background image

Alaskan rivers turning orange due to climate change, study finds

author image

By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Dozens of rivers and streams in Alaska are turning rusty orange due to thawing permafrost, a new study reveals
• As the permafrost melts, minerals like iron are exposed and seep into waterways, changing their color
• This phenomenon poses risks to wildlife and water quality

🔭 The context: The Arctic is warming faster than any other region, causing previously frozen ground to thaw and release minerals into rivers
• This process, known as weathering, increases water acidity and dissolves metals such as zinc, copper, cadmium, and iron
• Researchers have observed these changes since 2018 in northern Alaska’s Brooks Range

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The altered water chemistry threatens drinking water supplies and the health of fisheries in the Arctic
• The presence of dissolved metals in rivers can severely impact aquatic ecosystems, including fish populations and the broader food web

⏭️ What's next: Scientists aim to understand the long-term impacts of these changes in water chemistry on Arctic regions with continuous permafrost
•  This includes collaborations with local communities to monitor and respond to the environmental changes

💬 One quote: “It’s an unforeseen impact of climate change that we’re seeing in some of the most pristine rivers in our country,” said Brett Poulin, assistant professor of environmental toxicology at University of California Davis

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - providing you with concise summaries of the most important sustainability news of the day.

Follow us on Linkedin, Twitter​ & Instagram

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)