Posts tagged: climate change
CLIMATE CHANGE — The National Wildlife Federation continues to point out the potential impacts of climate change on wildlife populations and the sports, hobbies and economies they support.
Rising temperatures, deeper droughts and more extreme weather events fueled by manmade climate change are making survival more challenging for America’s treasured big game wildlife from coast to coast, according to a new NWF report.
Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World suggests how climate change is already putting many species of big game at risk, creating an uncertain future for big game and the outdoor economy that depends on them.
“The recovery of big game species is one of America’s wildlife conservation success stories, made possible in large part by sustained investment by generations of sportsmen,” said Dr. Doug Inkley, senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation “But today, a changing climate threatens to rewrite that success story.”
Nowhere to Run is the latest in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2013 Wildlife in a Warming World series, which also includes:
Some of the impacts the NWF reports cite are still being studied, including the impact warming enviroments may be having on moose and their exposure to ticks. But with wildfire, floods and extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall becoming more frequent and more severe, the NWF says climate change should be on every sportsman's radar.
Unprecedented changes in habitat are having far-reaching consequences for big game and for sportsmen and women, affecting, for example, the timing of hunting seasons and the distribution and survival of animals, the NWF says.
“We’re already seeing changes where we hunt big game – reduced snowpack, dying forests, shifting migration patterns,” said Todd Tanner, founder and chairman of Conservation Hawks. “We have to let our elected officials know that we need solutions and we need them now. We’re running out of time.”
Read on for more details about Nowhere to Run, and the steps the NWF proposes to tackle the issue:
ENVIRONMENT — Gov. Jay Inslee, and a bipartisan group of Washington legislators will be in in Spokane on Wednesday for a Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup (CLEW) meeting to clear the path for carbon reduction and clean energy investment in the state.
It's the first of three meetings to be held across the state.
I mention this in the Outdoors blog because outdoorsmen need to pay attention. Climate change is in the news for its culpability to affecting many facets of of outdoor recreation and wildlife, including the survival of moose, wolverines and salmonids.
Last spring, Governor Inslee outlined the need for swift action on curbing the state's share of climate pollution, citing the health of residents, the economy, the state's budget, and the environment as areas being seriously damaged by the current levels of carbon emissions.
Among other impacts in the region, climate disruption is being felt in Eastern Washington through the increased frequency, intensity, and life of forest fires. Climate change also has been linked to “ocean acidification,” that's impacting including oyster growers and other fishing industries.
The Climate Workgroup is outline several options that can act as economic drivers to curb climate disruption, including a cap and price on carbon pollution, a clean fuels standard, an end to “coal-by-wire” energy from out of state, along with new transportation planning and investments in energy efficiency.
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Spokane Falls Community College campus
Music Building Auditorium, Bldg. #15, Room 110
3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane
ENVIRONMENT – “Chasing Ice,” a fascinating and award-winning National Geographic documentary about adventure-scientist documenting changes in the arctic will be presented by the Idaho Conservation League and other local environmental groups on Monday, 7 p.m., at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint.
Read on for details about the making of this 2012 film, and why local groups are bringing the stunning images to the big screen in North Idaho.
CLIMBING — Northwest climber/photographer Alan Kearney has an ongoing project to photograph Cascades glaciers from the same spot he photographed them on climbing trips decades ago.
As you might expect, having read anything about climate change in the past few decades, the glaciers show considerable shrinkage. See one of his stories and photo comparisons here.
Also check out his blog for other stories and photos.
ENVIRONMENT – Sustainability expert Gloria Flora will be in Spokane this week to discuss how women worldwide are confronting the challenge of climate change.
The free public lecture titled, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat: Women and the Global Response to Climate Change” at 5:30 p.m., Friday (March 22) in the Wolff Auditorium of Gonzaga University's Jepson Center.
The lecture is part of the Gonzaga Environmental Studies Speaker Series — which recently sponsored Dr. Jane Goodall — and is sponsored by the Gonzaga environmental studies, and women’s and gender studies departments.
Read on for more details about Flora and her quest to keep flora and fauna functioning on earth.
WILDLIFE — Researchers are documenting how climate change is dealing a skimpy hand to the chipper pika, the “rock rabbits” of the high mountain talus slopes, as reported in this Idaho Statesman story.
Remember, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied endangered species protections for the pika in 2010.
Quote of the day:
“If trends continue, baseline tree mortality rates in western forests are projected to double every 17 to 29 years.”
