Posted on December 26, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
California marine sanctuaries to be expanded.
Input sought on changes to protected areas off northern California coast
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A biodiversity hotpot off the coast of California could soon be expanded, as NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries begins a process to review the boundaries of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries.
The sanctuaries already protect about 2,000 square miles of ocean near the coast of San Francisco. The proposed expansion area is north of the existing sanctuaries and extends from Bodega Bay in Sonoma County to Alder Creek in Mendocino County. This area encompasses Point Arena — North America’s most intense “upwelling” site — which is home to diverse species and a productive ecosystem.
“The waters off the northern California coast are incredibly nutrient-rich and drive the entire natural system and, for almost a decade, local communities have been petitioning their elected officials to expand sanctuary protection to these areas,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of the NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, marine sanctuaries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, oceans | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
10 hurricanes, 19 named storm in Atlantic Basin in 2012
SUMMIT COUNTY — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has classified 2012 as an above-average year for hurricanes, based on the combined number, intensity, and duration of all tropical storms and hurricanes.
The season produced 19 named storms; 10 became hurricanes and one became a major hurricane. The number of named storms is well above the average of 12. The number of hurricanes is also above the average of six, but the number of major hurricanes is below the average of three.
2012 was the second consecutive year that the mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm. Sandy, and Irene last year, caused fatalities, injuries, and tremendous destruction from coastal storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and wind. Storms struck many parts of the country this year, including tropical storms Beryl and Debby in Florida, Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, and Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy in New Jersey. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, climate, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, NOAA | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 1, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Primary threats all linked to greenhouse gases and global warming
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal scientists say that at least 66 species of coral in the Caribbean and Pacific are in danger of going extinct because of threats linked to global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
Announcing a proposal to list those species under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identified 19 specific threats including rising ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, disease, ecological effects of fishing, and poor land-use practices. NOAA scientists said three of the major threats — rising ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, and disease — are all directly or indirectly linked to greenhouse gas emissions and a changing climate.
In the Pacific, seven species would be listed as endangered and 52 as threatened. In the Caribbean, five would be listed as endangered and two as threatened. Two other Caribbean species — elkhorn and staghorn corals — would be reclassified from threatened to endangered. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, corals proposed for endangered species list, endangered coral reefs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, ocean conservation | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 8, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Corals, rockfish and sponges found at unprecedented depths
Black coral (Antipathes species) with a rosy rockfish in it on “Cochrane Bank,” -95 meters depth, 9.5° Celsius. This coral is two meters across and suspected to be at least 100 years old. The coral had many crabs and juvenile fish living in it. The stems/skeletons of black corals are black, but the living tissue is usually orange or white. Photo courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The foggy wave-torn coast of northern California may not seem like a haven for coral at first glance, but NOAA researchers say they’ve recently discovered a treasure trove of new deep sea habitats in the Gulf of Farallones Sanctuary, not far from San Francisco.
The area is a melting pot for deep sea corals, sponges, rockfish, and other species.
A partnership of federal and independent scientists found the rocky reef habitats in October in an area at depths of up to 457 meters, where such corals and sponges had not been seen before. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, black coral, California, California Academy of Sciences, Farallon Islands, Farallones Sanctuary, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, marine biology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, oceans | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
NOAA seeks to add historical data to Arctic climate record
The USS Jeannette’s logs are part of the Old Weather-Arctic project. The ship was entrapped in Arctic sea ice for many months. Only a few sailors and the logbook survived this doomed 1879 Arctic expedition. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy public domain image.
A page from the log book of the US Navy steamer Bear, June 22, 1884. The Bear’s logs are included in the Old Weather-Arctic citizen science project. Photo courtesy National Archives.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Weather and history enthusiasts listen up — federal scientists are looking for volunteers to transcribe a newly digitized set of ship logs dating to 1850, a treasure trove of historical data that could help today’s climate researchers paint a more complete pictire of long-term changes.
The ship logs, preserved by NARA, are from U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Revenue Cutter voyages in the Arctic between 1850 and the World War II era. They include detailed and frequent weather observations.
