Posted on September 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Current drought offers window into future climate conditions.
‘More years like 2015 do not bode well for the frogs …’
LINZ — This year’s fierce drought in the Pacific Northwest has given researchers a chance to see how climate change may affect the region long-term, and the outlook is not good for amphibians.
The low winter snowpack and long, hot summer have left some frogs high and dry as their mountain ponds dry up and disappear. Those conditions could be the norm in another 50 years, said Se-Yeun Lee, research scientist at University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group and one of the lead authors of the study published last week in PLOS ONE.
“This year is an analog for the 2070s in terms of the conditions of the ponds in response to climate,” said Se-Yeun Lee, research scientist at University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group and one of the lead authors of the study. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Drought, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Cascades frog, climate change, drought, endangered species, Pacific Northwest | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Stream temps reaching levels lethal to salmon
FRISCO — With water temperatures approaching lethal levels for salmon, the National Park Service is enacted an emergency closure of recreational fishing on most rivers and streams in Olympic National Park.
The closure is aimed at protecting fish during the severe drought in the region. Current conditions have made Pacific salmon, steelhead and bulltrout exceptionally vulnerable because of low stream flows and high water temperatures, park service officials said. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, rivers, water | Tagged: drought, emergency fishing ban, fishing, Olympic National Park, Pacific Northwest, salmon | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can northern spotted owls survive in the Pacific Northwest? Photo courtesy USFWS.
Logging and post-fire salvage, along with competion from barred owls, still seen as key threats
FRISCO — Dinged by a double whammy of continued habitat loss and interspecies competition, the Pacific Northwest’s northern spotted owl may get even more protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week said it will launch a review to decide if the spotted owl should be reclassified as endangered rather than threatened.
The population of the northern spotted owl is declining across most of the species’ range. The most recent data show a 2.9 percent range-wide population decline per year, although declines as high as 5.9 percent per year have been observed in some areas. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: endangered species, logging, northern spotted owl, old growth forests, Pacific Northwest | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Marbled murrelet in a moss nest. Courtesy USFWS.
Fifth lawsuit rejected by courts
FRISCO — Marbled murrelets along the Pacific Northwest Coast will continue to benefit from the protection of the Endangered Species Act, as a federal appeals court last week rejected yet another logging industry attempt to open more coastal old-growth forest to logging.
The robin-sized birds feed at sea but nest only in old-growth forests along the Pacific Coast, laying their eggs (one per female) on large, moss-covered branches in old growth Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and redwood trees. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Forest health, forests | Tagged: biodiversity, coastal old growth forests, endangered species, Environment, marbled murrelets, Pacific Northwest | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Public input wanted: final decision due in 2017
FRISCO — Federal biologists will study whether more critical habitat could benefit an endangered group of killer whales that roams the ocean off the Pacific Northwest, from Puget Sound down to northern California.
Wildlife conservation advocates last year petitioned NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service, seeking critical habitat designation for the whales’ winter foraging range off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. Documents related to the process are compiled here. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: endangered species, killer whales, Orcas, Pacific Northwest, southern resident population | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wave energy could help boost overall renewable energy supplies. bberwyn photo.
Wave energy seen as more reliable than some other renewable energy sources
FRISCO — Energy from ocean waves could fill a big gap in the renewable power grid because it is comparatively steady, dependable and can be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.
By balancing wave energy production over a larger geographic area, the variability can be even further reduced, a group of researchers reported in the journal Renewable Energy. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: Environment, Pacific Northwest, power grid, renewable energy, wave energy | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
It’s hard to see what (some_ people don’t understand about this global warming graph.
‘At the rate the temperature is increasing, the next 1.3-degree bump will happen much more quickly’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Climate scientists say they’ve been able to tease out the anthropogenic part of a long-term warming trend in the Pacific Northwest, where the annual mean temperature has warmed by about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years.
That has lengthened the freeze-free season by two to three weeks and is the equivalent of the snow line moving up 600 feet, said Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University and a co-author on the study, published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, natural variability, Pacific Northwest | Leave a comment »