From the report, “Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecoystems and Ecosystem Services,” released Tuesday that said climate change is already affecting the Intermountain West states. - Deseret News
WINTER SPORTS — Warm thoughts for the future of ski areas….
The “Winter Tourism in Peril” report released Thursday by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council said that warming temperatures and less snowpack could cut $2 billion annually from the $12.2-billion-a-year winter tourism industry in the United States. — Denver Post
ENVIRONMENT — More sobering news related to climate change:
As the arctic ice melt ended Sunday, scientists calculated the extent of the melt at 293,000 square miles more than in 2007, which broke the previous record. — Washington Post
Related story: Small boat sails through arctic ice issue
CLIMATE CHANGE — The warming globe is giving sailors more room to roam.
Read the disturbing story:
Ship's historic crossing signals extent of Arctic melt, Edmonton Journal.
CLIMATE CHANGE — Out of sight, out of mind. Next thing you know, they're extinct.
And it's happening faster than ever to fish species, according to a recent study detailed in a Columbia Basin Bulletin report.
From 1900-2010, freshwater fish species in North America went extinct at a rate 877 times faster than the rate found in the fossil record, while estimates indicate the rate may double between now and 2050, the Bulletin reports.
This new information comes from a U.S. Geological Survey study to be published in the September issue of the journal BioScience.
In the fossil record, one freshwater fish species goes extinct every 3 million years, but North America lost 39 species and 18 subspecies between 1898 and 2006. Based on current trends in threatened and endangered fish species, researchers estimate that an additional 53-86 species of freshwater fish may be extinct by the year 2050.
Since the first assessment of extinct North American freshwater fishes in 1989, the number of extinct fishes increased by 25 percent.
“This study illustrates the value of placing current events into the context of deep geologic time, as rocks preserve an unbiased record of natural rates of processes before human activities began to alter the landscape, the atmosphere, the rivers, and oceans,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.
CLIMATE CHANGE — In the first comprehensive study of its kind, a Portland State University study has found Mount Adams' 12 glaciers have shrunk by nearly half since 1904 and are receding faster than those of nearby sister volcanoes Mount Hood and Mount Rainier.
Mount Adams, 54 air miles from Yakima, is another sign of gradually warming temperatures that — if continued as expected by researchers — will mean significant problems for the water-dependent Yakima Valley, according to reports by the Oregonian and the Associated Press.
The study lends urgency to an earlier federal report that shows the water content of Cascade Mountain snowpacks could dwindle by as much as 50 percent by the 2070s.
The latest work on glaciers on the 12,276-foot Mount Adams by a Portland State University geology professor and a student team was based on aerial photography, geographic information system mapping, buttressed by historic photos taken by hikers.
The results show Adams' glaciers have melted away 49 percent of their coverage area since 1904.
Over generally the same time period Mount Rainier's glaciers lost 24 percent of coverage area and on Mount Hood the decline has been some 32 percent.
Some scientists suggest Adams gets less moisture because it is just to the east of the Cascades crest.
CLIMATE CHANGE — Driven by an unprecedented meltdown across much of the Canadian North, the planet's Arctic ice cover has retreated this summer to its second-smallest extent in the 30-year satellite era — and may yet shrink beyond the record-setting thaw that alarmed scientists around the world in 2007. The story is being covered by PostMedia.
The opening in August of both the southern and northern routes of the Northwest Passage through Canada's Arctic islands, along with the clearing out of ice from much of the Beaufort Sea north of the Yukon-Alaska border, are among the highlights of a new report on the state of Arctic ice issued this week by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.
FISHING — Native cutthroat trout are likely to feel the heat from climate change.
A new study shows a changing climate could reduce suitable trout habitat in the western U.S. by about 50 percent over the next 70 years, with some trout species experiencing greater declines than others.
The results were reported by a team of 11 scientists from Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Colorado State University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group.
The study, published today in the peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts native cutthroat throughout the West could decline by as much as 58 percent, while introduced brook trout could decline by as much as 77 percent. Rainbow and brown trout populations, according to the study, would also decline by an estimated 35 percent and 48 percent respectively. (Read the study report.)
The study notes that the decline of cutthroat trout is “of particular significance,” because cutthroats are the only trout native to much of the West and a keystone species in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem.
Read on for reaction from Trout Unlimited, and some reason for hope.
CLIMATE CHANGE— Last year was a climatological wonder, with figures indicating that 2010 was not only the wettest since record keeping began in 1860, but the year also tied with 2005 for the hottest, according to a story in The New York Times.