Climate-change-driven deterioration of water quality in a mineralized watershed.
Summary of "Climate-change-driven deterioration of water quality in a mineralized watershed."
A unique 30-year streamwater chemistry data set from a mineralized alpine watershed with naturally acidic, metal-rich water displays dissolved concentrations of Zn and other metals of ecological concern increasing by 100-400% (400-2000 μg/L) during low-flow months, when metal concentrations are highest. SO(4) and other major ions show similar increases. A lack of natural or anthropogenic land disturbances in the watershed during the study period suggests that climate change is the underlying cause. Local mean annual and mean summer air temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.2-1.2 °C/decade since the 1980s. Other climatic and hydrologic indices, including stream discharge during low-flow months, do not display statistically significant trends. Consideration of potential specific causal mechanisms driven by rising temperatures suggests that melting of permafrost and falling water tables (from decreased recharge) are probable explanations for the increasing concentrations. The prospect of future widespread increases in dissolved solutes from mineralized watersheds is concerning given likely negative impacts on downstream ecosystems and water resources, and complications created for the establishment of attainable remediation objectives at mine sites.
U.S. Geological Survey , Denver, Colorado, United States.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science & technology
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
Source, means, or process of supplying water (as for a community) usually including reservoirs, tunnels, and pipelines and often the watershed from which the water is ultimately drawn. (Webster, 3d ed)
A genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that oxidizes nitrites to nitrates. Its organisms occur in aerobic environments where organic matter is being mineralized, including soil, fresh water, and sea water.
A type of climate characterized by insufficient moisture to support appreciable plant life. It is a climate of extreme aridity, usually of extreme heat, and of negligible rainfall. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
An animal or plant species in danger of extinction. Causes can include human activity, changing climate, or change in predator/prey ratios.
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