Writing Tips for Self-Published Authors Publishers Weekly Probably, the best advice I've ever come across from a writer on writing is Elmore Leonard's suggestion, “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.” Second best is Mark Twain's “Show, don't...
GarryRogers NatCon News
Nature Conservation News and information for animals, plants, and nature. See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease these conversions," said Constance Millar, lead author and forest ecologist with the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station.
Many forests are remarkably resilient, re-growing after years of logging. Yet, the researchers note from review of the enormous body of work on the subject, climate change and rising global temperatures are giving rise to "hotter" droughts—droughts that exhibit a level of severity beyond that witnessed in the past century. During a hotter drought, high air temperatures overheat leaves and also increase the stress on trees by drawing the moisture from their tissues at faster rates than normal. Snow that would normally act as emergency water storage for trees during the dry season instead falls as rain.
And there go the forests. This is the third analysis this week that concludes forests will not do well as climate changes.
Mauri Pelto digs his crampons into the steep icy slope on Mount Baker in Washington state and watches as streams of water cascade off the thick mass of bare, bluish ice.
One of the many indirect costs of fossil fuel combustion.
Are we already starting to awaken some of the horrors of the ancient hothouse ocean? Are dangerous, sea and land life killing, strains of primordial hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria starting to show up in the increasingly warm and oxygen-starved waters of the US West Coast? This week’s disturbing new reports of odd-smelling, purple-colored waves appearing along the Oregon coastline are a sign that it may be starting to happen.
Here we are at 1-degree C above normal, calling for a 2-degree limit, and already we get hints of horrors that might come. These purple waves should be treated as an early warning and cause for intensive investigation.
State-mandated study by Penn State researchers says global warming will mean dangerously high summer temperatures, storms and more diseases carried by insects.
The report says most of the effects will be bad.
Unmeasured dangers rising up and still nothing effective from our governments. More members of the U. S. House and Senate need to speak up and add weight to the President's calls for action.
Looking at the news on the subject lately, it would seem that the Pacific Coast is climate change central. Starting with the sad excuse for a snowpack last winter and the near total lack of rains since then that’s led to the current and ongoing drought, which in turn is contributing to the catastrophic fires across the West, it’s looking like Nature has set her sights on our part of the planet.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Sea level is set to rise at least three feet during the next few decades, NASA scientists and ice researchers said this week, updating their latest research and findings on how fast the world’s ice sheets and glaciers are melting.
The scientists said they’re still not sure exactly how fast the water will rise, but they’re getting closer to nailing down the timing, thanks to several ongoing research projects, including a five-year effort to measure ice loss around the edge of Greenland.
The goal, of course, is to help coastal communities prepare for the big changes ahead. Agriculture, transportation and other infrastructure like water treatment plants will all be affected by sea level rise.
Three pesticides banned in Europe for their potential to damage bee populations could pose an even greater threat than was thought, according to a new assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).
"Already proscribed for seed treatments and soil applications, the Efsa analysis says that clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam also pose a ‘high risk’ to bees when sprayed on leaves.
"The UK is currently facing a legal challenge to an emergency exemption it granted, allowing use of two of the substances, after protests by the National Farmers Union.
"But far from supporting the British case, the advisory expert assessment will add to pressure for an extension of the ban to apply to fruit orchards after blooming, and crops gown in greenhouses, Greenpeace says.
“The commission should expand the EU-wide ban to cover all uses of neonicotinoids on all crops, and end the self-service approach to derogations. Viable non-chemical alternatives exist and the EU should encourage farmers to use them,” said the group’s agriculture policy director, Marco Contiero."
GR: The rest of the world needs to pay attention here and see the need to escape from the chemistry industry's death grip.
When I wrote The Weather Makers, I laid out the state of climate science as it was understood in 2005. The book received much acclaim, but it was also criticised by climate-change sceptics as extremist and alarmist.
Since the book was published, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has completed two major summaries, in the form of its fourth and fifth assessment reports, and thousands of scientific publications have added to our understanding of how Earth’s climate system responds to carbon pollution.
As a result, many details of climate science have been clarified. Not only are the scientific projections of major trends more certain than ever, but today many of us also have firsthand experience of living in a strongly shifted climate. With climate change an experienced reality, and the science verified, the room for climate change denialism keeps shrinking.
Consequences of climate change. Recommended.
Air Canada and WestJet have banned the transport of big game out of Africa, but continue to allow the transport of Canadian animal ‘trophies’, such as black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears and wolves.
Sign and share this petition to tell Air Canada and WestJet they should be taking a stand against trophy hunting in their own backyard.
On August 4, Air Canada and WestJet banned the shipment of big game trophies after the brutal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe in early July drew international attention and sparked a media outcry.
What about in our own backyard?
British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, which once roamed widely across North America. Though listed as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, the province still allows a Limited Entry Hunt for grizzly bear trophy hunters twice a year.
