User: newstrust Topic: Global Warming
Category: Impacts :: Ecosystems
Last updated: Jan 13 2017 17:42 IST RSS 2.0
 
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This Bumble Bee was Just Added to the Endangered Species List 13.1.2017 Mother Jones
Earlier this week, the rusty patched bumblebee became the first bee in the continental United States to be added to the endangered species list . The designation was one of the Obama Administration's last environmental moves. There's good reason this bee is now on the list: Its population has plummeted by 87 percent since the 1990s. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service , the bee once inhabited two provinces of Canada as well as 28 states, and Washington DC. Today it's found in only two of its original habitats. Greg Hottman/Flickr The combination of disease, climate change, and loss of habitat have contributed to the species' decline. But perhaps the greatest threat to this and other bees is neonicotinoids , a type of insecticide that's commonly used on farm crops, pets, and gardens. (My colleague Tom Philpott has written extensively on the subject .) Bumblebees are thought to be even more susceptible to pesticides than honey bees are. Sadly, many other organisms rely on this species to reproduce: ...
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Fire, wildlife and habitat talk scheduled at library 9.1.2017 Steamboat Pilot
Bud Werner Memorial Library, Yampatika and the Routt National Forest present "Fire, Wildlife & Habitat: An exploration of fire and its influence in the West," an evening with U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Missy Dressen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in Library Hall. During this free talk, Dressen will explore the history of fire in the U.S. and work through a timeline on how fire is managed today. Historically, fire patterns were altered across the West with fire suppression, but today's conditions have changed with a buildup of fuels, homes in the urban interface and climate change. With these changes, wildlife habitats are likely experiencing changes beyond their historical range of variability. In some areas, habitats have remained for decades in a late successional phase, which may alter the wildlife dynamics, distribution and species composition. In other places, wildfire is changing Western landscapes, and fire's role can have positive and negative effects on wildlife. In one management ...
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Study documents tree species' decline due to climate warming 6.1.2017 AP Washington
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A type of tree that thrives in soggy soil from Alaska to Northern California and is valued for its commercial and cultural uses could become a noticeable casualty of climate warming over the next 50 years, an independent study has concluded....
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Four Futures: using science fiction to challenge late stage capitalism and Thatcher's "no alternative" 6.1.2017 Boing Boing
1. Communism ("equality and abundance") 2. Rentism ("hierarchy and abundance") 3. Socialism ("equality and scarcity") 4. Exterminism ("hierarchy and scarcity") Starting from some of the assumptions seen in technologically optimistic books from the left ( Austerity Ecology & the Collapse-Porn Addicts: A Defence Of Growth, Progress, Industry And Stuff ; Postcapitalism and right (the WTO agreements, TPP, etc) -- that technology can continue to do more with less, including remediating and adapting to the worst impacts of climate change, Frase asks us to consider two different axes: the scarcity-abundance axis (maybe we get everything we could ever need, or just enough to get by); and the equality-hierarchy axis (maybe we treat everyone as equally deserving, or continue to allow some to have much more than everyone else). By combining these four poles, Frase is able to conjure up his four scenarios. But he's not engaging in futurism -- not trying to predict what will or could happen -- rather, he's trying to ...
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Spotlight on green news & views: Solar gets cheaper; see China for a look at USA without EPA 5.1.2017 Daily Kos
Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Here​  is the December 28 Green Spotlight. More than 26,200 environmentally oriented stories have been rescued to appear in this series since 2006. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES  Sher Watts Spooner writes— Solar now cheapest new form of energy in nearly 60 countries : “Donald Trump and the climate deniers and fossil fuel company backers he’s nominated for his cabinet don’t realize it—or refuse to believe it—but the world is starting to pass them by when it comes to developing new sources of power. In the developing world, solar power is becoming the most cost-effective new source of electricity. In nearly 60 lower-income countries, the average price of solar energy has dropped to $1.65 million per megawatt in 2016, just below wind at $1.66 million per megawatt. That means new ...
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Governor's report: Salmon remain in trouble in Washington 5.1.2017 AP Washington
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A new state report finds that salmon throughout Washington remain in trouble with many species not recovering and fishing harvests declining in recent decades....
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Louisiana's Oil and Gas Industry Continues Growing Along the Coast It's Helping Shrink 1.1.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Golden Meadow, Louisiana, in Lafourche Parish. (Photo: Julie Dermansky) The Louisiana coast loses a football field's worth of land every 38 minutes . This staggering rate of land loss has been brought on by climate change and coastal erosion accelerated by human activities, including water diversion projects and damage done by the oil and gas industry.  It is also a problem that is best seen from the sky. Thanks to the nonprofit conservation organization SouthWings , I was able to photograph the state's troubled coast for DeSmog during a flight on November 15, 2016.  "Flying out along the Louisiana coast and seeing the tattered wetlands from above with your own eyes make the scale of the threat posed by coastal land loss feel strikingly real and immediate," Meredith Dowling, SouthWings associate executive director, told me while discussing the group's work.  The organization offers flights, piloted by volunteers, with the goal of expanding the public's understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystems of ...
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We'll Never See These Animals Again 31.12.2016 Mother Jones
If 2016 was a rough year for the animal kingdom, 2017 could be worse. Most scientists agree that we are experiencing a sixth mass extinction, but unlike the previous five that extended over hundreds of millions of years and occurred because of cataclysmic natural disasters, humans are responsible for this one. Climate change, agricultural expansion , wildlife crime, pollution, and disease have created a shocking acceleration in the disappearance of species. The World Wildlife Fund recently predicted that more than two-thirds of the vertebrate population—mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles—would be lost over the next three years if extinctions continue at the current rate. A 2015 study that appeared in the journal Science Advances suggests that the rate of vertebrate extinction has increased nearly 100 times. Paul Ehrlich, a professor of population studies at Stanford University and a co-author of the study, notes half the life forms that people know about are already extinct. Another study, ...
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In a paved, urban world, nature makes a rare appearance - delighting kids near MacArthur Park 31.12.2016 LA Times: Commentary

