Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

Climate change projected to significantly increase HABs

August 16, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Because most cyanobacteria are inedible by zooplankton and planktivorous fish, they represent a “dead end” in the aquatic food chain — a scenario that ultimately hurts both commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are projected to increase because of climate change, according to a team of researchers led by a Tufts University scientist.

The team developed a modeling framework that predicts that the largest increase in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) would occur in the Northeast region of the United States, but the biggest economic harm would be felt by recreation areas in the Southeast.

The research, which is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is part of larger, ongoing efforts among scientists to quantify and monetize the degree to which climate change will impact and damage various U.S. sectors.

“Some of the biggest CyanoHAB impacts will occur in more rural regions, such as those in the Southeast and Midwest — areas that don’t often come up in conversation about unavoidable effects of climate change,” said Steven C. Chapra, Ph.D., lead author and Louis Berger Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering at Tufts. “The impact of climate change goes way beyond warmer air temperatures, rising sea levels and melting glaciers.”

“Our study shows that higher water temperature, changes in rainfall, and increased nutrient inputs will combine to cause more frequent occurrence of harmful algal blooms in the future,” he said.

Cyanobacteria are the earth’s oldest oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. Throughout their 3.5 billion-year-old evolutionary history, these organisms have proven resilient and adaptable to a wide range of climates. Consequently, many cyanobacteria exhibit optimal growth and bloom potentials at high water temperatures relative to other aquatic plants. Therefore, global warming plays a key role in their expansion and persistence, said Dr. Chapra.

In order to capture the range of possible futures, the analysis used climate change projections from five general circulation models, two greenhouse gas emission scenarios, and two cyanobacterial growth scenarios. It is among the few studies to combine climate projections with a hydrologic/water quality network model of U.S. lakes and reservoirs. The modeling approach is unique in its practice of coupling climate, hydrologic, and water quality models into a unified computational framework that is applied on a national scale.

The model chain starts with projections of alternative future climates from General Circulation Models (GCMs). The GCM projections of temperature and precipitation are then entered into two other models:

  • a rainfall-runoff model to simulate monthly runoff in each of the 2,119 watersheds of the continental U.S.; and
  • a water demand model, which projects water requirements of each watershed’s municipal, industrial, and agriculture sectors. Given these runoff and demand projections, a water resources systems model produces a time series of reservoir storage, release, and demand allocations (e.g., agriculture, environmental flows, and hydropower).

Finally, these water flows and reservoir states are entered into a water quality model to simulate a number of water quality characteristics, including cyanobacteria concentrations, in each of the nation’s waterbodies. The end result is a framework that can predict the combined impact of climate, population growth, and other factors on future water quality for different U.S. regions.

It has been estimated that lakes and reservoirs serving as drinking water sources for 30 million to 48 million Americans may be contaminated periodically by algal toxins. Researchers cited an example in 2014, when nearly 500,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio, lost access to drinking water after water drawn from Lake Erie revealed the presence of cyanotoxins.

Beyond the human health effects, CyanoHABs have a variety of negative consequences for aquatic ecosystems, including the creation of unsightly surface scums and a reduction in recreational use and access to shorelines. Also, because most cyanobacteria are inedible by zooplankton and planktivorous fish, they represent a “dead end” in the aquatic food chain – a scenario that ultimately hurts both commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Dr. Chapra noted that the research indicates that as water temperatures increase, more stringent and costly nutrient controls would be necessary in order to maintain current water quality.

“The study provides a framework that offers insights on cause and effect linkages to help support planning, policy, and identify data gaps for future research,” he said.

Journal reference: dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b01498

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2017 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Northwestern University researchers have developed a quantitative tool that might help bring back coral from the brink of extinction. The novel algorithm could help asses...
CBS Miami reports that protesters are demanding answers and action over the toxic mess in Florida — a poisonous algae bloom plaguing four counties now under a state of em...
In Australia, the New South Wales Deep Green Biotech Hub (DGBH) has been launched as an enabling incubator environment to foster the development of algae as a cost effect...
Jill Fehrenbacher writes in inhabitat.com that when it comes to design, Mother Nature has a lot to teach us. The field of Biodesign has emerged as an exciting new discipl...
Haley Gray reports for 5280.com that Upslope Brewing Company, in Boulder, Colorado, is one step closer to its goal of becoming a zero-waste brewery. The craft beer maker ...
Algatechnologies Ltd (Algatech), of Kibbutz Ketura, Israel, has become part of the FoodConnects consortium, as winner of a pan-European competition for the Food4Future pr...
The Energy Department (DOE) has announced the selection of six projects for up to $12.9 million in federal funding, entitled, “Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstra...
Researchers at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, are developing technology, using algae, that improves the efficiency of wastewater reclamation. The system uses verti...
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii-based Cellana, Inc., a leading developer of algae-based products for sustainable nutrition and energy applications, and Living Ink Technologies of Den...
Almost two years ago, on June 28, 2015, the rocket carrying experiments from Chatfield High School to the International Space Station disintegrated 139 seconds into its f...
Qualitas Health, an algae-based health and nutrition company headquartered in Texas, has announced a long term, strategic partnership with commercial crop producer Green ...
Washington State University researchers have developed a biofilm reactor to grow algae more efficiently, and make the algae more viable for several industries, including ...