Roundup: New Bacteria, Poetic Shasta, and Glacial Melt

New Bacteria Discovered at Tibetan Glacier

From Microbiology Society: “A cold-tolerant, translucent, yellow-pigmented, Gram-stain-positive, non-motile, rod-shaped bacteria was isolated from snow of the Zadang Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau, PR China. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity analysis indicated that the isolate was closely related to Conyzicola lurida KCTC 29231 and Leifsonia psychrotolerans DSM 22824 at a level of 97.72 and 97.49 %, respectively. Other close relatives had a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of less than 97 %… Based on phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics, strain ZD5-4 was considered to represent a novel species of the genus Conyzicola, for which the name Conyzicola nivalis sp. nov. is proposed.”

Read more about the new species of bacteria here.

An aerial image of the Tibetan Plateau where a new species of bacteria was discovered (Source: NASA/Creative Commons).

U.S. Geologist Clarence King’s Poetic Mount Shasta

From Project MUSE: “But, for all his complexities, King’s recorded observations of wilderness places rise above his life’s convolutions. Unfortunately, what escapes many scholars is the remarkableness of King’s writing, an irony considering its salience; in fact, King’s brilliance is best illustrated in his lexical finesse, poetic flights of language, and artistic verisimilitude of nature’s beauties.”

Learn more about the poetic perceptions and mastery of language of the late geologist Clarence King here.

Sunrise over Mount Shasta (Source: Michael Zanger/Creative Commons).

New Insights on Glacier Meltwater

From Geophysical Research Letters: “Arctic river discharge has increased in recent decades although sources and mechanisms remain debated. Abundant literature documents permafrost thaw and mountain glacier shrinkage over the past decades. Here we link glacier runoff to aquifer recharge via a losing headwater stream in subarctic Interior Alaska. Field measurements in Jarvis Creek (634 km2), a subbasin of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers, show glacier meltwater runoff as a large component (15–28%) of total annual streamflow despite low glacier cover (3%)… Our findings suggest a linkage between glacier wastage, aquifer recharge along the headwater stream corridor, and lowland winter discharge. Accordingly, glacierized headwater streambeds may serve as major aquifer recharge zones in semiarid climates and therefore contributing to year-round base flow of lowland rivers.”

Read more about the new research here.

The Tanana River, Alaska (Source: Ron Reiring/Creative Commons).

Roundup: Climate Change and Poetic Geology

Trump Administration Disbands Climate Advisory Committee

From Nature: “The advisory group’s charter expired on 20 August, and Trump administration officials informed members late last week that it would not be renewed. ‘It really makes me worried and deeply sad,’ says Richard Moss, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park and co-chair of the committee. ‘It’s another thing that is just part of the political football game.'”

Read more about this political football here.

Trump administration will not renew the charter for the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Source: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons).

 

A Climate Change Adaptation Laboratory

From the Washington Post: “Lake Palcacocha is a mile long and 250 feet deep, and the effect of a large avalanche would be similar to dropping a bowling ball in a bathtub. Modeling scenarios predict a 100-foot wave so powerful it would blow out the dam. Three billion gallons of ice water would go roaring down the mountain toward the city of Huaraz, burying its 200,000 residents under an Andean tsunami of mud, trees and boulders.”

Read more about lessons from the laboratory here.

As glacial melt flows into Lake Palcacocha, these plastic pipes prevent Huaraz from burial by mudslides (Source: Niels Ackermann/Lundi13).

 

Clarence King’s Glacial Poetics

From CEA Critic: “What is unusual, especially given what is most obvious to the viewer, is King’s choice to write so little about the serpentine path of the glacier, one that climbs its way easterly towards Shasta’s peak. Perhaps surprised by the discovery, King is more subdued in his description, foregoing hyperbole and remaining more artistically constrained.”

Read more about the geologist’s mastery of language here.

Clarence King, first director of the U.S. Geological Survey, is remembered for his mastery of language (Source: USGS).