Nathan Hobbs couldn’t believe his eyes.

He rubbed them with his fists, he blinked, then he looked once more. 

There it was, just a few days after Thanksgiving, perched on the branch of a coral tree outside Ms. Gil’s classroom.

Some sort of owl with long legs, white brows and bright, yellow eyes.

...
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Climate Change 2016: The Year the Future Arrived 29.12.2016 Truthout.com
It is very obvious in 2016 that we have entered the nonlinear phase of climate change, where impacts happen faster, are more extreme and widespread. New advances in climate science offer technologies that can help minimize future impacts, but first we must resolve to take global warming seriously. The collapse of the Delaware-size Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica has begun. Caused by warming and similar to the demise of the Larsen B and Larsen A in 2003 and 1995, the Larsen ice shelves hold back upland ice on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen B disintegrated in 40 days. Next in line to collapse are the Ross and Ronne Ice Shelves. These California-sized ice shelves hold back the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet. (NASA photograph by John Sonntag) Independent media will be an essential lifeline next year. Make sure we're there to bring you the truth about 2017: Make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout today! Our planet's systems have a tremendous capacity to absorb punishment before they begin to show ...
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Spotlight on green news & views: Cheetahs headed for extinction; 25 new national monuments 29.12.2016 Daily Kos
Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except during holiday periods. More than 26,160 environmentally oriented stories have been rescued to appear in this series since 2006. Here  is the [month and date] Green Spotlight. The next edition will appear January 4, 2017. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES  Barred owl Besame writes— Daily Bucket: wildlife detectives develop computer model to understand population mysteries : “Barred owls native to forests east of the Great Plains have been moving west for the last 150 years. They used riparian habitat along major rivers to extend their range to Montana and from Montana moved north into Canada, southwest into Washington (1965), Idaho, Oregon, and finally arrived in California (1976). Barred owl bullies compete with the Pacific Northwest’s native northern spotted owls and ...
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Here Is the Worst Anti-Science BS of 2016 28.12.2016 Mother Jones
Carolyn Kaster/AP 2016 was a year of remarkable scientific breakthroughs. A century after Albert Einstein proposed his general theory of relativity, researchers proved him right when, for the first time ever, they were able to observe gravitational waves produced by two black holes that collided 1.3 billion years ago. Astronomers discovered a potentially habitable planet just 4.3 light-years from Earth. And scientists even came up with a good reason to put a bunch of adorable dogs in an MRI machine. Unfortunately, there was a lot of anti-science nonsense this year, too—much of it from our political leaders. On issues ranging from climate change to criminal justice, our president-elect was a notable offender. But some of his rivals joined in as well. So did his nominees. And Congress. And members of the media. Here, in no particular order, are some of the most appalling examples. You can let us know in the comments which one you think is the worst. Hurricane Matthew Truthers In early October, as Hurricane ...
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Thanks, Obama, for all those new national monuments 27.12.2016 Daily Kos
It has delighted many Americans and upset others, but President Barack Obama has designated more national monuments than any of his predecessors in the 110 years the Antiquities Act has given presidents authority to protect places of cultural, historical, geological and archaeological significance.  Conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt first used the act in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, and in 1908 the Grand Canyon, which Congress later redesignated as the Grand Canyon National Park, and 16 other sites. Since then, other presidents have used the authority granted them under the Antiquities Act to protect unique natural and historic features throughout America. Roosevelt and President Bill Clinton held the previous records for most monuments established, but Obama now leads in that department, having established 25 new ones and enlarged three others. Critics, as shown by this screed  of a propagandist from the Heartland Institute, have a big problem with Obama’s ...
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Obama missed a chance to protect the Pacific from the oil industry 23.12.2016 LA Times: Commentary

President Obama’s announcement this that he’s banning offshore oil and gas drilling in 125 million acres of federal waters in the Arctic Ocean and 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic came as good news on the eve of the “drill everywhere” ethos of the Trump administration. But Obama’s proclamation...

