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7 January 2019

Colorado’s Lake Dillon is warming rapidly

The surface waters of Lake Dillon, a mountain reservoir that supplies water to the the Denver area, have warmed by nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.5 degrees Celsius) in the last 35 years, which is twice the average warming rate for global lakes. Yet surprisingly, Dillon does not show adverse environmental changes, such as nuisance algal blooms, often associated with warming of lakes.

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16 August 2018

Acceleration of mountain glacier melt could impact Pacific Northwest water supplies

Seasonal snow and ice accumulation cause glaciers in the Cascade Range mountains to grow a little every winter and melt a little every summer. This annual melt provides water for much of the Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Montana. Inhabitants of the region utilize this water for drinking, crop irrigation, generating hydroelectric power and other uses. Glacier melt provides supplementary water when less snowmelt is available, alleviating drought conditions or other impacts of dry periods.

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24 July 2018

Researchers develop model for predicting landslides caused by earthquakes

The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, China killed tens of thousands of people and left millions homeless. Approximately 20,000 deaths — nearly 30 percent of the total — resulted not from the ground shaking itself but from landslides the quake triggered. A new model can help experts address such risks by estimating the likelihood of landslides that will be caused by earthquakes anywhere in the world. The estimates can be available within minutes, providing potentially life-saving information to people who are affected by earthquakes and the agencies and organizations charged with responding to them.

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25 January 2018

New study reveals how icy surface ponds on Himalayan glaciers influence water flow

The flow of water that supports hydro-electric and irrigation infrastructure in the mountain regions of Nepal and India is regulated by hundreds of large icy ponds on the surface of some of the world’s highest glaciers, scientists have revealed.

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24 January 2018

Dust on snow controls springtime river rise in West

A new study has found that dust, not spring warmth, controls the pace of spring snowmelt that feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River.

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6 December 2017

Cartogram maps provide new view of climate change risk

Scientists have developed cartograms — maps that convey information by contorting areas — to visualize the risks of climate change in a novel way.

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4 December 2017

Stronger storms hamper ability of streams and rivers to clean up pollution

Freshwater streams and rivers naturally clean up some forms of pollution originating from urban and agricultural areas, but increased storm intensity reduces this ability.

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16 November 2017

Groundwater recharge in the American west under climate change

Groundwater recharge in the Western U.S. will change as the climate warms–the dry southern regions will have less and the northern regions will have more, according to new research.

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7 September 2017

Increases in wildfire-caused erosion could impact water supply and quality in the West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study.

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17 May 2017

Researchers track groundwater loss during drought in California’s Central Valley

A new study from researchers at UCLA and the University of Houston reveals estimates of significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area.

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