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Warming bay water threatens to shut down Plymouth nuclear reactor - Boston.com

Warming bay water threatens to shut down Plymouth nuclear reactor - Boston.com | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Boston Herald
Warming bay water threatens to shut down Plymouth nuclear reactor
Boston.com
The current heat wave is threatening to shut down the nuclear power plant in Plymouth, as water used to cool the system nears limits on safe temperature.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that the water drawn from Cape Cod Bay to cool the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station be below 75 degrees. On Tuesday afternoon, the water exceeded that mark for about 90 minutes, forcing the plant to reduce power output temporarily.

Water temperatures have not surpassed that mark again, but it is a possibility as the heat wave persists.

“Obviously, they are going to have to keep an eye on it,” said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, which oversees the plant. “They need to have sufficient heat transfer,” he said.

A reactor in Connecticut was shut down for two weeks last August due to water intake temperatures that exceeded the 75-degree limit, the NRC said.

When the limits were put into place, regulators never imagined that rising water temperatures would be a concern, Sheehan said.

“No one could envision a scenario where water temperatures would exceed these limits,” Sheehan said.

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NASA: Pause Exists And Is Due To Ocean Heat Storage ("a temporary relief that has long-term impacts")

NASA: Pause Exists And Is Due To Ocean Heat Storage ("a temporary relief that has long-term impacts") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A new NASA study of ocean temperature measurements shows in recent years extra heat from greenhouse gases has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Researchers say this shifting pattern of ocean heat accounts for the slowdown in the global surface temperature trend observed during the past decade.

Researchers Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis and Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, found a specific layer of the Indian and Pacific oceans between 300 and 1,000 feet (100 and 300 meters) below the surface has been accumulating more heat than previously recognized. They also found the movement of warm water has affected surface temperatures. The result was published Thursday in the journal Science.

During the 20th century, as greenhouse gas concentrations increased and trapped more heat energy on Earth, global surface temperatures also increased. However, in the 21st century, this pattern seemed to change temporarily.

The Pacific Ocean is the primary source of the subsurface warm water found in the study, though some of that water now has been pushed to the Indian Ocean. Since 2003, unusually strong trade winds and other climatic features have been piling up warm water in the upper 1,000 feet of the western Pacific, pinning it against Asia and Australia.

"The western Pacific got so warm that some of the warm water is leaking into the Indian Ocean through the Indonesian archipelago," said Nieves, the lead author of the study.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What will the effect on the surface be if the ocean gets warmer through the years? Read this very new report and find out.

 

"Now a new analysis by three ocean scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory not only confirms that the extra heat has been going into the ocean, but it shows where. According to research by Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis, and Bill Patzert, the waters of the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean warmed significantly from 2003 to 2012. But the warming did not occur at the surface; it showed up below 10 meters (32 feet) in depth, and mostly between 100 to 300 meters (300 to 1,000 feet) below the sea surface. They published their results on July 9, 2015, in the journal Science."

“Overall, the ocean is still absorbing extra heat,” said Willis, an oceanographer at JPL. “But the top couple of layers of the ocean exchange heat easily and can keep it away from the surface for ten years or so because of natural cycles. In the long run, the planet is still warming.”

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, Today, 12:15 AM

What will the effect on the surface be if the ocean gets warmer through the years? Read this very new report and find out.


"Now a new analysis by three ocean scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory not only confirms that the extra heat has been going into the ocean, but it shows where. According to research by Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis, and Bill Patzert, the waters of the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean warmed significantly from 2003 to 2012. But the warming did not occur at the surface; it showed up below 10 meters (32 feet) in depth, and mostly between 100 to 300 meters (300 to 1,000 feet) below the sea surface. They published their results on July 9, 2015, in the journal Science."

“Overall, the ocean is still absorbing extra heat,” said Willis, an oceanographer at JPL. “But the top couple of layers of the ocean exchange heat easily and can keep it away from the surface for ten years or so because of natural cycles. In the long run, the planet is still warming.”

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Church joins lobby to protect Verde Island Passage ("marine biodiversity center needs protction")

Church joins lobby to protect Verde Island Passage ("marine biodiversity center needs protction") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

An alliance of church people and environmentalists urged President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday to establish a vast conservation area in the “center of the center” of the world’s marine biodiversity .

The Coalition for the Preservation of the Verde Island Passage proposes the creation of protected areas “to secure the safety of this paradise.”

It said the declaration will protect the sea waters and towns facing the straight which occupies more than 1.14 million hectares between the provinces of Batangas, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon.

The appeal was made amid plans for a gold mining operation and a coal-fired power plant in Lobo, Batangas.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the projects would bring more damage than benefits to the people.

“We want not just a moratorium but a total ban on mining and coal-fired power plant projects in the whole province,” he said in a press conference at a hotel in Quezon City.

