Collaborating Authors


U.S. orders deeper testing after engine scare on Boeing plane

The Japan Times

New York – The U.S. aviation regulator on Tuesday ordered a deeper inspection of the engines similar to the ones on a Boeing 777 aircraft that suffered a spectacular failure over Denver days earlier. The incident, in which a Pratt & Whitney engine burst into flames and scattered debris over a Denver suburb shortly after takeoff for Honolulu, led to scores of Boeing 777s being grounded worldwide over safety concerns. "U.S. operators of airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines (must) inspect these engines before further flight," the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. The regulator said it was issuing the order "as a result of a fan-blade failure that occurred Saturday on a Boeing 777-200 that had just departed from Denver International Airport." Before they can return to the skies, "operators must conduct a thermal acoustic image (TAI) inspection of the large titanium fan blades located at the front of each engine. TAI technology can detect cracks on the interior surfaces of the hollow fan blades, or in areas that cannot be seen during a visual inspection," it said in a statement.

The best PlayStation 4 exclusives, ranked

Washington Post - Technology News

You can attribute much of the PlayStation 4's amazing run of the last seven years to its exclusive titles. While Nintendo remains the most prolific producer of high quality exclusive console games, Sony amassed considerable might during the PlayStation 4′s run, acquiring acclaimed studios that would go on to produce titles that would sweep awards shows. It's why Microsoft has invested in its own studios, including last year's atomic announcement that Xbox now owns Bethesda Game Studios, the creators of the "Elder Scrolls" series. Gene Park: "Bloodborne" was a game so good, it helped me completely get over my last, serious and long-term relationship. It was early 2015, and there were going to be some big changes in our lives. I was looking to move out of Hawaii, while she wanted to expand her local business's footprint. Our relationship was already on the rocks before "Bloodborne" released, and we'd already had some legendary battles and arguments between us, you know, the kind that end in screaming matches and tearful apologies.

Potential signs of life on Venus are fading fast


The announcement in September took the world by storm: In radio emissions from Venus's atmosphere, researchers found signs of phosphine, a toxic compound that on Earth is made in significant amounts only by microbes and chemists. The unexpected detection could point to a microbial biosphere floating in the venusian clouds, the researchers suggested in Nature Astronomy . But almost immediately, other astronomers began to point out questionable methods or said they couldn't reproduce results. Now, after reanalyzing their data, the original proponents are downgrading their claims. Phosphine levels are at least seven times lower than first claimed, the authors reported in a preprint posted on 17 November to arXiv. But the team still believes the gas is there, Jane Greaves, an astronomer at Cardiff University who led the work, said in a talk last week to a NASA Venus science group. “We have again a phosphine line.” The original observations were made in 2017 at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in Hawaii, and in 2019 at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. In Venus's radio spectrum, Greaves and her colleagues detected an absorption line they attributed to phosphine. The researchers went to great lengths to remove confounding effects such as absorption by Earth's own atmosphere. But critics said such aggressive fixes made the discovery of a false positive more likely. ALMA scientists have since found a new noise source: telescope calibration errors. After reanalyzing the ALMA data, Greaves said her team now finds phosphine at just 1 part per billion (ppb). That's still above levels that can be explained by natural processes such as volcanic eruptions or lightning strikes, Greaves said. A study published last month in Astronomy & Astrophysics , led by Therese Encrenaz, an astronomer at the Paris Observatory, ruled out higher phosphine levels. Her team analyzed observations made in 2015 by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii. Phosphine should have popped out if it had existed at levels above 5 ppb. “It's easy to see there's no phosphine line,” Encrenaz says. If the line does exist, it might not be due to phosphine, according to a critique submitted to Nature Astronomy . It argues that the dip in the JCMT spectrum can be explained by an overlapping absorption line from sulfur dioxide (SO2), the gas that makes up most venusian clouds. The Greaves team concedes the point in its reanalysis. “We emphasize that there could be a contribution from SO2,” they write. But the width of the absorption line in the ALMA data suggests the feature isn't “solely SO2,” they write. Just where any signal is coming from is also in dispute. ALMA is only sensitive to absorption from substances at altitudes above 70 kilometers (km), Encrenaz says. But the Nature Astronomy paper suggested the signal originated some 55 km up, in warmer, more hospitable cloud layers. “This is very difficult to conceive,” Encrenaz says. Greaves and her co-authors argue in their reanalysis that ALMA is unable to capture the full width—and therefore depth—of the signal. “There is no empirical evidence that [phosphine] lies only above 70 km.” Colin Wilson, a co-author of the Nature Astronomy critique, says it's too early to say where the “phosphine roller coaster will end up.” More observations at ALMA might settle the issue, he says. “Whether or not we find phosphine, we're likely to find something new.”

