Researchers developed an integrated hydrologic computer model to evaluate the impact of different types of wastewater disposal facilities on the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for San Antonio and its surrounding communities. The research results will guide authorities on what actions to take to protect the quality and quantity of water entering the aquifer.
(University of Massachusetts Lowell) UMass Lowell researchers are working to determine how severe coastal storms contribute to water pollution in an effort funded by a $784,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) Using luminescence dating of ancient river sediments, a new study published in Quaternary Science Reviews presents evidence for river activity at Nal Quarry in the central Thar Desert starting from approx. 173 thousand years ago. These findings represent the oldest directly dated phase of river activity in the region and indicate Stone Age populations lived in a distinctly different Thar Desert landscape than we encounter today.
A new method for mapping the location and size of trees growing outside of forests helped scientists discover billions of trees in arid and semi-arid regions and lays the groundwork for more accurate global measurement of carbon storage on land.
(University of Bristol) A pioneering technique which captures precisely how mountains bend to the will of raindrops has helped solve a long-standing scientific enigma.
(University of Innsbruck) The entire endemic megafauna of Madagascar and the Mascarene islands Mauritius and Rodrigues was eliminated during the past millennium. To investigate possible drivers of this extinction, an international team of scientists constructed an 8000-year record of the islands’ past climate. Their findings imply that the ecosystem was resilient to prior climate stress but ultimately collapsed with an increase in human activities. The results have now been published in Science Advances.
Of the six or more different species of early humans, all belonging to the genus Homo, only we Homo sapiens have managed to survive. Now, a study combining climate modeling and the fossil record in search of clues to what led to all those earlier extinctions suggests that climate change — the inability to adapt to either warming or cooling temperatures — likely played a major role in sealing their fate.
As climate change pushes many cities towards dangerous temperatures, planners are scrambling to mitigate excessive heat. One strategy is to replace artificial surfaces with vegetation cover. In water-limited regions, municipalities have to balance the benefit of cooler temperatures with using precious water for irrigation. A new study will make those decisions easier for the semi-arid Salt Lake Valley, the largest metropolitan area in Utah located in the northern part of the state.
New research indicates that rain brought to the islands by hurricanes and Kona storms can often be the most important precipitation for re-supplying groundwater in many regions of the island of O’ahu.