Posted on November 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Bones of a juvenile mammoth spilling out of the ground in Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument (TUSK). USGS scientists are currently investigating geologic deposits exposed throughout TUSK to determine how the springs and marshes that attracted the animals responded to climate change in the past. Photo courtesy Eric Scott/USGS.
Abrupt climate change ripples through desert ecosystems
Freshwater springs outside Las Vegas offer some clues about how global warming will affect desert ecosystems, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
New research shows the seeps and springs expanded and contracted dramatically in response to past episodes of abrupt climate change, even disappearing altogether for centuries at a time when conditions became too warm.
“This is a story of water,” said Springer. “Water was plentiful in the desert at times in the past, but when climate warmed, springs and wetlands dried up, and the plants and animals living in the harsh desert environment were out of luck,” said USGS scientist Kathleen Springer. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: desert ecosystems, drought, Environment, global warming, Nevada | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA Earth Observatory map shows the dry Nevada deserts east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
BLM lease sales based on flawed, incomplete analysis, environmentalists say
FRISCO — Conservation advocates are formally challenging a Bureau of Land Management proposal to lease lands for natural gas exploitation in north-central Nevada based in part on the federal agency’s failure to require an in-depth environmental study.
The lease sale could open up more than 174,000 acres around Tonopah and Austin on 102 lease parcels. In filing the protest, the Center for Biological Diversity spelled out a laundry list of concerns about the BLM’s process, highlighting the fact that the agency’s evaluation of the proposed lease doesn’t come close to addressing key environmental concerns. Instead of developing more fossil fuel resources, the emphasis in Nevada should be on renewable energy resources like wind, solar and geothermal. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, fracking, Nevada | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A CU-Boulder led study helped pinpoint the age of petroglyphs carved into these Nevada boulders. Photo courtesy CU-Boulder.
Meaning of Nevada petroglyphs remain a mystery
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Stone Age North American cave dwellers may have been preoccupied with finding food most of the time, but they still found the time to leave their mark by carving mysterious symbols into prominent boulders.
Now, a University of Colorado Boulder researcher believes he’s discovered the oldest known petroglyphs in the country.
The carvings on a boulder in western Nevada date to at least 10,500 years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14,800 years ago, according to CU-Boulder researcher Larry Benson. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: archaeology, CU Boulder, Nevada, petroglyphs, rock art | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Desert tortoise. Courtesy USFWS.
Court affirms BLM’s authority over public lands grazing
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Some of those self-styled sagebrush rebels just can’t take a hint, even — or especially — when it comes from a federal judge.
Starting in 1993, the Bureau of Land Management has been trying to prevent Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy from grazing his cattle where he has no legal right to do so.
Bundy has pretty much ignored all polite requests to cease and desist, while his cows trample habitat for protected desert tortoises and damage ancient Native American cultural sites.
Last week a federal court issued a ruling that once again affirms the BLM’s right to to remove the trespassing cattle. The decision affirms a previous finding by the same court, made in 1998 and later upheld on appeal. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Environment, public lands | Tagged: biodiversity, Desert tortoise, endangered species act, Environment, Nevada, wildlife | Leave a comment »