“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!
Food for the city – from the city
03.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
How the forest copes with the summer heat
29.08.2018 | Universität Basel
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Event News
20.09.2018 | Earth Sciences
20.09.2018 | Earth Sciences
20.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy