COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Across North America, streams and rivers are becoming saltier, thanks to road deicers, fertilizers and other salty compounds that humans indirectly release into waterways. At the same time, freshwater supplies are also becoming more alkaline. (more…)
Tag Archives: waterways
Snapping Turtles Finding Refuge in Urban Areas While Habitats are Being Polluted or Developed, MU Researcher Finds
Stopping pollution from flowing into waterways could restore natural habitats
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In the Midwest, people have a fear of encountering snapping turtles while swimming in local ponds, lakes and rivers. Now in a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that snapping turtles are surviving in urban areas as their natural habitats are being polluted or developed for construction projects. One solution is for people to stop using so many chemicals that are eventually dumped into the waterways, the scientist said.
“Snapping turtles are animals that can live in almost any aquatic habitat as long as their basic needs for survival are met,” said Bill Peterman, a post-doctoral researcher in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU. “Unfortunately, suitable aquatic habitats for turtles are being degraded by pollution or completely lost due to development. We found that snapping turtles can persist in urbanized areas, despite the potential for more interaction with humans.” (more…)
A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study appears to answer contentious questions about the onset and cause of Earth’s Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century.
According to the new study, the Little Ice Age began abruptly between A.D. 1275 and 1300, triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism and sustained by a self- perpetuating sea ice-ocean feedback system in the North Atlantic Ocean, according to CU-Boulder Professor Gifford Miller, who led the study. The primary evidence comes from radiocarbon dates from dead vegetation emerging from rapidly melting icecaps on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, combined with ice and sediment core data from the poles and Iceland and from sea ice climate model simulations, said Miller. (more…)
*Engineers at Brown University have developed a system that cleanly and efficiently removes trace heavy metals from water. In experiments, the researchers showed the system reduced cadmium, copper, and nickel concentrations, returning contaminated water to near or below federally acceptable standards. The technique is scalable and has viable commercial applications, especially in the environmental remediation and metal recovery fields. Results appear in the Chemical Engineering Journal.*
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — An unfortunate consequence of many industrial and manufacturing practices, from textile factories to metalworking operations, is the release of heavy metals in waterways. Those metals can remain for decades, even centuries, in low but still dangerous concentrations.
Ridding water of trace metals “is really hard to do,” said Joseph Calo, professor emeritus of engineering who maintains an active laboratory at Brown. He noted the cost, inefficiency, and time needed for such efforts. “It’s like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.” (more…)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A floating weed that clogs waterways around the world has at least one redeeming feature: It’s inspired a high-tech waterproof coating intended for boats and submarines.
The Brazilian fern Salvinia molesta has proliferated around the Americas and Australia in part because its surface is dotted with oddly shaped hairs that trap air, reduce friction, and help the plant stay afloat. (more…)
*Waterways receiving nitrogen from human activities are significant source*
What goes in must come out, a truism that now may be applied to global river networks.
Human-caused nitrogen loading to river networks is a potentially important source of nitrous oxide emission to the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and stratospheric ozone destruction. (more…)