He said the campaign has nothing to do with local politics “but for the survival of our race.”

The group asked the government for the revocation and cancellation of all approved mineral production sharing agreements granted in Lobo for mining and eventually, ceasing the issuance of environmental compliance certificates to similar entities.

It also called on the tourism department to declare the Verde Island Passage and the coastal areas of Lobo as tourism zones.

“They have to think [about] the welfare of the people,” said Arguelles. “They want progress, but actually it’s just for some interests and not for the common good.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Verde Island area will be better off as a protected area and earn from eco-tourism projects.

 

“We are mobilizing a massive force that will stand up against the raping of the environment because the Verde Island Passage has impact on the global ecology,” he added.

"Lobo officials on Monday have all but killed off the plan for the Php 640 million gold mining project in the face of overwhelming popular opposition and fears about the province’s environment.

"Aside from gold mining, the coalition is also opposing the plan to put up a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant project in Lobo."

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Business Groups Are Suing The EPA Over Its New Drinking Water Protections ("battle for water access!")

Business Groups Are Suing The EPA Over Its New Drinking Water Protections ("battle for water access!") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The lawsuit claims businesses will "suffer real economic harm" from the new anti-pollution rule.

Multiple business groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to strike down the federal government’s new water protection rule.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and three other groups sued the agencies Friday over the Waters of the United States rule, which protects two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands that hadn’t before been regulated under the Clean Water Act. The groups alleged that the rule, which was finalized in May, “disrupts the careful balance” between states’ ability to use and develop water and the federal government’s ability to regulate it.

The EPA and some environmental groups dispute that claim. According to the EPA, the rule protects bodies of water that serve as a drinking source for one out of every three Americans. Groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council have praised the rule, though others like the Waterkeeper Alliance and the Center for Biological Diversity remain concerned that the rule doesn’t go far enough environmentally.

Some business groups have also come out in support of the rule. In May, New Belgium Brewing Company testified in front of Congress, noting that clean water is crucial to beer-making.

“Our brewery and our communities depend on clean water,” said Andrew Lemley, a government affairs representative for the company. “Beer is, after all, over 90 percent water and if something happens to our source water the negative affect on our business is almost unthinkable.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

The battle for water access begins! This is just a preview of similar things to come as water sustainability issues become mainstream.

 

"According to a 2014 American Sustainable Business Council poll, 80 percent of small business owners approved of the protections proposed in the Waters of the U.S. rule, and 71 percent thought that protecting water was “necessary to ensure economic growth.”

"With their lawsuit, the large business groups join coal company Murray Energy and twelve other organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Association, in legally opposing the rule. They also join 22 states that have filed lawsuits, including North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, West Virginia, and Colorado."

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Scientists predict huge sea level rise even if we limit climate change ("adaptation-only scenario")

Scientists predict huge sea level rise even if we limit climate change ("adaptation-only scenario") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Climate Central: Study of past sea level changes shows coastal communities may face rises of at least six metres even if we limit global warming to 2C

“Even if we meet that 2C target, in the past with those types of temperatures, we may be committing ourselves to this level of sea level rise in the long term,”Andrea Dutton, a geochemist at the University of Florida and one of the study’s co-authors, said. “The decisions we make now about where we want to be in 2100 commit us on a pathway where we can’t go back. Once these ice sheets start to melt, the changes become irreversible.”

The study examined past changes and laid out a framework for using them to refine our understanding of what the future holds for coastal communities. According to separate research by Climate Central, a 20-ft sea level rise wouldreshape the US coast, causing Louisiana to lose its boot and transforming the Bay Area into the Bays Areas by forming a second inland bay. It would also threaten the world’s coastal nations and megacities.

Sea levels have already risen about eight inches (200mm) compared to pre-industrial times. That rise has helped boost the surge and flooding damage from storms such as Sandy andTyphoon Haiyan, and dramatically increased the occurrence of everyday flooding during high tide in cities from Baltimore to Honolulu.

But sea level rise isn’t going to just turn off after 2100 and according to climate scientists, current greenhouse gases are baking much more than three feet of sea level rise into the system. The world’s oceans, ice sheets and climate are constantly performing an intricate dance. The current rate of warming could have them dancing a different routine forcing ice sheets to accommodate by melting, and sea levels in turn to rise.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is little time to do so much! Without sounding like an alarmist, there are realities which are really troubling for our children. The older generation can't just wait and watch.


"The most recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that if emissions continue on their current trend, sea levels could continue to rise another 39 in by the end of this century."

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DocAten's curator insight, July 13, 5:15 AM

Etude de l université de Floride. 

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Hit by drought and seawater, Bangkok tap water may run out in a month - Yahoo News

Hit by drought and seawater, Bangkok tap water may run out in a month - Yahoo News | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Bangkok's tap water supply may run out in a month, as the country waits for long overdue rains to replenish sources depleted by drought and threatened by seawater creep, the chief of the...

