Aquatic publication review (14)

przegląd publikacji

The issue of water scarcity is becoming an increasingly pressing problem on a global scale. With increasing water pollution and disruption of hydrological relations, the effects of, among other things. urbanization and agricultural activities, many areas are suffering from water shortages, requiring effective remedial strategies to be taken immediately. We zoom in on scientific studies that focus on analyzing the impact of these factors on the availability of clean water in 2050 scenarios. Invaluable support in combating water pollution, even with such harmful chemicals as PFAS, is the modern methods being developed by scientists to eliminate them from the environment. Disturbing forecasts of shrinking Arctic ice cover are clear warning signs. This phenomenon calls for action to protect water resources and adapt to a changing climate. Studies conducted in Sweden on changes in lake water levels indicate the need to monitor this phenomenon and regulate it to adapt to climate change. The conclusions of this research are applicable not only to Swedish lakes, but also to other areas around the world, including Poland.

1. a triple increase in global river basins with water scarcity due to future pollution

Wang M., Bodirsky B. L., Rijneveld R. et al. (2024). A triple increase in global river basins with water scarcity due to future pollution. Nature Communications, 15, 880

Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly serious problem worldwide. Due to nitrogen pollution from urbanization and agricultural activities, many catchments in Central Europe, southern China, North America and Africa are threatened by a shortage of water resources of adequate quality. A better understanding of the spatial distribution and major sources of nitrogen pollution in waters is needed to develop appropriate prevention strategies and actions. A team of German-Dutch researchers analyzed data on land use, hydrology (abstraction volumes) and water quality in watercourses (nitrogen pollution) from more than 10,000. catchments around the world and used 3 integrated models to forecast clean water scarcity for 2010 and 2050 under 3 climate change scenarios and socioeconomic actions.

The results showed that pollution is exacerbating the problem of water scarcity in more than 2,000 catchments around the world, a number that is tripling due to nitrogen pollution. In 2010. 984 catchments were classified as water scarce due to quantity, while more than 2,500 had problems due to combined quantity and quality deficits. In 2050, in the worst-case scenario, this number will rise to as many as 3,000. The researchers identify locations where there will be a severe shortage of clean water in the future, along with an indication of the main component determining it: quantity or quality (i.e., nitrogen pollution). The study authors emphasize the urgent need to address the availability of water of adequate quality in future water management policies for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Currently, adaptation strategies focus on quantity-dependent water scarcity and include. saving by implementing irrigation techniques at the sector scale or redirecting or reallocating at the catchment scale. In the near term, however, it will be more important to pay attention to measures to reduce pollution, as poor quality will be the dominant cause of shortages in many river basins in the future.

2. Complete electrocatalytic defluorination of perfluoroacetate sulfonate in aqueous solution with nonprecious materials

Meng Z., Wilsey M. K., Cox C. P., Müller A. M. (2024). Complete electrocatalytic defluorination of perfluoroacetate sulfonate in aqueous solution with nonprecious materials. Journal of Catalysis, 431

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), known as perennial chemicals, are synthetic chemicals with remarkable resistance to temperature, water and grease, making them attractive packaging components. They have a wide range of consumer, commercial and industrial applications. Current methods for removing PFAS contaminants include incineration, γ-irradiation, non-thermal plasma, sonolysis, chemical oxidation using the right amount of strong oxidants, supercritical water oxidation, and electro-oxidation on boron-doped diamonds or other valuable anodes. All of these solutions have high investment and operating costs, as well as high energy consumption, which is an obstacle to their viability in a commercial context.

Researchers from the United States have developed a new method for defluoridating one type of PFAS – perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The compound has been widely used in water- and stain-resistant materials, and is now banned in most countries around the world due to its harm to human and animal health. Despite this, PFOS is still common in the environment, especially in the waters. A team of PhD students from the University of Rochester, using a pulsed laser in liquid synthesis, has created nanocatalysts that can control the size of the resulting nanoparticles by interacting light with matter and breaking them down. This method is much more cost-effective compared to those previously used, as it uses base metals. With a cost-effective and sustainable approach and the potential for widespread application, this solution could prove crucial in the fight against harmful PFAS chemicals.

3. why is summertime Arctic sea ice drift speed projected to decrease?

Ward J. L., Tandon N. F. (2024). Why is summertime Arctic sea ice drift speed projected to decrease? The Cryosphere, 18, 3, 995-1012

Thanks to satellite observations, we know that in addition to shrinking Arctic sea ice cover, its drift speed is also increasing. This increased traffic is an important potential factor in accelerating the rate of shrinkage of the sea ice area. Almost all modern global climate models show positive trends of winter ice drift (March), both for the historical period and future warming scenarios. However, according to a study published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment in the coming years, ice in Arctic waters during the summer will disappear more often and for longer periods than in previous years, significantly affecting the dynamics of its movement. This will pose a danger to communities living in Arctic coastal regions and Arctic animals, and could also create a threat to shipping.

The speed and frequency of Arctic sea ice decline has become the subject of research by Neil Tandon and Jamie Ward, published in The Cryosphere. Their goal was to understand the mechanisms responsible for the predicted decreases in summer drift, using the results of 17 models. The researchers said that while observational data suggest that there is a trend toward higher sea ice velocities, climate models predict that these velocities will decrease during the summer season. The researchers explain that the acceleration of sea ice can be compared to the expansion and contraction of a spring, noting that thinner ice moves more freely. The ice, when it becomes extremely thin, goes into a state of drift, where external forces such as wind and ocean currents dominate. The potential slowing of sea ice movement may benefit maritime transportation safety, but it does not minimize the impact of steadily declining ice cover on northern indigenous communities, ecosystems and the global climate.

The Arctic continues to undergo rapid change. Although the research provides valuable information on the complex interplay between environmental processes and human activities in the region, continued monitoring and further research are still required to understand and mitigate the consequences of Arctic sea ice changes.

4. Distinctive Patterns of Water Level Change in Swedish Lakes Driven by Climate and Human Regulation

Aminjafari S., Brown I. A., Frappart F. et al. (2024). Distinctive Patterns of Water Level Change in Swedish Lakes Driven by Climate and Human Regulation. Water Resources Research, 60, 3

Although there is a general belief that lakes can act as regulators of climate change, their effectiveness has not yet been thoroughly recognized. Instead, key factors have been identified that can serve as indicators of the impact of climate change on both the lake and its catchment area. These variables reflect a wide range of physical, chemical and biological responses to climate. A study by Swedish researchers analyzed human-induced fluctuations in water levels in 144 regulated and unregulated lakes. Using satellite altimetry data from several missions (ERS-2, ENVISAT, JASON-1,2,3, SARAL and Sentinel-3A/B) and in situ measurements, it was found that regulated lakes exhibit greater water level fluctuations compared to unregulated lakes. Between 1995 and 2022, about 52 percent. The lakes showed an increasing trend, and 43 percent. downward trend. Most of the reservoirs with rising water levels were in the north of Sweden, and those with falling water levels were in the south. While the seasonal patterns of lake water levels in the north were similar in regulated and unregulated lakes, they differed significantly in the south. These findings underscore the need to continuously monitor water levels and incorporate regulation of these reservoirs into water management practices and climate change adaptation policies. They also present a promising method for using satellite data to analyze water level changes in water bodies.

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