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Candy Land’s molasses swamp and an ice cream sea may be a bit of a stretch in the real world, but some of the shady streams in Georgia’s coastal plain steep like tea and make blackwater rivers. “It’s all these tree leaves and all this different organic matter in the soil and things like that,” said Andrew Mehring, a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia. “Once it gets in contact with waters it’s just releasing all these dissolved carbon compounds and that’s coloring the water — that tea color or coffee color that you see.” Mehring and other researchers published an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research about the effects of drought on dissolved organic carbon, or DOC, which comes from these leaves and other debris when they decompose in the water.
The surface of the sea takes up nitrogen oxides that build up in polluted air at night, new measurements on the coast of southern California have shown. The ocean removes about 15 percent of these chemicals overnight along the coast, a team of atmospheric chemists reports in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of March 3. "One often neglected path is reaction at the surface of the sea," said Tim Bertram, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, who led the research. Michelle Kim, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego working with Bertram, deployed intruments at the end of the institute's pier in La Jolla, Calif., to measure the flux of these molecules.