Thailand is suffering its worst drought in more than a decade. In an effort to maintain water levels in the dams that supply water for agriculture in the provinces as well as taps in the capital Bangkok, the government has asked farmers to refrain from planting rice since last October.

Despite these measures, water levels are critically low in the three key reservoirs that flow into the Chao Phraya River, one of the two main sources of Bangkok's tap water.

Normally, the flow of water from the rains and dams keeps saltwater from the Gulf of Thailand at bay. But during droughts, the saltwater creeps upstream, turning the Chao Phraya brackish.

The seawater can kill crops and threatens the pumping station that siphons off water from the river, about 100 km (60 miles) from the gulf. The waterworks authority produces 5.2 million cubic meters of tap water per day for 2.2 million residential, business and industrial customers, but is not equipped to treat saltwater.

"Some days the saltwater increases, we don't intake the water from the Chao Phraya River. We stop and use the water from the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority stocks of water in canals. We can stop intake for 3 hours," Thanasak said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Drought and heat waves in so many places! Can you picture a climate that is twice as hot and so much less water?

The present situation in Thailand is a case in point.


"Right now, there is only enough water in the dams to distribute for about 30 more days – if it doesn't rain,"

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LOOK: ‘Scubasureros’ dive for garbage in waters of Hundred Islands ("we need more of them + enforcers")

LOOK: ‘Scubasureros’ dive for garbage in waters of Hundred Islands ("we need more of them + enforcers") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Not all scuba divers at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City in Pangasinan were diving for pleasure last weekend—some of them were diving for garbage. The divers, dubbed "Scubasureros," are part of cleanup efforts in the tourist attraction, GMA Dagupan's Jette Arcellana reported Monday.

"Kung ikaw ay regular swimmer lang, parang hindi mo siya mapapansin, parang pag gumamit ka talaga ng gauge natin, yung snorkeling gauge natin, makikita mo talaga yung mga ganitong basura," said city tourism officer Solomon Tablang.
It was the first time the scubasureros dived in Hundred Islands since the management of the park was turned over to the local government in 2005.
During last weekend's dives, the scubasureros collected some 10 bags of trash from each of the eight islands they cleaned up.
Most of the trash they collected included plastic items, which can be potentially deadly to dolphins.
"[A]lam niyo kasi ang plastic, hindi nagde-decay yan, and then yung plastic pag nasa tubig it looks like a jellyfish, kaya ito kinakain ng mga dolphin. At yung dolphin naman, ito ang ikinamamatay nito," said city environment officer Narciso Aragon.
The cleanup was a joint effort of the local government unit, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the City Environment Office, the Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police, and local boat operators.

Bert Guevara's insight:

More tourists = more tourists = more garbage! 

Cleaning up is the heroic thing to do. But have they caught any tourist violators? Why apply "kids gloves" on the irresponsible tourist?

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80% of India's surface water may be polluted, report by international body says - Economic Times

80% of India's surface water may be polluted, report by international body says - Economic Times | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Even as India is making headlines with its rising air pollution levels, the water in the country may not be any better.

The report, based on latest data from the ministry of urban development (2013), census 2011 and Central Pollution Control Board, estimates that 75-80% of water pollution by volume is from domestic sewerage, while untreated sewerage flowing into water bodies including rivers have almost doubled in recent years. 

This in turn is leading to increasing burden of vector borne diseases, cholera, dysentery, jaundice and diarrhea etc. Water pollution is found to be a major cause for poor nutritional standards and development in children also. 
Between 1991 and 2008, the latest period for which data is available, flow of untreated sewerage has doubled from around 12,000 million litres per day to 24,000 million litres per day in Class I and II towns. 

Experts say there are glaring gaps not just in treatment of sewerage water but also in case of water treatment itself, used in supply of drinking water as well as for kitchen use etc. 
"Though there are standards, the enforcement is very low. Even the amount of water, which is treated, is also not treated completely or as per standards. And there is no civic agency accountable or punishable for that because we do not have stringent laws," says Puneet Srivastava, manager policy- Urban WASH & Climate Change at WaterAid India. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

When the air and water of a country are both polluted, what kind of citizens will they have in the next decade? Where will the poor citizens go?

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Depletion of world’s groundwater raises alarms | Toronto Star ("what we don't see will just run out soon")

Depletion of world’s groundwater raises alarms | Toronto Star ("what we don't see will just run out soon") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Studies using data gathered from space by NASA have found 13 of the earth’s largest aquifers are being depleted with little or no recharge. The findings have sparked warnings of potentially serious environmental and political consequences.

Underground water supplies are being depleted faster than they can be restored, and more data is needed to determine exactly how much groundwater remains globally, two new studies suggest.

