Roundup: Climate Change and Algae Impact Rivers

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016

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Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news.

Climate Cycles Influence River Flows in Pacific Northwest

From Advances in Water Research:

“We evaluate interannual flow variability in three transboundary PCTR [Pacific Coast Temperate Rainforest] watersheds in response to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Arctic Oscillation (AO), and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO)…We find that streamflow teleconnections occur over particular seasonal windows reflecting the intersection of specific atmospheric and terrestrial hydrologic processes…The strongest signal is a snowmelt-driven flow timing shift resulting from ENSO- and PDO-associated temperature anomalies. Autumn rainfall runoff is also modulated by these climate modes, and a glacier-mediated teleconnection contributes to a late-summer ENSO-flow association.”

The Stikine flows through British Columbia and Alaska and is one of the main rivers that was studied for impacts of climate cycles. Credit: Flickr user Christine and Kevin.

The Stikine, one of the main rivers that was studied for impacts of climate cycles. Credit: Flickr user Christine and Kevin.

Click here to read the article.

 

Himalayan Region Water Resources Reviewed

From  Water Resources Development and Management:

“The Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Karakorum mountains and the Tibetan Plateau make up the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region, an area that has more snow and ice resources than any other region outside of the Polar Regions… The HKH region extends 3500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. About 200 million people live in the HKH mountains, while 1.3 billion people depend directly or indirectly on waters that originate in the mountains in 10 major river basins. These mountains are under threat from climate change and other socio-economic changes that will pose a challenge for Asia’s future. This chapter reviews the state of knowledge concerning the mountain’s water resources, draws out implications for downstream users, and recommends key actions to be taken.”

Ramukund lies at confluence of two Himlayan rivers that form the Ganges. Source: Arun Katiyar/Fickr.

Ramukund lies at confluence of two Himlayan rivers that form the Ganges. Source: Arun Katiyar/Fickr.

Click here to read the article.

 

 

Canadian Rocky Mountain Streams Experience Algal Blooms

From Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences:

“The first documented bloom of Didymosphenia geminata in Alberta occurred in 2003 and subsequent field investigations revealed that D. geminata was present in the periphyton of a number of lotic systems, yet did not always form blooms. We sampled 76 sites in Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks, chosen to provide ranges in exposure to D. geminata propagules and environmental conditions thought to affect D. geminata growth and bloom formation…. D. geminata was detected at 88% of sites and of those, 34% had blooms, defined as visible mats of D. geminata stalks.”

The algae forms into sticky films and sheets, leading to the nickname "rock snot." Credit: Drew Brayshaw/Flickr,

The algae forms into sticky films and sheets, leading to the nickname “rock snot.” Credit: Drew Brayshaw/Flickr,

Click here to read the article.
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