News at a glance


SCI COMMUN### Infectious diseases The 11th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is officially over, giving the country respite from the disease for the first time in more than 2 years. On 18 November, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that no new cases had been identified for 42 days, twice the incubation period for the deadly virus. The outbreak, in the western Équateur province, started in late May, just as a bigger one in the eastern DRC was coming to an end. (That outbreak had killed 2200 people.) The Équateur outbreak sickened 130 and killed 55; a campaign that vaccinated more than 40,000 people is credited with helping end it. Special portable coolers that keep the vaccine at −80°C for up to 1 week allowed health workers to administer the shots in communities deep in the rainforest, accessible only by boat or helicopter. The same technology will be useful in efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, says Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's regional director. The coronavirus pandemic complicated the fight against Ebola, WHO says, but the expertise gained by local health workers in earlier outbreaks in the region was a major advantage. They will remain on the lookout for potential flare-ups. $1,000,000 —Gift from entertainer Dolly Parton in April to support development of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, which the company last week said showed an efficacy of 94.5%. “I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money,” Parton told BBC. ### Marine ecology The Allen Coral Atlas, a project to map the world's shallow coral reefs with high-resolution satellites, last week launched a monitoring system to detect coral bleaching events as they occur. When corals face extreme heat, they expel their algal symbionts, leaving them bone white and vulnerable to stress; repeated bleaching episodes, growing more common with global warming, can cause massive die-offs. The system detects the whitening using imagery from the privately owned Planet satellite constellation, processed with machine learning. A pilot has begun in Hawaii to use the data as an early warning system for researchers, to help them identify and study species both vulnerable and resistant to warming extremes. The monitoring of bleaching is expected to expand next year to shallow reefs globally. ### Diagnostics The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first emergency use authorization last week for an at-home diagnostic test that can detect the pandemic coronavirus in just minutes. However, the test might not be widely available until spring 2021. Produced by Lucira Health, a biotech company, it is expected to cost less than $50 and require a doctor's prescription. The company says it will soon distribute tests in parts of California and Florida; it says it needs time to scale up manufacturing for national distribution. Lucira's test amplifies viral genetic material, making it nearly as accurate as laboratory tests that use the polymerase chain reaction, the current gold standard. FDA previously approved at-home tests that must be mailed to a laboratory for analysis. Several other companies are working on rapid antigen tests, which detect viral particles, for home use. But concerns remain about antigen tests' reliability. Still, some public health specialists consider widely available, low-cost, at-home testing vital for controlling the pandemic. ### Funding A new U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) award will allow early-career investigators who want to shift research directions when applying for their first independent award to submit a proposal without first generating preliminary data to support their idea. Reviewers will instead assess the soundness of the project's approach. The Katz award is named for Stephen Katz, a longtime champion of young researchers who was director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases when he died in 2018. The grant will build on an NIH policy that prioritizes proposals from early-stage investigators—those no more than 10 years from completing their training who are applying for their first research grant. The policy has been credited with raising their numbers from fewer than 600 supported in 2013 to more than 1300 last year. Applications for the first Katz awards are due on 26 January 2021. ### Leadership Democrats in Congress say a political appointee given a senior post at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is unfit for the job because he lacks technical skills and holds pseudoscientific views about racial differences on IQ tests. On 9 November, Jason Richwine, an independent public policy analyst, took up the new position of deputy undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross subsequently issued an order that would put Richwine in charge of the $1 billion research agency if NIST Director Walter Copan leaves or is fired. On 17 November, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), who leads the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, asked Ross to justify the moves. Richwine has advocated for more restrictive immigration policies, and his 2009 doctoral thesis argued that lower IQ scores by Mexican and Hispanic immigrants suggest a genetic component to intelligence that is “likely to persist over several generations.” ### Diversity The editors of Nature Communications say they are reviewing a paper that drew scalding criticism after it suggested that encouraging female junior scientists to work with female mentors could “hinder the careers of women.” The 17 November study, led by data scientist Bedoor AlShebli of New York University, Abu Dhabi, examined 3 million mentor-protégé pairs and how gender influenced the impact of papers later published by the protégés. Female protégés, it concluded, did better if they worked with male mentors. Critics pounced, noting the authors ignored reviewer complaints about the study's methods and arguing the journal was promoting a harmful and unfounded message. The article's authors said they welcome the review. ### Animal diseases European authorities reported on 19 November they have detected highly pathogenic avian influenza in 302 birds in eight countries. Only 18 cases were in poultry; most of the rest were in wild birds, the European Food Safety Authority and its partners said. The number of infected birds is expected to rise with winter migrations. Several flu strains were identified, but no people were reported to be infected, and the risk of that occurring is considered low; researchers studying the viruses found no genetic markers indicating they had adapted to infect mammals. But the threat to poultry is high, and the report's authors recommended bird producers increase precautions against infections. VACCINE APPLICATION Days after making public the final analysis of their 40,000-person COVID-19 vaccine trial, which found 95% efficacy, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech filed for emergency authorization of the messenger RNA vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—the first such request for a vaccine during the pandemic. They plan to seek additional approvals in other countries soon. Pfizer hopes to supply up to 50 million doses this year. REMDESIVIR PANNED A World Health Organization panel recommended against using the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat most hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Its review of four studies of 7000 people found that the drug, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved last month for hospitalized patients, did not reduce mortality or speed recovery. But the panel encouraged further study of it. AMMO BAN Denmark has become the first nation to ban all lead-based hunting ammunition, including bullets and shotgun pellets, to protect wildlife. Hunters annually release about 2 tons of lead into Denmark's environment; waterbirds and other species eat the toxic material and die. European regulators are considering a ban like Denmark's.