Researchers led by the University of California-Irvine observed 37 of the world’s largest aquifers between 2003 and 2013, and found that 13 were being depleted with little or no recharge to offset water use.

Of this, eight were said to be “overstressed,” showing hardly any natural recharge, while another five were “extremely” or “highly” stressed.

The researchers found that climate change and population growth were making the problem worse. Water depletion, they said, may have negative consequences on sociopolitical situations around the world.

“Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left,” Famiglietti said.

Groundwater is water that is found in soil or rock layers below the Earth’s surface, as opposed to surface water sources like lakes and rivers. Groundwater basins, known as aquifers, are found around the world.

“The water that we have in those aquifers represents over 95 per cent of the planet’s fresh, available water resources,” said Ken Howard, president of the International Association of Hydrogeologists and a hydrogeology professor at University of Toronto Scarborough.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The problem is happening in the unseen places underneath us. The fact that most of us are "blind" to aquifer behavior, then almost nobody is paying much attention to it. But wait till it runs out; then we scratch our heads.

 

“Without having good information on how these reserves are changing with time, how the water quality is changing with time, that is the sticking point when it comes to properly managing and protecting a resource,” he said.

“It’s out of public sight, and therefore it’s out of political mind. Basically, it’s a hidden resource. Nobody pays any attention to it because for the most part, you can’t see it.”

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Bringing Sustainable Water, Sanitation to the World's Poorest ("2.5b people still have no sanitation")

Bringing Sustainable Water, Sanitation to the World's Poorest ("2.5b people still have no sanitation") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
In its latest progress report, the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council reveals that it has provided 4.2 million people with improved toilets.

It’s estimated that no less than 2.5 billion people – 40 percent of the global population – do not have access to decent sanitation. More than 1 billion reportedly defecate in the open, exposing themselves and their communities to various risks. Among them is diarrheal disease, which WSSCC explains, “is a leading cause of malnutrition, stunting and child mortality, claiming nearly 600,000 under-5 lives every year.”

Formed in 1990 by the U.N. to succeed the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, WSSCC has since “served as an international coordinating body to enhance collaboration in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sectors, specifically in order to attain universal coverage for poor people around the world.”

With voluntary contributions from state, private and public sector sources, WSSC has assembled and coordinates the activities of a global network of water, sanitation and health (WASH) professionals. The GSF is its principal project funding mechanism.

“Access to improved sanitation has to be a sustainable reality for every person in the community, regardless of age, gender or disability, in order for the health and other benefits to be enjoyed by all,” GSF program director, David Shimkus, was quoted as saying. “This report shows that GSF-supported programs are making major strides in achieving improved sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable, and all stakeholders will continue to work together to ensure such progress continues.”

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Vital Signs: Sea Level ("3.2 mm/year; due to melting and water expansion from warming; pretty fast")

Vital Signs: Sea Level ("3.2 mm/year; due to melting and water expansion from warming; pretty fast") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming and climate change from NASA.

Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting land ice and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The first chart tracks the change in sea level since 1993 as observed by satellites.

The second chart, derived from coastal tide gauge data, shows how much sea level changed from about 1870 to 2000.

Bert Guevara's insight:

3.2 mm/year may not look much, but if the sea level rise continues for decades, then it will definitely reach a beach near you.

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Sustainable fishing could produce more profits and more fish: research ("replenishment period needed")

Sustainable fishing could produce more profits and more fish: research ("replenishment period needed") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
LISBON (Reuters) - Global sustainable fishery policies could raise profits in the sector by $51 billion a year, boost the numbers of fish in the oceans and provide more food for the world's people, research

The extensive research, based on data from fisheries representing 77 percent of the world's fish catch, showed that fish stocks could grow very quickly if responsible fishing policies are adopted.

"We found that conservation is a means to an end," said Chris Costello, from the University of California, one of the institutions involved in the research. "This is a bit shocking and we think this is a new finding."

 

The findings of the research, which also involved the Environmental Defense Group and the University of Washington, were released during a World Ocean Summit of business leaders, government officials and conservation groups in Portugal.

The researchers said they were based on a very large database of fisheries, 4,373 in total, compared with previous studies which looked at far fewer.

The preliminary results suggest policies to prevent overfishing, taking measures when fish stocks become depleted and enforcing laws to stop illegal fishing can quickly turn around dwindling fisheries.

Adopting sustainable policies could restore the percentage of world fisheries considered healthy from 45 percent today to 79 percent within 10 years and 98 percent by 2050. A typical fishery could recover in just nine years, the findings showed.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Control the greed! We can't over-fish forever and expect profits to continue.

 

"The data reveal a stark choice: manage fisheries sustainably and realize the tremendous potential of the world's oceans; or allow 'business as usual' to continue to draw down the natural capital of our oceans."

