Sci­en­tists mon­i­tor in­land wa­ter nu­tri­ents

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

Chi­nese sci­en­tists have de­vel­oped a new re­mote-sens­ing ap­proach to as­sess nu­tri­ent lev­els in in­land wa­ters.

Sci­en­tists from the Key Lab­o­ra­tory of Dig­i­tal Earth Sci­ence at the Chi­nese Academy of Sci­ences as­sessed the nu­tri­ent lev­els of 2,058 large in­land wa­ter bodies around the world us­ing data gath­ered from re­mote sens­ing in the sum­mer of 2012.

Dur­ing the as­sess­ment, they an­a­lyzed spa­tial dis­tri­bu­tion and pro­duced a nu­tri­ent map of the world’s large in­land wa­ter bodies.

The re­sults show that bodies of wa­ter with large lev­els of nu­tri­ents that fuel plant growth but de­prive the wa­ter of oxy­gen are con­cen­trated in Cen­tral Africa, East Asia, and mid-north­ern and south­east­ern North Amer­ica, while those with fewer nu­tri­ents but plen­ti­ful oxy­gen are con­cen­trated in plateau re­gions in Cen­tral Asia and south­ern South Amer­ica.

In­land wa­ters pro­vide wa­ter re­sources, fish­ery re­sources and en­ergy. They also play an im­por­tant role in global cli­mate change as well as bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion.

In re­cent decades, ris­ing lev­els of nu­tri­ents in in­land wa­ters — such as phos­phates from fer­til­iz­ers or de­ter­gents — have be­come a global en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lem.

The re­search was pub­lished in the jour­nal Re­mote Sens­ing of En­vi­ron­ment.

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