“We hope to unlock millions of weather, sea ice and other environmental observations which are recorded in these documents,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “These observations represent one of the largest and most underutilized collections of meteorological and marine environmental data in existence. Once converted into digital formats, new analyses of these data will help provide new insights.” (more…)
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, climate change, global warming, National Archives, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Old Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 7, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Shellfish are expected to be hit hard by ocean acidification in the coming decades. Bob Berwyn photo.
CO2 from decaying algae blooms adds to ocean woes
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Runoff from agricultural and urban areas is speeding up ocean acidification in some coastal areas, adding to the woes resulting from increased concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
A new study by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Georgia found that CO2 released from decaying algal blooms intensifies acidification, which is already taking a toll on shellfish populations in some areas.
Ocean acidification occurs when the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the breakdown of organic matter, causing a chemical reaction to make it more acidic. Species as diverse as scallops and corals are vulnerable to ocean acidification, which can affect the growth of their shells and skeletons. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Algal bloom, climate, Eutrophication, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ocean acidification, University of Georgia | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 10, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Slight August cool down brings some relief to central U.S.
Hot summer in the West!
Hot in the West, normal in the central U.S. and cooler than average in parts of the Southeast.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After a blistering July, temperatures nationwide eased in August, averaging to 74.4 degrees across the contiguous U.S. and ranking the month as the 16th warmest August on record. Combined with the hottest July ever recorded and above-average readings in June, The summer of 2012 will go down as the third-hottest since record-keeping began in 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
August 2012 ranked as the 11th hottest on record, while just to the West, Utah recorded its second-hottest August, and Nevada its hottest on record. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, global warming | Tagged: 2012 temperature records, August 2012 temperatures, climate, global warming, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Extra atmospheric energy likely to manifest in intensification of global water cycle
*Editor’s note: Under a content-sharing agreement, Summit Voice will occasionally be offering stories from Climate Progress.
By Stephen Lacey
How much extra energy are we putting in the atmosphere through emission of greenhouse gases? One Australian researcher put it into context: “The radiative forcing of the CO2 we have already put in the atmosphere in the last century is … the equivalent in energy terms to almost half a billion Hiroshima bombs each year.”
With more energy radiating down on the planet rather than back up into space, the planet continues to heat up. As the atmosphere warms, it is able to hold more water vapor — thus strengthening the global hydrological cycle.
With all that extra energy, more water is pulled out of the subtropic regions and moved toward higher-precipitation areas in the subpolar regions, resulting in stronger droughts and stronger storms. Or, as the video above explains, how the wet gets wetter and the dry gets drier.
Visit Climate Progress for more.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Climate disruption, Environment, global warming, global water cycle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Radiative forcing | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Lack of soil moisture exacerbates heat waves
It’s been a hot spring and summer so far across much of the U.S.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The summer of 2012 is on pace to become the third-hottest on record since 1950, and could surge into first or second place, according to recent analysis by AccuWeather, Inc.
The private forecasting company is scrutinizing hourly and daily temperatures in 59 key cities to calculate the number of cooling-degree days, which is one way to measure summer heat across the country.
“The summer of 2012 is on pace to finish third hottest on the list of 62 summers since 1950, but is still in the running for number two or one on the list,” said Steven Root, a consulting meteorologist with AccuWeather partner WeatherBank, Inc.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: AccuWeather, climate, global warming, heat wave, high temperature records, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer 2012, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 8, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
More than 5,000 high temperature records set in past month
U.S. swelters in summer heat.
Heat wave shifts to the West.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The central and eastern U.S. will get some relief from a record-setting heat wave this week, as a cold front drops southward, but other parts of the country will see temperatures spike.
The desert Southwest will experience triple-digit temps the next few days, with highs climbing into the 120s in Death Valley and up to 112 degrees in Las Vegas and Phoenix as high pressure shifts westward. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, heat wave, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. high temperature records, U.S. weather | Leave a Comment »