"The research urged governments and businesses to take action soon to ensure fishing can be sustainable in the future and feed the world's growing population."

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Water pollution in India a serious concern a documentary - Every Indian Must Watch This Vi - YouTube

SUBSCRIBE to my channel: LIKE + SHARE Water pollution is serious concern in India yet we give very less attention to it and still the water
Bert Guevara's insight:

This is one of the most disgusting videos I have ever watched. Similar scenes are also found in the Philippines.

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Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it")

Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Maynilad Water Services Inc. said it started building a P363-million septage treatment plant in Las Pinas City.

The South Septage Treatment Plant is located in Barangay Pamplona Uno.

Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.

Maynilad said the septage treatment plant, partly funded by a World Bank loan, will use a "screw press dewatering system." This particular technology is used for treatment of septage that requires minimal operational costs.

"Wastewater from households that is not properly treated can pose serious and long-term threats to the health of communities and the environment. To date, we operate 17 wastewater treatment plants capable of treating 520 million liters of wastewater per day," Maynilad President and CEO Ricky P. Vargas said.

Maynilad, the water concessionaire for the West Zone, is setting aside 7.61 billion or around 44 percent of its total capital expenditures for 2015 for wastewater management projects.

Bert Guevara's insight:

After all the bustling new cities in the South of Metro Manila have sprawled, it is only now that we see a waste water treatment facility being constructed.

The crude system of "seeping" individual septic tanks is a painstaking process that still leaves a lot of septage water untreated. What about houses that have waste water draining directly into our drainage systems? Have they been all inspected and corrected yet? No wonder Manila Bay smells like a sewer.

 

"Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite."

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Study Analyses What Happens To Rain Water ("where does rainwater go and how does it return?")

Study Analyses What Happens To Rain Water ("where does rainwater go and how does it return?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

More than a quarter of the rain and snow that falls on continents reaches the oceans as runoff. Now a new study helps show where the rest goes: two-thirds of the remaining water is released by plants, more than a quarter lands on leaves and evaporates and what’s left evaporates from soil and from lakes, rivers and streams.

“The question is, when rain falls on the landscape, where does it go?” says University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, senior author of the study published today in the journal Science. “The water on the continents sustains all plant life, all agriculture, humans, aquatic ecosystems. But the breakdown – how much is used for those things – has always been unclear.”

University of Utah hydrologist Stephen Good, the study’s first author, says, “We’ve broken down the different possible pathways that water takes as it moves from rainfall [and snowfall] through soils, plants and rivers. Here we’ve found the proportions of water that returns to the atmosphere though plants, soils and open water.”

• 64 percent (55,000 cubic kilometers or 13,200 cubic miles) is released or essentially exhaled by plants, a process called transpiration. This is lower than estimated by recent research, which concluded plant transpiration accounted for more than 80 percent of water that falls on land and does not flow to the seas, Bowen says.
• 6 percent (5,000 cubic kilometers or 1,200 cubic miles) evaporates from soils.
• 3 percent (2,000 cubic kilometers or 480 cubic miles) evaporates from lakes, streams and rivers. 
• Previous research indicated the other 27 percent (23,000 cubic kilometers or 5,520 cubic miles) falls on leaves and evaporates, a process called interception.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

These are interesting data to understand the behavior of water. Read the whole article and understand.

 

“Getting what’s called Earth’s ‘water balance’ right is the key to understanding how our climate and ecosystems interact,” says Henry Gholz, of NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology. “This new analysis offers an estimate of hard-to-come-by global water measurements: water used by plants and water that evaporates from land. By knowing these amounts, we can better understand how ecosystems, including watersheds, work. In a decade when our reserves of freshwater are declining – in some cases to critically low levels – this information couldn’t be timelier.”

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This Seaweed Tastes Like Bacon. It Could Help Clean The Oceans. ("no fresh water, arable land needed")

This Seaweed Tastes Like Bacon. It Could Help Clean The Oceans. ("no fresh water, arable land needed") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Researchers at Oregon State University have the food world freaking out over seaweed that supposedly tastes like bacon -- but environmentalists should celebrate, too.

Last week, researchers at Oregon State University announced that they had successfully patented a new strain of red marine algae, known as dulse, that grows extremely quickly and could serve as an excellent source of plant-based protein.

It also, according to researchers, tastes exactly like bacon when it’s fried.

That last fact was enough to set the food world into a tailspin, inspiring a flurry of media coverage touting dulse as a “super seaweed,” “the holy grail of seafood,” and “the unicorn.”

And apart from being a tasty product with a robust international industry (25 million tons of seaweed are harvested annually around the world), Yarish thinks seaweed is a particularly exciting crop because of its ability to extract nutrients from aquatic ecosystems. Basically, seaweed doesn’t just grow in the coastal waters that humans are pumping full of pollutants — it thrives in those environments.

