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Cave bacteria: A window to the past, even to distant worlds
July 27, 2017 08:27 AM - Thompson Rivers University

Each time she looks through a microscope to better understand cave bacteria, Richenda McFarlane may also be staring at life that’s centuries old or perhaps even something from another planets.

She’s getting to play researcher, time traveler and astronaut all at the same time.

Study: Mountaintop Coal Mining Causes Appalachian Rivers to Run "Consistently Saltier"
July 14, 2017 12:33 PM - University of Wyoming

Mountaintop-removal coal mining causes many streams and rivers in Appalachia to run consistently saltier for up to 80 percent of the year, a new study by researchers at the University of Wyoming and Duke University finds.

Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers
July 21, 2017 09:03 AM - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study also suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists — why Arctic and sub-Arctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall.

Rivers Carry Plastic Debris Into The Sea
October 17, 2017 11:10 AM - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic debris ends up in the sea - a global environmental problem with unforeseeable ecological consequences. The path taken by plastic to reach the sea must be elucidated before it will be possible to reduce the volume of plastic input. To date, there was only little information available on this. It has now been followed up by an interdisciplinary research team who were able to show that plastic debris is primarily carried into the sea by large rivers.

Long-term study of Murray-Darling Basin wetlands reveals impact of dams
June 5, 2017 10:11 AM - University of New South Wales

A landmark 30-year-long UNSW study of wetlands in eastern Australia has found that construction of dams and diversion of water from the Murray-Darling Basin have led to a more than 70 percent decline in waterbird numbers.

The way rivers function reflects their ecological status and is rarely explored
July 20, 2017 09:59 AM - University of the Basque Country

The Ecología de ríos/Stream Ecology research group of the UPV/EHU's Department of Plant Biology and Ecology is a group that specialises in the study of the way rivers function; it comprises experts from numerous areas who have combined their knowledge with a broad range of bibliographical information in the context of the European Globaqua Project in which more than 10 European institutions are participating. One outcome of such a broad piece of work is a long article "in which we synthesize and classify all the processes that can be measured in rivers; we explain how the measurements can be made (methods existing in the literature), how these processes respond to various environmental stressors, etc.", explained Daniel von Schiller, one of the authors of the article. It is a "proposal that puts forward a new, highly appropriate working framework for both researchers and managers," he pointed out.

Researchers explore ways to remove antibiotics polluting lakes and rivers
October 12, 2017 08:11 AM - University of Saskatchewan

Pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, are an increasingly common pollutant in water systems, said Catherine Hui Niu, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.

3-D Models Help Scientists Gauge Flood Impact
July 18, 2017 01:21 PM - DOE / Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Heavy rainfall can cause rivers and drainage systems to overflow or dams to break, leading to flood events that bring damage to property and road systems as well potential loss of human life.

One such event in 2008 cost $10 billion in damages for the entire state of Iowa. After the flood, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa (UI) was established as the first center in the United States for advanced flood-related research and education.

Weathering of rocks a poor regulator of global temperatures
May 23, 2017 04:33 PM - University of Washington

A new University of Washington study shows that the textbook understanding of global chemical weathering — in which rocks are dissolved, washed down rivers and eventually end up on the ocean floor to begin the process again — does not depend on Earth’s temperature in the way that geologists had believed.

Decoding life under our waters to ensure species' survival
July 5, 2017 08:05 AM - University of New Brunswick

Four hundred million lines of text: that’s how much data is in a single gene-sequencing file when Scott Pavey’s team receives it. If you wanted to scan it manually, and generously assume it would take one second per line to look at, it would take you 12 and a half years of reading around the clock to get through it all.

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