Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fewer days of ice on northern New England rivers in recent years

09.11.2005


As the spectacular New England fall foliage gives way to another of the region’s infamous winters, many wonder what this year will bring. Long-time residents think winter just isn’t what it used to be in New England. And mounting evidence from a series of studies suggests they’re right. The total number of days of ice on the region’s rivers has declined significantly in recent decades and particularly in the spring, according to the latest U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research published in the journal Climatic Change.



For this study, hydrologists from the USGS Maine Water Science Center in Augusta examined data from stream-flow-gauging stations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that measure the height and flow of rivers. They looked at the number of days each year of ice-affected flow -- days when there is enough ice in a river to affect the relation between the height and the flow of the river – and found that they decreased significantly during the 20th century at 12 of 16 rivers they studied. The total winter days of ice-affected flow decreased by 20 days from 1936 to 2000 for the average of the 9 longest-record rivers, with most of the decrease occurring since the 1960’s.

Only four of the 16 rivers had significantly later first dates of ice-affected flow in the fall (ice-in), but twelve of the 16 rivers had significantly earlier spring ice-out. On average, the ice-out dates became earlier by 11 days from 1936 to 2000, again with most of the change occurring since the 1960’s.


"The changes in spring river ice-outs in northern New England are consistent with previous studies" noted USGS hydrologist Glenn Hodgkins, the lead author. "The overall evidence of changes is strong and is consistent with warming temperatures in the late-winter and spring in New England in the last 30 to 40 years." "There is some evidence of changes consistent with mid-winter warming and little evidence of changes in the fall," said Hodgkins, "but questions of the broader impact, the cause of this trend, and whether the warmer climate in New England is linked to global climate change are beyond the scope of these studies."

A USGS study released in 2004 showed the yearly snow in northern New England decreased significantly in favor of rain during the last half of the 20th century. In July 2003, USGS scientists announced that winter/spring high river flows, which are influenced by snowmelt, came significantly earlier during the 20th century in northern New England with most of the 1-to-2-week change occurring over the last 30 years. A 2002 USGS study of rivers in coastal Maine showed large increases in February river flows during the 20th century and large decreases in May flows, which also suggests an earlier snowmelt. A USGS study of lakes in 2002 showed ice-out dates came about 5 days earlier from 1968 to 2000 in northern and mountainous areas of Maine and New Hampshire and approximately 13 days earlier in more southerly areas of these states.

Other previous studies show earlier last-frost dates and lilac-bloom dates, also suggesting New England’s winter weather has become less ferocious.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to: describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Glenn Hodgkins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usgs.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
23.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>