“You’re dealing with a crop that doesn’t require fresh water, it does not require arable land,” Yarish told ThinkProgress. “We’re starting to see in western cultures there are some very interesting attributes of seaweed that fit our needs. One of the major problems that coastal managers have has to do with managing nutrients.”

Nitrogen, primarily from agricultural fertilizers, is an especially common nutrient in coastal waterways, but an overabundance of nitrogen in coastal waters encourages phytoplankton growth and algal blooms, which deplete oxygen from marine ecosystems. Unconstrained nutrient runoff from agricultural areas can lead to coastal dead zones — areas completely void of oxygen — that can rob communities of economic gains from fishing and shellfish harvesting.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"dulse" -- Here is a new seaweed development that may thrive in the Philippines. Fry it and it takes like bacon, without the cholesterol, but has a lot of healthy nutrients.


“You’re dealing with a crop that doesn’t require fresh water, it does not require arable land,” Yarish told ThinkProgress. “We’re starting to see in western cultures there are some very interesting attributes of seaweed that fit our needs. One of the major problems that coastal managers have has to do with managing nutrients.”

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Shocking Photos Reveal How Bad Pollution in China Has Gotten ("is this a river or a dumpsite?")

Shocking Photos Reveal How Bad Pollution in China Has Gotten ("is this a river or a dumpsite?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
#4 The Yangtze cleanup crew (Image 4 of 7)According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, there has been a 73% increase in pollution in this river in the past 50 years. Wetlands destruction, climate change, sedimentation, among many other problems are to blame.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Pictures speak for themselves.

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Coral Breeding May Help Cooler Reefs Survive (human intervention may sometimes help our corals")

Coral Breeding May Help Cooler Reefs Survive (human intervention may sometimes help our corals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Corals that naturally thrive in the hottest tropical waters can be bred with cooler cousins to help them survive global warming.

Corals that naturally thrive in the hottest tropical waters can be bred with cousins in cooler seas to help them survive mounting threats from global warming.

Tests of corals in warm waters on Australia's Great Barrier Reef found they were able to survive bigger temperature rises than those of an identical species in cooler seas 300 miles south, according to a University of Texas at Austin study published in the journal Science.

The study, by scientists in the United States and Australia, raises the possibility of deliberate breeding to pass on heat-tolerant genes to combat climate change, linked by almost all scientists to a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

"Coral larvae with parents from the north, where waters were about 3.6 Fahrenheit warmer, were up to 10 times as likely to survive heat stress, compared with those with parents from the south," the scientists found.

And cross-breeding of the corals, of the Acropora millepora species common in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, brought offspring that were "significantly" better at coping with rising temperatures than the cooler southern corals, they wrote.

Corals, which are tiny stony-bodied animals, form reefs that are vital nurseries for many fish and are big draws for scuba-diving tourists.

"What I think is the most viable strategy is simply to transplant adult corals - we make a reef and let then cross with the natural corals," Mikhail Matz, a co-author at the University of Texas at Austin, told Reuters.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This example of man-made coral breeding is a new approach in trying to save corals from warmer ocean temperature. But, scientists are not yet sure if there are no negative side-effects to the procedure.

 

"A United Nations report last year said that there were early warning signs that warm water corals and the Arctic, where ice is melting fast, were among the most vulnerable parts of nature and already suffering irreversible changes because of warming.

The experts cautioned that warmer waters were only one of many problems facing corals - others including pollution and an acidification of the oceans.

"The fact that corals can inherit heat tolerance "is not a magic bullet that will safeguard corals from the multitude of stressors they are currently facing," Line Bay, a co-author at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, told Reuters."

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Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines - CNN.com ("sharks treated like pets")

Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines - CNN.com ("sharks treated like pets") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Feeding sessions keep these underwater giants friendly, but some worry they're getting too friendly

Oslob's reputation as a whale shark spotting area began, it's said, when a tourist noticed their presence in the area and hired a fisherman to take him out to see the big fish.

Since then, its fame has spread.

"People first started coming to see the whale sharks in Oslob around three years ago, in 2012," explains Edgar Mirambel, founder of Island Trek Tours.

Popularity hasn't scared the whale sharks away.

A favorable environment and free feeding sessions -- krill, small fish and sea plants are on the menu -- from local fishermen keep them in the area.

Mirambel explains that Oslob was struggling to rely on farming and fishing until whale shark tourism began to draw the crowds to this sleepy, backwater town.

"The whale sharks in Oslob have been in our waters since time immemorial," she says. "The fishermen feed the whale sharks only to attract them to the water's surface -- it's a small amount of krill, and the feeding stops in the afternoon."

There's concern that feeding sessions leave the whale sharks' passive toward humans and more vulnerable as well as over-dependent on the handouts.

