Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences

Significance

In lakes, chloride is a relatively benign ion at low concentrations but begins to have ecological impacts as concentrations rise into the 100s and 1,000s of mg L−1. In this study, we investigate long-term chloride trends in 371 freshwater lakes in North America. We find that in Midwest and Northeast North America, most urban lakes and rural lakes that are surrounded by >1% impervious land cover show increasing chloride trends. Expanding on this finding, thousands of lakes in these regions are at risk of long-term salinization. Keeping lakes “fresh” is critically important for protecting the ecosystem services freshwater lakes provide, such as drinking water, fisheries, recreation, irrigation, and aquatic habitat.

Abstract

The highest densities of lakes on Earth are in north temperate ecosystems, where increasing urbanization and associated chloride runoff can salinize freshwaters and threaten lake water quality and the many ecosystem services lakes provide. However, the extent to which lake salinity may be changing at broad spatial scales remains unknown, leading us to first identify spatial patterns and then investigate the drivers of these patterns. Significant decadal trends in lake salinization were identified using a dataset of long-term chloride concentrations from 371 North American lakes. Landscape and climate metrics calculated for each site demonstrated that impervious land cover was a strong predictor of chloride trends in Northeast and Midwest North American lakes. As little as 1% impervious land cover surrounding a lake increased the likelihood of long-term salinization. Considering that 27% of large lakes in the United States have >1% impervious land cover around their perimeters, the potential for steady and long-term salinization of these aquatic systems is high. This study predicts that many lakes will exceed the aquatic life threshold criterion for chronic chloride exposure (230 mg L−1), stipulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the next 50 y if current trends continue.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NEW YORK (WABC) — Drivers in New York and northern New Jersey are losing an average of nearly $2,800 per year due to bad roads, according to a new report.

The report was released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization.

It blames roads that are rough, congested and lack some safety features.

The financial toll on drivers comes in the form of higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

In New York state, drivers lose a total of $24.8 billion per year.

The TRIP report found that in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, more than two-thirds of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

It also found that traffic congestion in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area is worsening, causing 74 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing the average driver $1,765 each year in lost time and wasted fuel. New York drivers lose a total of $13 billion annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion.


The future of construction may be concrete that generates its own electricity

By Kabir Chibber November 2, 2018

We need buildings in which to live, but crafting those buildings is making it harder to live on this planet. As much as 10% of global carbon emissions come from the production of concrete. One ton of CO2 is generated by making one ton of cement, which is made from limestone and a few other things heated to an extremely high temperature.

But what if concrete could generate its own energy? The era of photovoltaic concrete may be getting closer. Photovoltaics, which work by converting light to energy via semiconducting, are starting to migrate from solar panels into the building materials themselves.

This has applications in roads and parking lots and ties in with less salt to melt ice and snow etc.


Too Few Doctors and Nurses for Veterans in Some Areas

STATELINE ARTICLE November 7, 2018

By: Tim Henderson Topics: Health & Federal Impact Read time: 6 min

Too Few Doctors and Nurses for Veterans in Some Areas

Retirement rate faster than the replacement rate in many areas

Need incentives to practice and this goes back to cost of school and reimbursement. We also have so many sick people in the US due to obesity and other chronic diseases that it overwhelms the system ($147 billion on 2008 numbers cost of obesity CDC). Also preventable accidents with infants and adults drives up healthcare costs:

Opioid prescribing still out of control per I stop data and needs teeth to the prescribing for chronic pain.

Injuries cost the US $671 billion in 2013

CDC study shows injuries and violence create substantial economic burden

  • Males accounted for a majority (78 percent) of costs for injury deaths ($166.7 billion) and nonfatal injury costs (63 percent; $287.5 billion); 
  • More than half of the total medical and work-loss costs of injury deaths were from unintentional injuries ($129.7 billion), followed by suicide ($50.8 billion) and homicide ($26.4 billion);
  • Drug poisonings, which includes prescription drug overdoses, accounted for the largest share of fatal injury costs (27 percent), followed by transportation-related deaths (23 percent) and firearm-related deaths (22 percent);
  • The cost for hospitalized injuries was $289.7 billion in 2013; the cost for injuries treated and released in hospitals and emergency departments was $167.1 billion; and
  • Falls (37 percent) and transportation-related injuries (21 percent) accounted for a majority of the costs associated with emergency department treated non-fatal injuries.

“The magnitude of costs associated with injury underscores the need for effective prevention,” said Deb Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Communities and states must increase efforts to implement evidence-based programs and policies to prevent injuries and violence to reduce not only the pain and suffering of people, but the considerable costs to society.”

Need to start better education against injuries at the middle school and high school levels!