Current Sierra Nevada News and Events

Current Sierra Nevada News and Events, Sierra Nevada News Articles.
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Traditional hydrologic models may misidentify snow as rain, new citizen science data shows
Normally, we think of the freezing point of water as 32°F - but in the world of weather forecasting and hydrologic prediction, that isn't always the case. In the Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada, the shift from snow to rain during winter storms may actually occur at temperatures closer to 39.5°F, according to new research from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Lynker Technologies, and citizen scientists from the Tahoe Rain or Snow project. (2021-02-22)

Advancing understanding of hop genome to aid brewers, medical researchers
Oregon State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have significantly expanded the understanding of the hop genome, a development with important implications for the brewing industry and scientists who study the potential medical benefits of hops. (2021-02-21)

Researchers 'cautiously optimistic' about desert bighorn sheep recovery in Mojave Desert
Desert bighorn sheep in the Mojave National Preserve in California and surrounding areas appear to be more resilient than previously thought to a respiratory disease that killed dozens of them and sickened many more in 2013, a new study has found. (2021-02-21)

Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors increasing fires
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can also be attributed to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests. (2021-02-17)

Infectious disease causes long-term changes to frog's microbiome
In a rare study published this week, Andrea Jani, a researcher with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, determined the skin microbiome of an endangered frog was altered when the frogs were infected by a specific fungus, and it didn't recover to its initial state even when the frog was cured of the infection. (2021-02-10)

New study shows pandemic's toll on jobs, businesses, and food security in poorer countries
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in living standards and rising food insecurity in low- and middle-income across the globe, according to a new study published Feb. 5 in the journal Science Advances. Using data collected between April-July 2020 in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, researchers found drops in employment, income, and access to markets and services, translating into high levels of food insecurity. (2021-02-05)

Pandemic caused 'staggering' economic, human impact in developing counties, research says
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year led to a devastating loss of jobs and income across the global south, threatening hundreds of millions of people with hunger and lost savings and raising an array of risks for children, according to new research co-authored at the University of California, Berkeley. (2021-02-05)

As climate warms, summer monsoons to produce less streamflow
A new study led by Desert Research Institute scientist Rosemary Carroll, Ph.D., point to both the importance of monsoon rains in maintaining the Upper Colorado River's water supply and the diminishing ability of monsoons to replenish summer streamflow in a warmer future with less snow accumulation (2021-02-01)

Current issue articles for Geosphere posted online in January
GSA's dynamic online journal, Geosphere, posts articles online regularly. Topics for articles posted for Geosphere this month include feldspar recycling in Yosemite National Park; the Ragged Mountain Fault, Alaska; the Khao Khwang Fold and Thrust Belt, Thailand; the northern Sierra Nevada; and the Queen Charlotte Fault. (2021-01-29)

US must unify atmospheric biology research or risk national security, scientists say
Global circulating winds can carry bacteria, fungal spores, viruses and pollen over long distances and across national borders, but the United States is ill-prepared to confront future disease outbreaks or food-supply threats caused by airborne organisms, says a new paper published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecological Applications. (2021-01-28)

Antibody highs and lows in survivors of Ebola
A high proportion of survivors of Ebola experienced a resurgence in antibody levels nearly a year after recovery, a new University of Liverpool study has found. Published today in Nature, the finding hints that hidden reservoirs of virus could exist long after symptoms ease and has implications for monitoring programmes and vaccine strategies. (2021-01-27)

Safe, efficient performance of open tracheostomies in patients with COVID-19
Researchers demonstrate a technique of tracheostomy that minimizes aerosolization risks while creating a tight seal around the tracheostomy tube. (2021-01-21)

Study find physical weathering of rock breakdown more important than previously recognized
Anisovolumetric weathering is much more common than previously thought, and variations in this process can be explained by climate and erosion. (2021-01-13)

Trained medical staff can perform safe, effective hernia surgery
Many low and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, don't have enough surgeons to perform vital surgeries, such as groin hernia repairs. Training non-doctor associate clinicians in this procedure provides a safe and effective solution, a new study shows. (2021-01-11)

