West’s rivers are hot enough to cook salmon to death. Will this court ruling keep them cool? – Bellingham Herald

With global warming comes the heating of our rivers. That has devastating impacts on salmon, which need a river to remain under 56 degrees or young salmon will die. This might bring a change of heart to the issue of Snake River dam removal or breaching.

A federal judge in Seattle has directed the Environmental Protection Agency, in a ruling with implications for California and the Pacific Northwest, to find a way to keep river waters cool.

Read more here: https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/state/washington/article220466120.html#storylink=cpy

 

Acceleration of mountain glacier melt could impact Pacific NW water supplies – AGU 100 Earth and Space Science

This study should be a wake up call for our local politicians. We need to be contemplating how we are going to get water for this city when the mountains are unable to sustain us. It’s not too soon to have a plan and begin looking for funding sources as they become available.

The model showed that summer melt from some lower elevation glaciers is already declining, and summer melt from some higher elevation glaciers is expected to begin declining by 2050, according to the study.

https://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2018/08/16/acceleration-of-mountain-glacier-melt-could-impact-pacific-northwest-water-supplies/

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change – The NY Times

If you read only one article all year, this is it. We have known for decades and our inaction has spelled disaster.  We can no longer stop man made global warming, now the job is to figure out how to survive it.

 

Europe and the effects of climate change.-NY Times

It is always difficult when you were in the eye of the storm to understand the scope of how big the store might actually be. Here is a good overall round up of the effects of climate change on Europe this year.

No matter what happens to try to reverse this we are facing long-term affects that will have a massive change to where we live as well. The summer fire season in both Washington state and Canada as well as the areas of northern California is already well-documented. Will be interesting to see what effects happen to the farmers of Eastern Washington with the temperatures as hot as they have been. and on the Horizon is the hurricane season in the Atlantic.

nyti.ms/2O7HS4I

2017: The Year In Climate – New York Times

The Big Picture

How Coral Researchers Are Coping With the Death of Reefs – The Atlantic

While not specifically Olympic Peninsula News, many of us venture to places during our lives expecting to see coral. Whether you have gone to Hawaii, Belize, Mexico or any other beautiful tropical setting, the ability to snorkel the local reefs has been an experience that often creates environmental protection support. But there are warning signs everywhere. Anyone that has gone to a reef lately has seen the bleached coral and the lack of diversity of species. Even the scientists are getting depressed. Why post this? Because it is going to take all of us to eventually *demand* we take the radical steps needed to save the planet before it’s too late. By saving it, I mean that we are going to, at some point in the lives of people alive today, need to demand and take steps that will be extremely painful and life altering for every single person on this planet. That day is not far off. We have just lost Puerto Rico, drowned much of Houston, have seen three Category 4 storms land in the U.S. in one year, burned up much of the part of California that produces hundreds of millions of dollars of wine products, burned up huge amounts of Canadian western forests, and more. Our President that refuses to believe the trouble we are in seems simply incompetent rather than in the know. In fact, a concerted effort to destroy any scientific knowledge of the issue  is underway by his administration. This rivals the Nazi rewriting of German science in the 30s.  We are experiencing a similar situation to the German people then.  Some of us will flee. But the question all of us should be asking is, “what more can I do than I’m doing now?”

“The drumbeat of devastating news can take its toll on the mental health of people who have devoted their lives to coral.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/coral-scientists-coping-reefs-mental-health/546440/

Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016 – BBC

The question that comes from all of this is “at what point do we make the planet uninhabitable for humans? “ And as many scientists have thought, the unintended consequences of not doing enough for CO2 is that we are finding that methane is suddenly exploding in the atmosphere.  One likely source could be the exposure of tundra as the permafrost melts.

Concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Last year’s increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years.

Researchers say a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon drove CO2 to a level not seen in 800,000 years.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41778089

Elon Musk: ‘The Dumbest experiment In History’

“We are running the most dangerous experiment in history right now. Which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.” – Elon Musk

The most important thing you can listen to today.

Good news:Americans bought more Electric Cars last month than ever before -Auto Blog

With electric car sales continuing their upward trend, and wind and solar energy costs now cheaper than coal electrical generation, we are on our way to a renewable future, even without the help of the US Congress.

US plug-in vehicle sales reached a quarterly record for the three-month period that ended September 30, as demand improved for plug-in models such as the Tesla Model S battery-electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). September also marked a record month for plug-in vehicle sales. Now imagine if gas prices were high or if all the electric vehicles available for sale in California were on dealer lots in most US states?

Auto Blog Story

Bad news for crabs and birds: Puget Sound hotter than ever – KUOW

The notion of the Hood Canal changing as much as 7 Degrees Celsius in one year is just mind boggling. The story of the frog in the pan of boiling water comes to mind.So when do we reach the tipping point and find the Sound is dead? And what will help you come out to help? A good place to start is at our elections in a few weeks. Voting for the people listed on the front page of this blog, under the tab 2016 Elections, will help ensure that we have leadership that believes in global warming and is willing to work to fix this problem at all levels of city, county, state and national levels. We are running out of time.

