2/14/2024: Anzali wetland, Iran’s “ecological gem,” could run dry by 2060

Iran’s biodiverse Anzali wetland is at risk of becoming a seasonal waterbody or drying up entirely as a result of decreased rainfall, higher water demand, and more sediment choking waterways, according to new research published in Earth’s Future. Credit: keyvan/Adobe Stock

AGU News

Ocean Sciences Meeting starts next week! Press registration remains open through 23 February
Browse nearly 5,000 abstracts for #OSM24, held 18-23 February in New Orleans. [OSM24 scientific program][OSM24 press registration][press release]

Register to attend the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit during the eclipse!
The Triennial Earth-Sun Summit (TESS) will be held 7-12 April in Dallas, Texas, in the path of totality. Scientific programming begins on 9 April, the day after the eclipse. To register, simply email us at [email protected]. Scientific sessions are on-site only. AGU’s housing is full. [TESS website][scientific program]

Featured Research

Iran’s “ecological gem,” the Anzali wetland, could dry up by 2060
The Anzali wetland sits in northern Iran, where nine major rivers meet the Caspian. Facing mounting environmental pressures, this hotspot of biodiversity, tourism and fishing could become a seasonal waterbody by 2100 or, in the worst-case scenario, dry up entirely as soon as 2060. [JGR Atmospheres research]

Cryptomare hiding on Moon’s backside suggest more volcanic past
Cryptomare, or cooled lava deposits covered by other material, hold important information about how much volcanic activity the Moon once had. New mapping of cryptomare and their “dark halos” suggests more extensive volcanism than previously thought, with about half the mare on the dark side of the Moon. [JGR Planets research]

Geomagnetic storms were a drag for Starlink
In February 2022, a pair of geomagnetic storms struck the upper atmosphere, causing the density in the atmosphere to suddenly and significantly increase. Higher atmospheric density dragged Starlink satellites as they whizzed by, causing them to fall out of the sky within several days. [Space Weather research]

Foreshock or swarm? Scientists need a big quake to decide
Clusters of seismic activity called foreshocks can occur before a larger earthquake, but similar clusters can also happen without a big quake. Scientists can only tell them apart after a big quake has happened, limiting foreshocks’ predictive capabilities, a new study finds. [JGR Solid Earth research]

Prescribed burns could expose more Californians to smoke
Prescribed burns can lower the risk of intense, uncontrolled wildfires, instead producing more days of less-dense smoke. For some densely populated areas in CA, adding prescribed burns could end up exposing more people to smoke, pointing to a need for good public awareness of burn days to minimize public health risks. [Earth’s Future research]

The escalating impact of global warming on atmospheric rivers
Climate change is set to intensify atmospheric rivers and exacerbate extreme rainfall worldwide. [Eos research spotlight][JGR Atmospheres research]

Intense rainstorms sculpt desert cliffs
New mathematical models show that the persistence of near-vertical cliffs in arid landscapes is maintained by infrequent but intense rainstorms. [Eos editors’ highlight][JGR Earth Surface research]

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