AI Helps Create The Largest 3D Map Of The Universe


According to the article by Thomas Macaulay, scientists at University of Hawaii's Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) created the largest 3D map in the world of the universe. The article states, "They trained an algorithm to identify celestial objects in the survey by feeding it spectroscopic measurements that provide definitive object classifications and distances." "Utilizing a state-of-the-art optimization algorithm, we leveraged the spectroscopic training set of almost 4 million light sources to teach the neural network to predict source types and galaxy distances, while at the same time correcting for light extinction by dust in the Milky Way," said lead study author Robert Beck. It is interesting how the technology used to map out the stars is similar to the technology used by Opsani. Opsani also uses a neural network to modify certain settings for your application that can affect performance. We then monitor the performance of the application.

AI helps produce world's largest 3D map of the universe


Scientists at the University of Hawaii's Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) have used AI to produce the world's largest 3D catalog of stars, galaxies, and quasars. The team developed the map using an optical survey of three-quarters of the sky produced by the Pan-STARRS observatory on Haleakalā, Maui. They trained an algorithm to identify celestial objects in the survey by feeding it spectroscopic measurements that provide definitive object classifications and distances. "Utilizing a state-of-the-art optimization algorithm, we leveraged the spectroscopic training set of almost 4 million light sources to teach the neural network to predict source types and galaxy distances, while at the same time correcting for light extinction by dust in the Milky Way," said lead study author Robert Beck, a former cosmology postdoctoral fellow at IfA. This enabled the neural network to achieve a classification accuracy of 98.1% for galaxies, 97.8% for stars, and 96.6% for quasars.

Sharp Venture Capitalists Make Remarkable Inroads With Alternative Data


The University of Hawaii reports that big data is shaking up the venture capital industry in unbelievable ways. Venture capitalists are finding new ways to leverage alternative data effectively for much higher yields. Big data plays a role in shifting the risk-reward calculus in the favor of venture capitalists. Venture capital is a high risk, high reward game. To put it into perspective, 90% of new startups fail, which means that investors can lose a lot of money while hunting the potential "unicorns."

Underwater Trash Detection using Opensource Monk Toolkit


Underwater Waste is a huge environmental problem affecting aquatic habitat drastically. Marine debris includes plastic, non-bio-degradable industrial waste, sewage sludge, radioactive material dumps, etc. As per the statistics published at Condor Ferries More than 100K marine animals die due to plastic waste It is estimated that around 5.25 trillion plastic pieces exist in our oceans 70 % of waste debris sinks in the ocean, around 15% floats, and the rest is washed ashore. The great pacific garbage patch, also known as pacific trash vortex spans around 617K miles between Hawaii and California. And this is still a small part of the entire marine pollution.