Habitat loss is causing a fall in the numbers of most wildlife species. Grizzly bears and other species do not need additional losses merely for entertainment or memento collections. The hunters I know could easily switch their goals and become avid supporters of wildlife. They could look at the causes of declining numbers and ask their local, state, and national representatives to begin combating those causes.
In this Jan. 4, 2015 file photo, a kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies hang from a tree branch, in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary, near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Illegal logging has almost tripled in the monarch butterfly's wintering grounds in …more.
"Illegal logging more than tripled in the monarch butterfly's wintering grounds In central Mexico, reversing several years of steady improvements, investigators announced Tuesday.
"Almost all of the loss occurred in just one rural hamlet in the state of Michoacan. Loggers cut down 47 acres (19 hectares) of trees in San Felipe de los Alzati since last year's gathering of butterflies. A total of 52 acres (21 hectares) of forest in the reserve were lost overall, including losses due to drought or pests."
That's the highest figure since 2009, well above the 20 acres (8 hectares) lost in 2014, according to the announcement by the World Wildlife fund and the Institute of Biology of Mexico's National Autonomous University. The 2014 loss was about 12 acres (5 hectares) due to logging and 8 acres (3 hectares) to drought.
If current rates of improvement hold, solar power will be incredibly cheap by the time it’s a substantial fraction of the world’s electricity supply, writes famous author and thinker Ramez Naam. According to Naam, electricity cost is from now on coupled to the ever-decreasing price of technology. That is profoundly deflationary and disruptive.
It’s now fairly common knowledge that the cost of solar modules is dropping exponentially. I helped publicize that fact in a 2011 Scientific American blog post asking “Does Moore’s Law Apply to Solar Cells?” The answer is that something like Moore’s law, an exponential learning curve (albeit slower than in computing) applies. (For those that think Moore’s Law is a terrible analogy, here’s my post on why Moore’s Law is an excellent analogy for solar.
"Can the world find a realistic way to deal with changing conditions at the ends of the Earth?
"FRISCO — Climate scientists and policy makers from around the world last month agreed on an international action plan to help minimize the risks — and identify opportunities — associated with rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.
"The agreement came at a mid-July conference, when stakeholders from around the world finalized plans for the Polar Prediction Project, which aims to accelerate and consolidate research, observing, modelling, verification and educational activities.
"With the Arctic warming about twice as fast as the rest of the world, there is growing interest in the polar regions, where changes will affect the rest of the world.
“Advances in Polar prediction will lead to improvements in weather forecasts, climate predictions and, ultimately, better services for those who live and work in these higher latitudes as well as those living in the lower-latitude regions,” World Meteorological Organization President David Grimes said in a press release announcing the agreement."
GR: Resources spent preparing to take advantage of the warming poles would be better spent putting an end to fossil fuel burning. In fact, the talk of new growth and development opportunities as polar ice melts reeks of insanity.
Giant fires, insect outbreaks could be ‘game-changer’ for some forests
FRISCO —Forest Service researchers say “mega-disturbances” like giant wildfires and insect outbreaks are likely to hasten the slow demise of temperate forest ecosystems in the coming decades.
Even without those large-scale events, some forests appear to be transitioning to shrublands and steppe, and big disturbances could speed that process, according to a new study published this month in Science.“While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease these conversions,” said Constance Millar, lead author and forest ecologist with the USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station.
Many forests are remarkably resilient, re-growing after years of logging. But after reviewing numerous forest studies, they concluded that rising global temperatures are resulting in hotter droughts — droughts that exhibit a level of severity beyond that witnessed in the past century.
Normal recovery processes can be blocked by drought and eventually by added warmth that increases stress.
Something lurking in the Northeastern Pacific is killing off the graceful giants of the world’s oceans. For since May of 2015 30 large whales have been discovered dead — their bloated and decaying bodies washed up on Alaskan shores. It’s an unusual mortality event featuring a death rate of nearly 400 percent above the average. So far, scientists don’t yet have a culprit. But there is a prime suspect and it’s one that’s linked to climate change.
(Photo: Bears consume the carcass of a beached finback whale on the Alaskan coastline. Image source: NOAA.)
This month the US government declared an ‘unusual mortality event’ after it was confirmed that 30 large whales including 11 finback whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale and four other whales so bad off it that spotters where unable to identify the bodies by type were found dead. For large whales, whose numbers tend to be low due to size, low birth rates, and dietary requirements, that’s a very rapid mortality rate. As a comparison, all of 2014 only featured four large whale deaths in the Gulf of Alaska.
Before Sequoya (1770 – 1840), the gifted Cherokee who created a syllabary, it is reported that Amerindians could not write. Once Sequoya invented his syllabary, literacy among the Cherokee surpassed the rate of literacy among the white. Sequoya, who may have been a Métis, developed 86 syllables, borrowing from several alphabets.
According to Wikipedia, in order to convince other Cherokees to use his syllabary, he wrote down what they were saying and called his daughter, to whom he had taught the Sequoya syllabary. She read her father’s text, and Cherokees recognized that it was what they had said.