Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When the rivers run dry

OK, maybe not dry. But rivers are running lower over the last 50 years, a process that threatens to reshuffle ocean conditions in ways we can barely imagine.

If you're an ocean lover, you CARE DEEPLY about river flows...or you should. River flows matter in ocean productivity patterns and such problems as dead zones. And here's a chance to post that nifty photo I found showing a plankton bloom of my bit of coast (right).

An interesting side note, why was this article in the politics & government section of the paper? It sounds like science, but I guess it's likely to turn into one of those political footballs that gets kicked around (like climate change).

What's happening to make rivers run lower? Several factors combine to reduce river flow, including climate change, dams, and water withdrawals for human use. Oh, now I see why this isn't covered as "science." Will river flows become the next big partisan shouting match, so that hydrology is the next science to gets mangled by politicians.

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