Machine Learning Just Classified Over Half a Million Galaxies - Universe Today


Humanity is still a long way away from a fully artificial intelligence system. For now at least, AI is particularly good at some specialized tasks, such as classifying cats in videos. Now it has a new skill set: identifying spiral patterns in galaxies. As with all AI skills, this one started out with categorized data. In this case, that data consisted of images of galaxies taken by the Subaru Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Distorting science, putting water at risk


The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) ([ 1 ][1]), which was published in April by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (“the Agencies”), has redefined “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) to restrict federal protection of vulnerable waters ([ 2 ][2]). With its emphasis on “continuous surface connections” and “permanen[ce],” the NWPR removes or reduces protection for U.S. waters, including millions of miles of streams and acres of wetlands, many of which comprise headwaters that are critical for sustaining water quality and healthy watersheds ([ 3 ][3]) (see the figure). Although the Agencies claim to have “looked to scientific principles to inform” the NWPR, science has been largely ignored and oversimplified. These new exclusions are based on selective parsing of statutory language and earlier case law, rather than on previously established, science-based interpretations of the U.S. Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA) ([ 4 ][4]). The EPA's own Science Advisory Board (SAB) found sufficient evidence to conclude that “…the proposed Rule lacks a scientific justification, while potentially introducing new risks to human and environmental health” ([ 5 ][5]). Responding to this unprecedented distortion of science and rollback in water protections, which went into effect nationwide on 22 June, will require coordinated efforts among scientists, lawmakers, and resource managers. Clearly articulated in the CWA is the intention “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters” ([ 4 ][4]). The CWA was explicit in protecting “navigable waters,” which Congress defined broadly as WOTUS; however, the extent to which waters other than navigable rivers, lakes, and territorial seas [traditional navigable waters (TNWs)] are protected has repeatedly provoked legal skirmishing. Particularly contentious are determinations about which nontraditional waters, such as wetlands and small tributary streams, contribute to the integrity of TNWs. The NWPR functionally ends the debate by elevating state over federal regulatory authority. Without federal law as a protective regulatory floor, states can and often do choose to leave waterbodies unprotected, making waters vulnerable to unregulated pollution, dredging, filling, and other activities that may profoundly erode water quality ([ 3 ][3]). The NWPR downplays science by redefining protected “waters” and explicitly states that “science cannot dictate where to draw the line between Federal and State waters.” The NWPR relies overwhelmingly (and arguably arbitrarily) upon the 2006 Supreme Court opinion by Justice Scalia in Rapanos v. United States, Carabell v. United States Army Corps of Engineers that lacked majority support. A more scientifically nuanced position was articulated by Justice Kennedy on the same case; the four dissenting Justices agreed with Kennedy's rationales for protecting waters, but would have protected even more. The realized impacts are likely to be worse than projected, as ephemeral streams and nonfloodplain wetlands are usually underestimated by remotely sensed data ([ 3 ][3]). The economic analysis filed with the NWPR was largely silent about impacts, simply acknowledging that “the [A]gencies are unable to quantify [the scope] of these changes with any reliable accuracy” owing to geospatial data issues and uncertainty about government responses ([ 6 ][6]). Yet, in spite of this uncertainty and the potential for harm, the Agencies proceeded with a restrictive and risky rule. Connectivity is a cornerstone in understanding how freshwater ecosystem functions are sustained. In 2015, the Obama administration promulgated the Clean Water Rule (CWR) that included all tributaries and most wetlands as WOTUS ([ 7 ][7]). The scientific rationale for the CWR was reviewed in the EPA Connectivity Report ([ 8 ][8]), which synthesized >1200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and input from 49 technical experts. After a public review process, the 25-member EPA SAB confirmed the scientific underpinnings of both the Connectivity Report and the CWR. Since then, the body of supporting evidence has grown ([ 3 ][3], [ 9 ][9]), enhancing our understanding of how the integrity of freshwater ecosystems within a watershed relates to the biological, chemical, and hydrological connectivity among waterbodies, including wetlands and ephemeral streams. This understanding recognizes as critical to services derived from freshwater ecosystems gradients of connectivity (versus a binary property: connected, not connected) that operate as a function of frequency, magnitude, timing, and duration of biological, chemical, and physical connections among waterbodies ([ 10 ][10]). By disregarding or misinterpreting the science of waterbody connectivity, the NWPR draws scientifically unsupported boundaries to distinguish WOTUS, reaches conclusions contrary to current science, and asserts legal and