“It’s like the discovery of a new large river being piped out of the corn belt,” said Pete Raymond, lead author of the study and associate professor of ecosystem ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “Agricultural practices have significantly changed the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River.”
The researchers tracked changes in the levels of water and bicarbonate, which forms when carbon dioxide in soil water dissolves rock minerals. Bicarbonate plays an important, long-term role in absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Oceans then absorb the excess carbon dioxide and become more acidic in the process. “Ocean acidification makes it more difficult for organisms to form hard shells in coral reefs,” said R. Eugene Turner, a co-author of the study and a professor at the Coastal Ecology Institute at Louisiana State University.
The researchers concluded that farming practices, such as liming, changes in tile drainage and crop type and rotation, are responsible for the majority of the increase in water and carbon dioxide in the Mississippi River, which is North America’s largest river.
Raymond said that the research team analyzed 100-year-old data on the Mississippi River, warehoused at two New Orleans water treatment plants, along with data on precipitation and water export. “A notable finding is that changes in farming practices are more important than changes in precipitation to the increase in water being discharged into the river,” he said.
The researchers used their data to demonstrate the effects of excess water on the carbon content of the river, and to argue that nutrients and pollution in the water are altering the chemistry of the Gulf of Mexico.
Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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