07 January 2016

This Week in Water

Busy holiday and end-of-year 'real life' issues now past, it's time to kick off the new year, 2016, with another installment of #TWIW.

The full effects of the current powerful El Niño have yet to be felt.

Winter temperatures in the Arctic rose above the freezing point in December as a result of storms originating from El Niño, the same storms that brought historic rains to the southern U.S. and Great Britain.

The U.S. midwest experienced historic flooding of the Mississippi River over the holidays. As did parts of northern England.

For the first time in ten years, California's snowpack is above normal.

Flooding from Typhoon Melor in the Philippines resulted in the evacuation of 725,000 people.

The Florida Keys are experiencing increasingly regular street flooding during high tides, and as temperatures continue to climb so will sea levels around Miami.

Melting Arctic sea ice is associated not only with increased heat absorption but also with increased precipitation in the Arctic.

The North American Great Lakes are warming twice as fast the planet's oceans. So is Israel's Lake Kinneret and many others worldwide.

The most critical ecosystem of Europe's oldest lake, Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, one of the most biodiverse lakes in the world, is being paved over to accommodate increased tourism.

Bolivia's second largest lake, Lake Poopo in the Andes, has dried up.

Scientists have been significantly underestimating humanity's global water footprint by as much as 20%, and some believe we are fast approaching unsustainable levels.

Flint, Michigan has been declared a state of emergency after the state government changed up its water supply and toxic levels of lead and other toxic substances began showing up in the drinking water. You can (and should) follow the news here.

The chemicals in the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, are known to be associated with developmental and reproductive toxicity. The extent of their concentrations in groundwater supplies affected by fracking requires urgent further study.

The Australian government has given final approval to a giant coal terminal at Abbot Point in northern Queensland, just 12 miles from the Great Barrier Reef.

President Obama signed a new law banning the use of exfoliating plastic microbeads in soaps and shampoos and toothpaste beginning in 2017. These have been making their way into our waterways and water supplies for years.

Orange peels may be able to absorb excess mercury contamination in the water and soil.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and NOAA are crowd-sourcing tsunami sensors on cargo ships and other seafaring vessels to provide more accurate real-time data than current warning systems.

Scientists at Cornell University have developed a reusable polymer that can remove pollutants from flowing water within seconds.

Industry views on the state of water in 2015 here.

Dry ice rather than water could have sculpted those mysterious gulleys on Mars.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Australian government has given final approval to a giant coal terminal at Abbot Point in northern Queensland, just 12 miles from the Great Barrier Reef.

Sigh. Shitheads all over the planet, running things.