The interaction in Oslob has, however, raised awareness of the endangered fish (whale sharks became a protected species in 2003) across Asia and beyond.

It's also helping the local economy.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Is it wise to feed the whale sharks like pets? What are the consequences for these sea life creatures?

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Scientists Baffled Over Unprecedented Warming of Ocean Off Atlantic & Pacific Coasts ("cause unclear")

Scientists Baffled Over Unprecedented Warming of Ocean Off Atlantic & Pacific Coasts ("cause unclear") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Oceanographers are puzzled by an accelerated burst of warming sea that threatens the fisheries of the American Atlantic coast. The Woods Hole Oceanographic

Their findings came after analysis of data from sensors—called bathythermographs—dropped 14 times a year from the container ship Oleander, which for 37 years has travelled between New Jersey and Bermuda. Each detector takes the temperature of the water column as it sinks up to 700 meters.

What they were startled to discover was an unexplained, and unprecedented, rise in the water temperatures that may be linked with an equally mysterious sea level anomaly: sea levels are going up, but they are going up faster off the north-east coast of the U.S. than almost anywhere else.

“The warming rate since 2002 is 15 times faster than from the previous 100 years,” says Glen Gawarkiewicz, a WHOI senior scientist and one of the authors of the report.

“There’s just been this incredible acceleration to the warming, and we don’t know if it’s decadal variability or if this trend will continue.”

To make sure of their perspective, the authors compared their analysis with surface data from the Nantucket lightship and other such installations along the coast, from 1880 to 2004. The new study shows that the warming is not just confined to surface waters.

Although there must be some link with the steady rise in atmospheric temperatures because of global warming as a result of human-made carbon dioxide emissions, the oceanographers suspect there may also be another explanation, so far undiscovered.

Off the Pacific coast, meteorologists have been scratching their heads over the appearance in 2014 of a “remarkably” warm patch—1,500 kilometres across in every direction and 100 metres deep—that could be linked to “weird” weather across the continental US that has seen heat and drought in the west and blizzards and chills in the East.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Ocean warming is not easy to explain or to link with global warming, but they are both warming up beyond the traditional earth cycles. Read this article.

 

"A second study in Geophysical Research Letters links the warm Pacific puzzle to the big freezein the eastern states in 2013 and 2014.

Once again, there doesn’t seem to be a direct connection with climate change, but it raises the specter of changes to come.

“This is a taste of what the ocean will be like in future decades,” Dr Bond says. “It wasn’t caused by global warming, but it’s producing conditions that we think are going to be more common with global warming.”

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U.N. votes to create ocean conservation treaty | The Japan Times ("half the planet is w/o protection")

U.N. votes to create ocean conservation treaty | The Japan Times ("half the planet is w/o protection") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday to develop a treaty for the conservation of marine life in the high seas. The resolution, adopted by

The resolution, adopted by consensus, launches the first global treaty process related to the oceans in over two decades and the first on the protection and sustainable use of animal and plant life in sea areas beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any country.

It authorizes a preparatory committee to meet in 2016 and 2017 and make recommendations on provisions for a legally binding legal instrument under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea — and the General Assembly. It says the 193-member world body will decide in 2018 on convening a formal treaty negotiating conference.

The resolution follows a commitment by world leaders at the Rio+20 environment conference in Brazil in 2012 to address the protection of the high seas.

“The high seas account for nearly half our planet — the half that has been left without law or protection for far too long,” said Sifa Tsenikli of Greenpeace. “A global network of marine reserves is urgently needed to bring life back into the oceans. This new treaty should make that happen.”

Elizabeth Wilson, director of international ocean policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts, said the commitment of world leaders shouldn’t be underestimated. “Launching these negotiations marks the beginning of a new era in ocean conservation,” she said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Who is protecting the oceans beyond the nations' boundaries? 


“The high seas account for nearly half our planet — the half that has been left without law or protection for far too long,” said Sifa Tsenikli of Greenpeace. “A global network of marine reserves is urgently needed to bring life back into the oceans. This new treaty should make that happen.”

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10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans ("nothing is too small a task to save our endangered oceans")

10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans ("nothing is too small a task to save our endangered oceans") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Oceana has compiled a list of suggestions for green – dare we say blue? – lifestyle choices that can help preserve the oceans for future generations.1. Join OceanaMore than 550,000 members and e-activists in over 200 countries have already joined Oceana - the largest international organization focused 100 percent on ocean conservation. Become a Wavemaker here.

Oceana has compiled a list of suggestions for green – dare we say blue? – lifestyle choices that can help preserve the oceans for future generations.

1. Join Oceana

2. Vote responsibly. Contact your representative.

3. Eat sustainable seafood.

4. Reduce energy use.

5. Use reusable plastic products.

6. Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

7. Use less fertilizer.

8. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches.

