Photos Courtesy: Jim Hood (pictured) and Lyndsie Collis MISSION: WATER HEADLINE 12 SURFACE WATER STEVE WERBLOW RUNNING HOT & COLD ICELAND STREAM WARMING STUDY PROVIDES A PREVIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE To its natives, Iceland is a mystical island, peopled with huldufólk—hidden folk, or elves— and the countryside is peppered with little stone “fairy houses” built by locals to house their supernatural neighbors. Some ecologists may be inclined to believe in at least a certain kind of Icelandic magic, the kind that resulted in the remarkable Hengill region, a landscape coursing with crystalline streams that flow at dramatically different temperatures. Just a few steps from each other, one brook may babble at 7°C (44.6°F) while another, warmed by a small patch of geothermally heated earth, can run as high as 30°C (86°F). What’s just as unique, the heat sources have very little impact on stream chemistry. "Within that landscape, it's just so easy to do ecology. It's a really fun ecosystem to work in," marvels Jim Hood, an assistant professor of aquatic ecology at The Ohio State University, who did his postdoctoral research at Hengill. This remarkable project observed the impact of warming on stream ecology, which is helping scientists predict the impacts of global change on streams and rivers."