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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Mar 2018 right left

   
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Hedge Planting

Sunday 4th March
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh
Free

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Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 18th March
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield
Free

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The Rivers Trust Spring Conference 2018

Wednesday 21st March
Iveagh House, Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Free

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River pollution may increase… 25 March 2014

Wetter winters in the future could increase agricultural pollution in Britain’s rivers, say scientists

 

A research team from Lancaster University concluded that increased, more intensive winter rainfall is likely to wash more fertiliser out of soil and into rivers.

This could artificially nourish plants, including toxic algae.

The research team is now embarking on a project to help predict and ultimately mitigate agricultural pollution.

Its study aims to work out how the changing climate and agricultural land use combined are likely to affect our waterways.

Lead researcher Prof Philip Haygarth explained that it was not just the rainfall that could cause problems, but the temperature.

“Drier, hotter summers mean that the processes in the soil will change and that the soil will crack open,” he explained.

“This will create pathways in the soil for water to flow.

“So what we’re doing in this project is trying to study the processes that might take place in the future and use climate models to help run scenarios so we can better manage it in the future.”

The project – Nutrients in Catchments to 2050 – involves researchers from several institutes across England and Wales, including the Met Office Hadley Centre, Bangor University and Liverpool University.

The scientists involved are combining direct measurements of water quality with climate models.

This basically helps paint a picture of how much fertiliser the soil will be able to absorb, and how much will wash through.

“We need to be able to do the best science possible with the latest computer models, with the best data possible to make the best predictions about what’s going to happen in the future with land use and with climate,” he told BBC News.

Read more…