scientific views substantially different from those of the Agencies under previous administrations of both political parties going back to the 1970s. The NWPR promotes regulations contrary to what science shows about effective water protection. Although agencies often have latitude to adjust regulatory choices when implementing longstanding statutes, they cannot do so arbitrarily and without reasoned justification and rationales in light of relevant law, facts, and science. In contrast to the CWR's recognition of biological, chemical, and physical connectivity, the NWPR relies solely on direct hydrologic surface connectivity to determine wetland jurisdiction. Nonfloodplain wetlands and ephemeral streams are categorically excluded on the basis of lack of hydrological connectivity irrespective of their degree of biological or chemical connectivity. Also excluded are floodplain wetlands lacking a direct surface water connection to TNWs “in a typical year,” and intermittent tributaries lacking relatively permanent surface flows. Such exclusions are inconsistent with evidence demonstrating that these waters are functionally connected to and support the integrity of downstream waters. Removal of federal protection is likely to diminish numerous ecosystem services, such as safeguarding water quality and quantity, reducing or mitigating flood risk, conserving biodiversity, and maintaining recreationally and commercially valuable fisheries ([ 3 ][3]). Just as tiny capillaries play critical roles in the human body, nonfloodplain wetlands (so-called “isolated”) and ephemeral streams (that flow only after precipitation events) support an extensive suite of ecosystem services. Because nonfloodplain wetlands and ephemeral streams are connected to one another and downstream waters along a gradient of connectivity, they also provide substantial cumulative or aggregate ecosystem services ([ 10 ][10]). Because these wetlands and streams will summarily lose federal protection, they will be vulnerable to outright destruction, fill, or unpermitted industrial pollution discharges that risk transporting pollutants throughout watersheds. Losses of nonfloodplain wetlands could include particularly vulnerable and often valuable waters ([ 2 ][2]), including some playa lakes, prairie potholes, Carolina and Delmarva Bays, pocosins, and vernal pools. A preliminary analysis predicts widespread losses of wetland functions, with particularly high impacts on wetlands in arid and semi-arid regions. For example, the CWR protected 72%, whereas the NWPR will only protect 28% of wetland acres, in New Mexico's Río Peñasco watershed ([ 11 ][11]). The NWPR also categorically excludes subsurface hydrologic connectivity. To disregard groundwater connectivity is to disregard the scientific understanding of how natural waters function. The Agencies justify this exclusion by claiming that “A groundwater or subsurface connection could also be confusing and difficult to implement.” Although implementation may be challenging in some cases, claimed implementation ease under the NWPR should not supersede an evidence-based determination of connectivity given the potential for economic and environmental harm. The NWPR directly conflicts with a growing body of scientific evidence and with input and review by federal and nonfederal scientists. The rule narrows WOTUS in ways that are inconsistent with longstanding views about the CWA's mandate to safeguard access to clean water. The NWPR opens previously protected waters to filling, impairment, and industrial pollution, and will undermine decades of investments restoring water quality across the United States and lead to profound loss or impairment of ecosystems and the services they provide. For context, the economic value of ecosystem services provisioned by nonfloodplain wetlands alone has been estimated at $673 billion per year ([ 2 ][2]). Congress has the power to strengthen the CWA by enacting new legislation to replace or repeal the NWPR. Future administrations can reassess and act to restore protections through new rulemaking, without the need for new legislation. Toward these ends, the scientific community has already spoken on the matter, proposing three frameworks for the development of renewed protections based on sound scientific merits ([ 2 ][2]). Meanwhile, litigation may present challenges to and perhaps enjoin implementation of the NWPR. The April 2020 County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund may help. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an argument that would have eliminated federal CWA protections. The Court instead called for a functional and context-sensitive analysis of the disputed activities and their effects to determine federal jurisdiction over intentional pollution discharges into groundwater that predictably flows into WOTUS. In that 6 to 3 decision, the Court laid out a clear scientific basis for closing a loophole in the CWA, affirming for the first time that pollutants that travel through groundwater and then emerge into surface waters are in fact covered by the CWA. ![Figure][12] Protected versus unprotected waters Multiple waterbody types were initially under consideration for protection as “waters of the United States” under the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Ephemeral streams flow only after precipitation events, intermittent streams flow periodically or seasonally, and perennial streams flow continuously. There are many types of nonfloodplain, or “isolated” wetlands, including prairie potholes and vernal pools, as illustrated here. GRAPHIC: MELISSA THOMAS BAUM/ SCIENCE Redoubled research efforts also can help address knowledge gaps critical for effective water policy. Quantifying the potential “harm” to clean water that will be caused by the NWPR is critical for both litigation and future rulemaking. Thus, the scientific community will be challenged to further demonstrate the consequences of changes to physical, chemical, and biological connectivity on water quality—especially in the context of nonperennial streams and nonfloodplain wetlands. Research-based evidence on the impacts of climate change were notably absent in the NWPR and will also be critical in challenging the rule. Under current human-use and water-management schemes, many stream flows are declining, such that intermittent and perennial streams are increasingly being replaced with ephemeral streams that will lose protection. For example, the Upper Kansas River Basin lost 558 km (21%) of stream length between 1950 and 1980, presumably as a result of groundwater pumping exacerbated by climate change, with a cumulative loss of 844 km (32%) predicted by 2060 ([ 12 ][13]). Reduced mountain snowpack and increased evaporation have been implicated in the ∼20% decline in the Colorado River's mean annual flow in comparison to the previous century; the Upper Colorado River basin supplies water to around 40 million people and supports ∼16 million jobs ([ 13 ][14]). Adoption of the NWPR is an indicator that the federal government is at least in part shedding the use of science and responsibility for water protection. Additional federal rollbacks of environmental protection, such as the Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, a rule finalized on 15 July, could create a perfect storm for exploitation of water resources. Although federal statutes grant latitude to state, tribal, and local governments to provide additional, more protective regulation, many states do not do so, and many even prohibit regulations more stringent than federally required ([ 2 ][2], [ 14 ][15]). Thus, absent federal protections, many waterbodies will go unprotected. If the NWPR remains in place, local and grassroots approaches to water conservation, including watershed councils and coalitions, information and educational plans to reduce pollution, and university extension programs, will need to further mobilize to fill the vacuum created by the new rule. Such efforts would require additional resources and heightened stakeholder coordination. 1. [↵][16]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States,” 85 Fed. Reg. 22250 (A2020). 2. [↵][17]1. I. F. Creed et al ., Nat. Geosci. 10, 809 (2017). [OpenUrl][18] 3. [↵][19]1. S. A R. Colvin et al ., Fisheries (Bethesda, MD) 44, 73 (2019). [OpenUrl][20][GeoRef][21] 4. [↵][22]Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., Sec. 101, p. 3 (1972). 5. [↵][23]U.S. EPA, Letter to Andrew Wheeler, 27 February 2020, SAB commentary on the proposed rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act, EPA-SAB-20-002 (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). 6. [↵][24]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army, Economic analysis for the Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (EPA, 2020). 7. [↵][25]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” 80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (EPA, 2015). 8. [↵][26]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters: a review and synthesis of the scientific evidence technical report, EPA/600/R-14/475F (EPA, 2015). 9. [↵][27]1. S. M. P. Sullivan, 2. M. C. Rains, 3. A. D. Rodewald , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 11558 (2019). [OpenUrl][28][FREE Full Text][29] 10. [↵][30]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Letter to Gina McCarthy, 17 October 2014. SAB review of the draft EPA report Connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters: A review and synthesis of the scientific evidence (EPA, 2014). 11. [↵][31]1. R. Meyer, 2. A. Robertson , Navigable Waters Protection Rule spatial analysis: A GIS based scenario model for comparative analysis of the potential spatial extent of jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional waters and wetlands (Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN, 2020). 12. [↵][32]1. J. S. Perkin et al ., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 114, 7373 (2017). [OpenUrl][33][Abstract/FREE Full Text][34] 13. [↵][35]1. P. C. D. Milly, 2. K. A. Dunne , Science 367, 1252 (2020). [OpenUrl][36][Abstract/FREE Full Text][37] 14. [↵][38]State constraints: State-imposed limitations on the authority of agencies to regulate waters beyond the scope of the federal Clean Water Act (Environmental Law Institute, 2013). Acknowledgments: We thank the many individuals who contributed to previous and related documents concerning the proposed replacement rule that helped inform this paper, including letters to the Federal Register (Docket ID No. EPAHQ-OW-2018-0149) and Public Input on the SAB Commentary on the Proposed Rule Defining the Scope of Waters Federally Regulated under the Clean Water Act (84 FR 4154). We also thank L. Poff, W. Kleindl, and three anonymous reviewers for their critiques and suggestions in earlier drafts. R. B. Keast and S.M.P.S. developed the figure. S.M.P.S. is currently providing advisory and expert consulting services to ongoing litigation regarding the NWPR. 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