An independent scientific analysis led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researchers gives the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy Bay.
“The Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card shows conditions slightly improved last year, but there is nothing here from which we can take great comfort,” said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher and project leader Bill Dennison. “Data gathered from more than 150 monitoring sites throughout the Bay show us that the health of the Bay remains poor. We are not on the road to recovery.”
Scientists note that the increase from a D-plus in 2006 to a C-minus in 2007 was highlighted by improved conditions in Maryland’s Upper Western Shore (including the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers) and the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore. However, they also warn that those improvements may in part be due to the summer drought.
“The summer drought most certainly played a role in last year’s health,” said Dennison. “We had record low rainfall in many regions, which led to less nutrient and sediment pollution flowing into the Bay during the critical June to September timeframe.”
The report card also allows scientists to compare conditions in various parts of the Bay over a number of years. This analysis provides insight into several important trends:
Overall, the annual amount of pollution reaching the Bay in 2007 was similar to average conditions observed over the last 17 years.
While scientists are optimistic about the resurgence of aquatic grasses in the Upper Bay, they remain concerned over recent losses in key nursery areas in the Lower Chesapeake.
Despite slightly clearer Bay waters in 2007, scientists remain concerned about the downward trajectory Bay water clarity has taken in many areas over past years. Cloudier waters hamper aquatic grasses and other life from thriving.
“These long term trends are disturbing. At best, we are only holding our own against population growth and development taking place throughout the Bay watershed,” added Dennison.
“The scientifically-rigorous report card reinforces the notion that conditions across the bay vary from creek to creek and river to river,” said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Donald F. Boesch. “These local variations are a clarion call to Bay managers that targeting pollution reduction programs is critical to accelerating improvements in Bay health.”
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy