There are an estimated 84,000 dams in the United States which impound 600,000 miles of river, or about 17% of the rivers in the country. Within the next 15 years, more than 90% of the world’s rivers will be fragmented by at least one dam.
For most of us, a day spent in the mountains, the woods, or at the beach always seems like a good day. Communing with nature tends to make us feel better.
Most of the planet’s freshwater stores are found in the northern hemisphere, a region that is changing rapidly in response to human activity and shifting climate trends. A recent study analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life.
High levels of an element found in coal ash have been detected in fish in two lakes where Duke Energy coal-fired power plants are located, according to a peer-reviewed study at Duke University. The element, selenium, occurs naturally but is concentrated in coal ash.
Installing solar arrays on the surface of bodies of water is an idea that is catching on around the world. Such installations are especially attractive in places like Japan, where land resources are scarce. In the UK, there are a couple of these so-called “floatovoltaic” projects underway – one outside of London and one near Manchester.
Acid rain is rain containing high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. The main culprit for it is the burning of fossil fuels, particularly coal-burning power plants. The most serious effect of acid rain is the creation of toxicity in lakes, wetlands and other aquatic environments, doing great harm to a wide range of aquatic animals.
Snow season is here. The chances are good you’ll find yourself behind a truck spreading salt on the roads in an attempt to deice them. You may even try a little salt on your own front porch. Annually we spread about 20 million tons of road salt in the U.S., and we’ve been doing it since the late 1930s.