9. Buy ocean-friendly products.

10. Share with a friend.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our embattled oceans need our help. Check out some of the things we can do on our level.

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Stunning aerial photos of the world's aquaculture operations ("fishing's never been the same")

Stunning aerial photos of the world's aquaculture operations ("fishing's never been the same") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
June marks World Oceans Month, a time to learn and share what is important about the huge swathes of the world that the oceans cover.

Making up more than 90% of the habitable space on the planet and home to a majority of Earth’s life, the importance of our oceans cannot be overstated.

In President Barack Obama’s statement on the U.S.’s own National Oceans Month, he stated a need to “[ensure] the long-term health, resilience, and productivity of our marine environments.” Included in that commitment was the protection and continued “sustainability of our world's fisheries.”

 

Aquaculture, the raising of seafood and other marine life in controlled aquatic environments, has become more widespread in past decades as overfishing has depleted wild fish stocks. From small seaweed and kelp operations in Japan and China, to the dizzying mosaic of oyster beds in France, here is a look at how humans are using, and altering their environment to feed the world.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Improving the way we culture seafood has never been more commercialized. The expansion of the world's aquaculture facilities has been awesome, to say the least. These pictures will give us a glimpse of what is happening in the seafood world.

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Protecting Indonesia's Coral Reefs - YouTube ("educating the community is best way to protect corals")

http://www.worldbank.org/id - Indonesia's coral reefs are a global treasure yet they are in danger. The World Bank Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management P...

Indonesia's coral reefs are a global treasure yet they are in danger. The World Bank Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Project, or Coremap, helps communities revive damaged reefs and improve conservation efforts. Local fishermen are trained to monitor the reefs, and local schools include ecosystem conservation in their curriculum.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The best way to protect the coral reefs is to make the community understand the value they have on the survival of their families. This Indonesian experience highlights the need for effective education as a method of coral reef protection.

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This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals")

This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Whoever said water couldn't burn didn't pollute hard enough.

Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been

The foam apparently caught fire last week, burning for most of last Friday night, as seen in a shocking video recorded from its banks, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Experts told the outlet a slurry of oil and phosphorus from untreated industrial waste and sewage likely created the conditions for the combustable cocktail to ignite. Areas of nearby wetlands that had helped to filter the lake in the past were destroyed by development.

"These wetlands used to act as purifiers. But all such wetlands surrounding the lake have been encroached and there is no place for natural purification. Hence the pollution at these lakes is uncontrollable," an unnamed officer for the local pollution control board told the Mirror.

Apart from the alarming, positively hellish prospect of a lake of fire, residents have also reported allergic reactions and a burning sensation possibly caused by toxins released by the foam, which caught fire again on Monday, according to The News Minute. The froth has swelled to a height of as much as 12 feet due to recent rains, and has spilled over the banks of the lake.

City officials have called for an investigation into the rampant pollution, which is alsonoticeable on another lake nearby.

"Foam, fire, what next? A Loch Ness monster?" a resident told local television outlet NDTV.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I thought our Manila creeks were bad enough. Take a look at this Indian river - it burns!


"Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been covered with several feet of toxic foam that some have said resembles snow from far away, according to The Hindu. Beneath the snow-white lather, the water has turned black from chemicals and sewage."

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Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever")

Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
It’s the most important river in the West—and it exemplifies everything wrong with water use in America.

All that human utility has costs; the river suffers, in varying degrees, from many of the same kinds of overuse and environmental degradation that threaten freshwater sources around the world. The Colorado’s flow is so altered and controlled that in some ways the river functions more like a fourteen-hundred-mile-long canal. The legal right to use every gallon is owned or claimed by someone—in fact, more than every gallon, since theoretical rights to the Colorado’s flow (known as “paper water”) vastly exceed its actual flow (known as “wet water”). That imbalance has been exacerbated by the drought in the Western United States, now in its sixteenth year, but even if the drought ended tomorrow problems would remain. The river has been “over-allocated” since the states in its drainage basin first began to divide the water among themselves, nearly a century ago, and scientists expect climate change to strain it further, in part by reducing precipitation in the mountains that feed it.

Not long ago, I travelled as much of the Colorado’s length as can be followed in a car. I began near the headwaters, put three thousand miles on three rental cars, and ended, eventually, in northern Mexico, where the Colorado simply runs out. So much water is diverted from the river as it winds through the Southwest that, since the early nineteen-sixties, it has seldom flowed all the way to its natural outlet, at the upper end of the Gulf of California, and since the late nineteen-nineties it has made it there only once. People who drive into or out of the town of San Luis Río Colorado, in the Mexican state of Sonora, sometimes complain about having to pay a six-peso toll to cross a bridge that spans only sand.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Another over-used river runs dry. So many rivers all over the world are disappearing. Should we just look for another river to exploit when the present one dries out?

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