help communities better prepare for storms that in the decades ahead threaten to swamp cities and farms.  The likelihood of intense storms is rising rapidly in North America, and the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects big increases in such deluges. “The longer you have the warming, the stronger the signal gets, and the more you can separate it from random natural variability,” said co-author Megan Kirchmeier-Young, a climate scientist with Environment Canada.  … ”  Read more from Inside Climate News here:  New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America

Rise of carbon dioxide unabated:  “Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory reached a seasonal peak of 417.1 parts per million for 2020 in May, the highest monthly reading ever recorded, scientists from NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced today.  This year’s peak value was 2.4 parts per million (ppm) higher than the 2019 peak of 414.7 ppm  recorded in May 2019. NOAA scientists reported a May average of 417.1 ppm. … ”  Read more from NOAA Research here: Rise of carbon dioxide unabated

Maven's XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …


Featured image credit:  Fanned Out, by USGS Earth as Art: Water from the Balkh River fans out into an agricultural area toward an arid region in northern Afghanistan, near the border with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Part of an ancient region called Bactria, extensive irrigation produces melons, almonds, apricots, and grains. Mazar-e Sharif is the urban area that dominates the lower right corner of the image.

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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