Good results for groin hernia operations not performed by doctors in Sierra Leone
In countries with a severe shortage of surgeons it is common for some operations to be done by medical staff with lower formal qualifications. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have led a study on the safety and efficacy of a common surgical procedure. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, shows that inguinal hernia operations performed by associate clinicians at a Sierra Leone hospital were just as safe and effective as those performed by doctors. (2021-01-11)

Insights into the Yellowstone hotspot
The Yellowstone hotspot is well known for generating supereruptions in the geologic past that are far more explosive than historic examples. The origin and sustained longevity of the hotspot is less understood but is focused on two competing models, where the ascent of hot mantle is derived from either a deep-seated mantle plume or a shallow mantle source. (2021-01-07)

Evapotranspiration in an arid environment
Evapotranspiration is an important process in the water cycle because it is responsible for 15% of the atmosphere's water vapor. Without that input of water vapor, clouds could not form, and precipitation would never fall. It is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants. (2020-12-15)

What happens when rain falls on desert soils? An updated model provides answers
In a new study in Vadose Zone Journal, Desert Research Institute scientists Yuan Luo, Ph.D., Markus Berli, Ph.D., and colleagues Teamrat Ghezzehei, Ph.D. of the University of California, Merced, and Zhongbo Yu, Ph.D. of the University of Hohai, China, make important improvements to our understanding of how water moves through and gets stored in dry desert soils by refining an existing computer model. (2020-12-14)

High genomic variability predicts success in desert tortoise refugees; could inform conservation
Tortoise refugees with the highest genetic variation are far more likely to survive conservation translocation than tortoises whose genetic diversity is lower, according to a new study. (2020-11-26)

Study in Thailand identifies benefits of community-based freshwater fish reserves
Freshwater fish reserves are extraordinarily successful at protecting multiple species of fish, a new study of a network of community-based reserves in Thailand has found. Aaron Koning, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nevada, Reno's Global Water Center, spent seven years studying a network of freshwater protected areas (fish reserves) that communities established in one branch of the Salween River Basin in northern Thailand. (2020-11-25)

Community conservation reserves protect fish diversity in tropical rivers
A collaboration between researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that small, community-based reserves in Thailand's Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity in a region whose subsistence fisheries have suffered from decades of overharvesting. (2020-11-25)

Climate change and 'atmospheric thirst' to increase fire danger and drought in NV and CA
Climate change and a ''thirsty atmosphere'' will bring more extreme wildfire danger and multi-year droughts to Nevada and California by the end of this century, according to new research from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Merced. (2020-11-19)

Researchers quantify carbon changes in Sierra Nevada meadow soils
Meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains are critical components of watersheds. In addition to supplying water to over 25 million people in California and Nevada, meadows contain large quantities of carbon belowground. While it has been known for some time that meadows have large quantities of soil carbon, whether meadow soils are gaining or losing carbon has remained unclear. (2020-11-16)

New maps document big-game migrations across the western United States
For the first time, state and federal wildlife biologists have come together to map the migrations of ungulates across America's West. The maps will help land managers and conservationists pinpoint actions necessary to keep migration routes open and functional to sustain healthy big-game populations. (2020-11-12)

Some U.S. states hit harder by COVID-19 food insecurity
Food insecurity in America is reaching an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic. But large regional differences exist in the severity of the impact. (2020-11-12)

Environmental factors affect the distribution of Iberian spiders
Southern small-leaved oak forests are the habitats with a higher level of spider endemism in the Iberian Peninsula, according to an article published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. The study analyses the factors that affect biodiversity patterns of spider communities in the national park network of Spain, and explains the role of the environmental factors in the distribution of the biodiversity of this faunistic group in the peninsular territory. (2020-11-09)

FAST helps reveal the origin of fast radio bursts
Researchers from Beijing Normal University, Peking University and National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) found that there is weak correlation between fast radio bursts(FRBs) and soft gamma-ray repeater J1935+2145(SGRs). (2020-11-04)

