Stormwater runoff is killing Puget Sound – The Herald of Everett

More on the unfolding challenge of stopping our flow of stormwater, created from the vast amount of paved surfaces in the region. Sharon Salyer reports. (The Herald of Everett)

Ten years after ESA listing, killer whale numbers falling – Seattle Times

The Times covers the decline in the Orca population. Is the tipping point near for no chance of recovery?  Craig Welch reports. (Seattle Times)

Losing Paradise: Climate Change is Changing Mount Rainier- News Tribune of Tacoma

The News Tribune has done an outstanding job of looking at the various issues that climate change is having on Mt. Rainier Park. The loss of glaciers is something all of us should be very concerned about . Most of our water resources come from the snow packs and glaciers of the mountains around us. As we lose our snowpacks, because of rising temperatures and rising snow lines, we become more and more vulnerable to water shortages. These affect all the aninimals that have 10,000  years relying on a steady environment.  This article looks at rapidly receding glaciers, and how they damage the Park. The bad news is that with very little publicity, this has already been going on for some time now. Rob Carson reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Sockeye, inshore waters test Fukushima-free – Coast Reporter

Good news so far, in that an independent group of citizen scientists and researchers have not been able to find any trace of Fukushima radiation in seawater at the coast of B.C. We hope this testing continues into next year.

As the first batches of seawater samples collected by citizen scientists along the B.C. coast are being analyzed in Victoria, the results of radiation testing on 19 sockeye salmon and steelhead samples have come back negative for Fukushima-related contamination. And tests conducted so far this year on water samples from Prince Rupert to Victoria have also found B.C.’s inshore waters to be Fukushima-free. John Gleeson reports. (Coast Reporter)

Read the whole story at the Coast Reporter site.

Scientists Report Rare Sightings Of Tropical Species Off West Coast – Earthfix

It appears  we have a ring side seat on the massive climatic change happening right off our coast. For the first time in 65 million years (the last time such a sweeping alternation of the waters occurred so quickly)  we are getting to witness changes that will likely end up altering everything we know and do.  While the politicians do half measures (if even that) in places like the recent Peruvian summit, our ecology is not waiting for us to take the steps needed, and even if we did, the game now is how to live with this change, not stop or reverse it.

Scientists surveying whales and dolphins on the West Coast have discovered unusual species of birds and marine mammals far north of their normal ranges. Experts say fish and wildlife are being drawn northward by unusually warm ocean water. Every few years, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration take a head count of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the ocean off California, Oregon and Washington. Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)

Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries’ failures –

More news on the science coming in that definitively is pointing to Ocean Acidification being the culprit in hatchery mortality rates here.

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters have been questioned as being severe enough to cause the die-offs. Now, a new study of Pacific oyster and Mediterranean mussel larvae found that the earliest larval stages are sensitive to saturation state, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) or pH (acidity) per se. Saturation state is a measure of how corrosive seawater is to the calcium carbonate shells made by bivalve larvae, and how easy it is for larvae to produce their shells. A lower saturation rate is associated with more corrosive seawater. Cheryl Dybas reports. (PHYS.ORG)

And this article follows on it.

For those wanting to understand the science behind “saturation state” you can find the definition down this page. Just “find” saturation state when you get to it. The formula is there.

Pregnant killer whale J-32 was starving, necropsy reveals – CBC

So the latest death of an Orca was likely due to a combination of starvation and the fetus dying in utero. Bad story here for our joint efforts to protect the whales. A full fishing ban on chinook salmon is likely the only way out, as unpleasant as that may sound. They should know if it works within a year or two. In the meantime, here’s the story on J-32 and Ken Balcomb, one of the leading whale researchers, opinion.


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