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Posts Tagged "freshwater"

Extinction Countdown

Nearly Extinct Mussel Gets One Last Chance at Survival

purple cat's paw mussels

Freshwater mussels have a particularly unusual system of reproduction. Males release their sperm into the water with the hope that a nearby female will siphon them up to fertilize her eggs. Once fertilization occurs, the female produces larvae called glochidia, which she then releases back into the water. At this point the mother is out [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tiny, Critically Endangered and Controversial Nevada Fish Experiences Dramatic Population Increase

moapa dace

First the good news: The world’s only population of the critically endangered Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea), a tiny fish endemic to the hot springs along a small stretch of Nevada’s Muddy River, has boomed this year. After a strange and still unexplained die-off in 2007 lowered the species’ population from 1,200 to 473 fish, its [...]

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Extinction Countdown

China Feeds Extra Fish to Finless Porpoises to Save Them from Starvation

Chinese officials added an extra 50,000 carp to the waters of Poyang Lake this week to help feed the endangered Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) that live there, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency. Around 300 to 500 porpoises live in Poyang Lake in northern Jiangxi Province, representing between one third [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Report: 21 percent of Africa’s freshwater species threatened with extinction

More than a fifth of Africa’s freshwater species are threatened with extinction, and their disappearance could threaten livelihoods across the continent, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The study, conducted for the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, assessed 5,167 African freshwater species over a five-year period. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Petition filed to protect 404 southeastern U.S. species

Alabama map turtle

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has filed a massive petition to protect 404 freshwater species in the southeastern U.S. The list includes 48 fish, 92 mussels and snails, 92 crayfish and other crustaceans, 82 plants, 13 reptiles (including five map turtles), four mammals, 15 amphibians, 55 insects, and three birds. The species live in [...]

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Observations

Can the World Afford Cheap Water?

water

More people in India have access to cellphones than to basic sanitation. Meanwhile, more than 7,000 villages in the northwestern part of the country suffer drinking water shortages as the water table in this breadbasket region continues to drop. And the same story can be told all over the world, according to participants of a [...]

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Observations

Obama and Romney Should Talk about Climate Change at Next Debate

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

Somebody please ask Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama to talk about climate change at the next debate for crying out loud! Or what to do about growing fresh water shortages or protecting the Internet or addressing any of the other fundamental challenges the U.S. faces in the coming years that are based on [...]

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Observations

Voters Should Pay More Attention to Freshwater Issues

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

We have passed the halfway point in our weekly examination of the 14 top science questions that President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney need to address as part of their quests to lead the United States for the next four years. Question #8 tackles increasing concerns about the health of the U.S. freshwater supply. [...]

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Observations

Freshwater Layers in Seas Found to Speed Up Hurricanes

hurricane-omar-2008

Earth’s most powerful storms—sometimes called hurricanes or typhoons but collectively known to scientists as tropical cyclones—remain dangerously unpredictable. And what’s most mysterious about tropical cyclones is what we would most like to know: how strong they are likely to become. I’m not talking about whether climate change is going to make hurricanes stronger or not [...]

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Observations

Farmers Deplete Fossil Water in World’s Breadbaskets

aquifers-map

Irrigation has helped farmers feed a population that has now reached 7 billion people. But in many places farmers have overused underground aquifers that have taken thousands of years to form, drawing down the fossil water much faster than it can be replaced. The Ogallala aquifer in the American high plains, along with similar aquifers [...]

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Observations

Rumors of the Oblong Rock Snail’s Demise Were Somewhat Exaggerated

Last May, a University of Alabama graduate student was the first person to collect an oblong rock snail in over 70 years. The species, Leptoxis compacta, hadn’t been observed since 1933 and was declared extinct in 2000. Nathan Whelan, the biology PhD candidate who made the discovery, is glad that his research has a positive [...]

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Observations

Is Earth past the tipping point?

Earth graphic from Foley video

Biodiversity loss. Land use. Freshwater use. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Stratospheric ozone. Ocean acidification. Climate change. Chemical Pollution. Aerosol loading in the atmosphere. A team of 30 scientists across the globe have determined that the nine environmental processes named above must remain within specific limits, otherwise the "safe operating space" within which humankind can exist [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Could an Octopus Really Be Terrorizing Oklahoma’s Lakes?

TULSA, Okla.–As the rate of unexplained drowning deaths has reportedly crept up in Oklahoma’s placid lakes, some observers have turned to an unusual explanation: a freshwater octopus. The legend of a killer cephalopod lurking in the murky waters of the state’s Lake Thunderbird, Lake Tenkiller or Lake Oolagah has been surfacing for at least the [...]

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