Light pollution alters predator-prey interactions between cougars and mule deer in western US
A new study provides strong evidence that exposure to light pollution alters predator-prey dynamics between mule deer and cougars across the intermountain West, a rapidly growing region where nighttime skyglow is an increasing environmental disturbance. (2020-10-19)

COVID-19 rapid test has successful lab results, research moves to next stages
Rapid detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in about 30 seconds following the test, has had successful preliminary results in Mano Misra's lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. The test uses a nanotube-based electrochemical biosensor, a similar technology that Misra has used in the past for detecting tuberculosis and colorectal cancer as well as detection of biomarkers for food safety (2020-10-14)

UNLV and University of Rochester physicists observe room-temperature superconductivity
Physicists from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Rochester have made a breakthrough in the long sought-after quest for a room-temperature superconductor, what they call the ''holy grail'' of energy efficiency. (2020-10-14)

Thinning and prescribed fire treatments reduce tree mortality
Frequent fire once kept forests of California and throughout the western US relatively open but with a diversity of habitats preferred by a wide array of plant and animal species. After over a century of fire suppression, many such forests are now considerably denser, more homogeneous, and prone to disturbances such as stand-replacing wildfire and drought. (2020-10-14)

STOP THE BLEED training has saved lives from Sierra Leone to Connecticut
Two studies presented at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2020 provide evidence that STOP THE BLEED® training is effective and has made a lifesaving difference around the world. (2020-10-03)

Forest margins may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought
A warming climate and more frequent wildfires do not necessarily mean the western United States will see the forest loss that many scientists expect. Dry forest margins may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought if managed appropriately, according to Penn State researchers. (2020-09-22)

Wildfire smoke more dangerous than other air pollutants for asthma patients
For people who suffer from asthma, wildfire smoke is more hazardous than other types of air pollution, according to a new study from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) and the Washoe County Health District (WCHD). (2020-09-22)

Megafire does not deter Yosemite's spotted owls
A new study by researchers from The Institute for Bird Populations and Yosemite National Park found that California Spotted Owl numbers and nesting rates remained stable in areas of the park that were burned by the 2013 Rim Fire. The study suggests that Yosemite's owl population has benefited from the park's diverse forest habitats and restored fire regime, and that these factors have allowed them to thrive even after a major disturbance like a megafire. (2020-09-03)

Native desert bighorn sheep in ecologically intact areas are less vulnerable to climate change
In the American Southwest, native desert bighorn sheep populations found in landscapes with minimal human disturbance, including several national parks, are less likely to be vulnerable to climate change. (2020-08-26)

Ancient gene family protects algae from salt and cold in an Antarctic lake
Two species of Chlamydomonas algae from the ice-covered, hypersaline Lake Bonney in Antarctica use variants of an ancient gene family to synthetize the protective molecule glycerol, one of several adaptations that allow them to thrive in this extreme environment. The surprising ability of many microorganisms, such as these lake algae, to survive under extreme conditions has led many scientists to revise their views on the possibility of extraterrestrial life. (2020-08-20)

Population genetic screening shown to efficiently identify increased risk for inherited disease
In a new study published today in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers behind the Healthy Nevada Project® suggest that community-based genetic screening has the potential to efficiently identify individuals who may be at increased risk for three common inherited (CDC Tier 1) genetic conditions known to cause several forms of cancer and increased risk for heart disease or stroke. (2020-07-27)

Genome-mapping reveals 'supermutation' resulting in cryptic coloration in stick insects
In a paper published July 23, 2020 in 'Science,' a multi-institution team discusses findings from an investigation of genetic mutations in seven species of North American stick insects (Timema) resulting in cryptic coloration. (2020-07-23)

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout thrive at Paiute's Summit Lake in far northern Nevada
Summit Lake in remote northwest Nevada is home to the only self-sustaining, robust, lake population of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, North America's largest freshwater native trout species. Research to understand the reasons why this population continues to thrive, where others have not, will be used to protect the fish and its habitat - as well as to apply the knowledge to help restore other Nevada lakes that once had bountiful numbers of the iconic fish that historically reached 60 pounds. (2020-07-22)

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