Posted on November 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Impacts of oil pollution expected to affect Barataria Bay populations for a long time
A dolphin pushes a dead calf in March, 2013. This behavior is sometimes observed in female dolphins when their newborn calf does not survive. Photo courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
There’s already a wealth of research showing that the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was very bad for coastal dolphins. One study, for example, showed dolphins in Barataria Bay exposed to BP’s oil suffered lung disease and hormone deficiencies.
In a report released this week, a team of researchers led by National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration scientists is reporting a high rate of reproductive failure in dolphins exposed to the 2010 spill. The biologists monitored bottlenose dolphins in heavily-oiled Barataria Bay for five years following the spill. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, BP Gulf oil spill, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Barataria Bay, Deepwater Horizon, dolphins, marine mammals, NOAA, Oil spill | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Coho salmon are struggling, but a new report suggests that boosting stormwater treatment could help them in some environments. Photo courtesy USGS.
Green stormwater infrastructure needed to protect salmon in urban streams
Simple sand and soil filters could prevent much of the pollution from urban runoff that’s killing adult coho salmon in West Coast streams, NOAA researchers found after studying water quality around Puget Sound.
The research traced the link between toxic parking lot runoff and other urban pollution and salmon deaths. More than half the coho salmon returning to urban streams dominated by stormwater runoff die every year before they spawn. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Coho salmon, endangered species, NOAA, stormwater treatment, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New data from the Gulf of Alaska expedition will help guide ongoing conservation efforts
North Pacific right whales are among the most endangered marine mammal species. There may be as few as 30 individuals remaining. Photo via NOAA.
FRISCO —There may only be about 30 North Pacific right whales remaining, but fisheries scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are determined to do all they can to try and save the species.
To start, a team of researchers has set out on a month-long research voyage to track the whales in the Gulf of Alaska, where they sometimes visit. North Pacific right whales may be the most endangered marine mammal to visit U.S. waters. The species was decimated by historic whaling in the 19th century, as well as illegal whaling by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: endangered species, Gulf of Alaska, marine mammals, NOAA, North Pacific right whales | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
All signs point toward more record-breaking heat ahead
Only a few small parts of the planet saw anywhere near average or below average temperatures in July 2015.
There is little question that average global temperatures have been soaring since the 1970s.
FRISCO — July 2015 was the hottest month on record for planet Earth by any measure, federal climate scientists said this week during their monthly global climate update. What’s more, the researchers are 99 percent sure that 2015 will end up as the hottest year since humankind has been tracking the climate, going back to about 1880.
That would break the record set just last year and is sure sign that greenhouse gases are inexorably heating the planet, despite year-to-year variations in the rate of warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, July 2015 global temperatures, National Climatic Data Center, NOAA | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 31, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer systematically explores the deep oceans of the world. (Credit: NOAA)
Research voyage begins Aug. 1; scientists say they expect to find new species
FRISCO — Ocean enthusiasts will have a chance to do some armchair exploring the next few months as NOAA scientists deploy unmanned submarines to explore protected areas in the central Pacific Ocean.
Starting Aug. 1, anyone with an internet connection can join the expedition in real time at oceanexplorer.noaa.gov. NOAA’s research ship, the Okeanos Explorer, will visit deeper waters in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: deep sea research, marine conservation, NOAA, oceans, Okeanos Explorer | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Year to date also the warmest ever, new NOAA report says
Most of the world’s land and ocean areas were much warmer than average in June.
FRISCO — Global temperatures soared to another record high in June, reaching 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average and breaking the mark set just last year by 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit — which may not sound like much, but it’s a pretty big increment in the world of temperature records.
The first six months of 2015 were also record warm, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center said in its monthly State of the Climate report released today. For the first six months of the year, the global land and ocean surface average temperaure was 1.53 degrees above the 20th century average, beating the 2010 record by 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit. Read the full report here.Both land and sea surface temperatures were record warm in June, with the globally-averaged land surface temperature running 2.27 degrees Fahrenheit above average, and global sea surface temps at 1.33 degrees above the 20th century average.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: 2015 global temperatures, climate change, ecocide, Environment, global warming, June 2015 global temperatures, NOAA | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 7, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Coral reefs in the Caribbean, like this one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, are at risk of bleaching as global warming heats up the world’s oceans. Photo by Caroline Rogers/USGS.
Warm oceans leading to widespread reef bleaching
FRISCO — Ocean researchers have updated their warnings of potential coral reef bleaching based on unusually warm ocean temperatures across the north Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and western Atlantic oceans this summer.
Scientists with NOAA’s coral reef watch say they expect bleaching of corals on Northern Hemisphere reefs through October, potentially leading to the death of corals over a wide area and affecting the long-term supply of fish and shellfish.
“The bleaching that started in June 2014 has been really bad for corals in the western Pacific,” said Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch coordinator. “We are worried that bleaching will spread to the western Atlantic and again into Hawaii.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, coral reefs, El Niño, global warming | Tagged: Coral bleaching, coral reefs, El Nino, global warming, NOAA, oceans | Leave a comment »