A panel of eight experienced artists and scientists judged the scientific, aesthetic and creative qualities of 171 images and videos submitted by UW–Madison faculty, staff and students — a record number of entries for the eighth annual competition.
A new study finds that urban green spaces like backyards, city parks and golf courses contribute substantially to the ecological fabric of our cities — and the wider landscape — and should be included in ecological data.
When the lakes are frozen, Madison is a winter wonderland. But reliable ice and deep snow are becoming the anomaly. We’re losing something magical.
“We’re monkeying with the very chemical foundation of these ecosystems,” said Emily H. Stanley, a limnologist (freshwater ecologist) at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. “But right now we don’t know enough yet to know where we’re going. To me, scientifically that’s really interesting, and as a human a little bit frightening.”
“When we’re throwing down road salt, we might be thinking about the fact that we’re putting salt into the water, but we’re not thinking that it may also mobilize lead,” says Hilary Dugan, a limnologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dugan has studied lakes in North America, which she also found to be increasing in salinity.
In 2011, Lake Erie turned into a toxic pea soup. One-sixth of the lake harbored a thick and deadly algal bloom that killed fish, closed beaches and struck a blow to Toledo, Ohio’s tourism industry. The bloom was three times larger than any algal bloom ever recorded there. The contamination was forecast by ecologists in 2011, said Stephen Carpenter, newly retired as director of the Center for Limnology, at a recent campus symposium centered around a new effort to understand, predict and prevent these kinds of abrupt ecological changes.
In recent decades, change has defined our environment in the United States. Agriculture intensified. Urban areas sprawled. The climate warmed. Intense rainstorms became more common. But, says a new University of Wisconsin–Madison study, while those kinds of changes usually result in poor water quality, lakes have surprisingly stayed the same.
Steve Carpenter couldn’t believe the view from his second-floor office on the shoreline of Lake Mendota. As far as he could see, the still water looked just like teal-blue paint.
Road salt is making North America’s freshwater lakes saltier, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Most of the lakes tested (284) are in the North American Lakes Region. The study represents the first large-scale analysis of chloride trends in freshwater lakes.