Tuesday, April 6

Rising Water Temperatures In U.S. Streams, Rivers: New Study Shows

WASHINGTON -- According to a press release issued Tuesday by the University of Maryland, research by a team of ecologists and hydrologists have shown that water temperatures are increasing in many streams and rivers throughout the United States,

It was published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, documents that 20 major U.S. streams and rivers which includes such prominent rivers as the Colorado, Potomac, Delaware, and Hudson that have shown statistically significant long-term warming.

"Warming waters can impact the basic ecological processes taking place in our nation's rivers and streams," said Sujay Kaushal of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and lead author of the study. "Long-term temperature increases can impact aquatic biodiversity, biological productivity, and the cycling of contaminants through the ecosystem."

As analyzed and reported, the historical records from 40 sites located throughout the United States, the research team found that annual mean water temperatures increased by 0.009-0.077 Celsius degree per year. Long-term increases in stream water temperatures were typically correlated with increases in air temperatures, and rates of warming were most rapid in urbanized areas.

The analysis indicates that 20 of the 40 streams studied showed statistically significant long term warming trends, while an additional 13 showed temperature increases that were not statistically significant. Two rivers showed significant temperature decreases. The longest record of increase was observed for the Hudson River. The most rapid rate of increase was recorded for the Delaware River.
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