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With an Enemy Like Trump, Climate Activists Should Look Beyond the Paris Accord 22.12.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Trump's announcement that he intends to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement has generated outrage worldwide. But many climate activists who find such carbon-trading-dependent agreements woefully insufficient believe it's time for people worldwide to take the climate fight local, like at Standing Rock. President Obama, center right, joining other leaders for a photo at the UN climate change conference in Le Bourget, near Paris, on Novvember 30, 2015. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) The first local environmental campaign I ever got involved in was against Donald Trump. I was living in Aberdeen, Scotland, when, in March 2006 Trump announced his plans to convert one of my favorite nature sites north of Aberdeen into a golf course, hotel and housing complex. Menie Estate, which he had acquired, lay at the heart of a landscape and ecosystem unique within Scotland : a large expanse of shifting sand dunes, home to a diverse community of plants found only on acidic, sandy soils, and well known ...
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Obama Just Took a Big Step on Climate—and Trump Probably Can't Undo It 21.12.2016 Mother Jones
This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Barack Obama has permanently banned new oil and gas drilling in most US-owned waters in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, a last-ditch effort to lock in environmental protections before he hands over to Donald Trump . Obama used a 1953 law that allows presidents to block the sale of new offshore drilling and mining rights and makes it difficult for their successors to reverse the decision. However, Obama's ban—affecting federal waters off Alaska in the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea and in the Atlantic from New England to the Chesapeake Bay—is unprecedented in scale and could be challenged by Trump in court. The president-elect has vowed to unleash the country's untapped energy reserves and exploit fossil fuels. He has previously questioned the science of climate change , threatened to tear up the Paris climate agreement and appointed climate-change deniers in his cabinet. This ...
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Collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Reveals Inadequacy of Current Climate Strategies 20.12.2016 Truthout.com
New science suggests that the physics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet's collapse have reached the point of no return. Though nascent, this work predicts a sea level rise 40 to 50 times more extreme than previously predicted. Even before Trump, our climate policy was out of step with reality. The Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland is the fastest-discharging glacier in the world. Pictured here is its "melange," the result of a disintegrating ice sheet, which is comprised of "brash" (crushed ice), "growlers" (teeny icebergs) and "bergy bits" (small icebergs). The Jakobshavn glacier discharges 45 megatons of ice per day, or about the same weight as 16,000 air craft carriers per year. Its discharge has increase 400 percent in the last 20 years. (Photo: Bruce Melton) Stories like this are more important than ever! To make sure Truthout can keep publishing them, please give a tax-deductible donation today if you can. With president-elect Donald Trump and his army of climate deniers preparing to take office, it ...
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Will Big Business Help Fight Trump’s Anti-Environment Agenda? 19.12.2016 American Prospect
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson Solar panels and a green roof are among the sustainably-built features of the new Google building on the company's campus Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Kirkland, Washington.  Environmentalists can be excused for feeling apocalyptic about Donald Trump’s presidency. Compared with Barack Obama, who championed the Paris Agreement, enacted the Clean Power Plan and preserved major swaths of open space, President-elect Donald Trump can come off as the planet’s grim reaper, ready to usher in a new era of dirty water, polluted air, and melting glaciers. Trump’s cabinet selections make crystal clear that his anti-environment rhetoric as a candidate was no mere campaign swagger. To head the Environmental Protection Agency, he has tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a man who has repeatedly sued the agency. For energy secretary, he’s picked Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who once vowed to eliminate that agency. For secretary of state, Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex ...
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U.S. Forest Service grants Colorado exception to roadless rule, again, for expansion of coal mining 19.12.2016 Denver Post: Local
The U.S. Forest Service has finalized an exception for Colorado in the nation's rule for protecting last-remaining roadless forests: allowing expansion of a coal mine that cuts beneath pristine woods near Paonia in the North Fork Valley.
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Berkeley project tests tracking imperiled forests with 3D multispectral drone imaging 9.12.2016 TechCrunch
 Droughts, climate change, and deforestation are putting forests at risk worldwide, so studying these ecosystems closely is more important than ever — but it’s a hell of a lot of work to climb every tree in the Sierra Nevada. Drones and advanced imaging, however, present an increasingly practical alternative to that, as a UC Berkeley project shows. Read ...
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