There has been a significant change in the waters in Puget Sound, according to a new NOAA Fisheries report. In 2015, the temperatures rose more than any other year in recorded history. Stephanie Moore: “New maximum records were set just about everywhere in Puget Sound in terms of water temperatures.” Biological oceanographer Stephanie Moore headed up the 2015 report by NOAA Fisheries. She says across Puget Sound, shallow and deep water temperatures rose at a record pace above the 10 year mean. Most locations rose by 2 degrees Celsius. In southern Hood Canal it was even higher, 7 degrees. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)

http://kuow.org/post/bad-news-crabs-and-birds-puget-sound-hotter-ever

Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say – Washington Post

We no longer can change it, we have to figure out how to ride it.

A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period.

“We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities. Kopp said it’s not that seas rose faster before that – they probably didn’t – but merely that the ability to say as much with the same level of confidence declines.

 

Seas Are Now Rising Faster….

Port Townsend yearly temp 1.4 degrees warmer than average

The New York Times has published an amazing tool, that shows the last year’s temperature for many cities around the world. Port Townsend was 1.4 degrees warmer than average last year. 

Our average temperature was 53.3 degrees F. Our politicians on the right, continue to fiddle while the world burns. Help vote them out this year. Give money to political campaigns, like Emily’s List that are fighting to put in politicians that believe in Global Warming and want to pass legislation to do something about it. What could be passed that could help? Here’s a few ideas:

  • Force a conversion of all coal fired power plants to natural gas as quickly as possible (which is a bridging strategy to the future). Rate payers will have to be the ones to pay for this, with some government assistance for bridging loans.
  • Support mass installation of solar panels everywhere viable in the US. Think south of a line drawn from the Ohio River west, just as a start. This would create millions of new jobs, especially in lower income communities. There should be no roof left without some solar panels south of that line.
  • Shut down off shore oil drilling and move the workers to creating a national network of off shore wind farms. Do it as a national emergency, to overcome the legal objections  of Not in My Backyard  by  people wanting to protect their coastal views. Fund this with future bonds, or from the Defense budget.
  • Support R&D for electric automobiles. Take the money from the Defense budget. A few less Cruise missiles for example could fund it.
  • Support significant tax breaks for buying electric cars and bicycles.
  • Support buildout of a electric vehicle charging station infrastructure across the country. This can also come from the Defense budget.
  • Triple support for mass transit to get people out of cars.
  • Support building high speed rail service between major cities, to get people out of jet fueled airplanes for short hauls. Another Defense budget move. Remember Interstate Highways were built as a national defense infrastructure to move troops in times of war.

Bottom line, these things will make us safer, get us further from dependence on fascist and religious fundamentalist regimes in places like the Middle East, stop us from needing to run coal and oil trains through our cities, giving us greater freedom and not less. What stands in the way? The Republicans in the State and Federal government. It’s time to vote them out. The status quo is the Titanic and the iceberg is global warming.

Scientists declared that 2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record. In a database of 3,116 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent of them were warmer than normal.

http://nyti.ms/1Q4YDeh

Climate change: 2015 ‘shattered’ global temperature record by wide margin – BBC

The data is in and it’s not good. The question continues to be not how we are going to reverse it, but how we are going to cope with it. I don’t think I’d want to be invested in any shoreline housing or businesses near oceans, for example, but more seriously, it’s unclear how we are going to feed the planet when most of the best agricultural locations are gone. Sure they’ll move north, but the soils in Canada, for example, don’t seem as fertile as those of the Great Plains. We need a lot of smart thinkers, because our politicians are failing to do the right thing. Even with the Paris accords reached recently, the change is going to outpace our ability to slow it down.

Data produced by the US space agency (Nasa) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) show that 2015 “shattered” the previous record set in 2014 by 0.13C.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35354579

 

The Siege of Miami – New Yorker

What does Miami have to do with the Olympic Peninsula? It’s all about a ring side seat to the real story of global warming that isn’t being told by the mainstream press, because of fear of panic in high value real estate locales like Miami.This is a clear picture of how bad things are going to get, real fast. Miami is going under water, now, and other than it’s mayor, no one wants to admit it. Read this fascinating story from the front lines of a major American city about to be returned to the sea,perhaps in our life times.

 In November, researchers reported that, owing to the loss of an ice shelf off northeastern Greenland, a new “floodgate” on the ice sheet had opened. All told, Greenland’s ice holds enough water to raise global sea levels by twenty feet……..Of all the world’s cities, Miami ranks second in terms of assets vulnerable to rising seas—No. 1 is Guangzhou—and in terms of population it ranks fourth, after Guangzhou, Mumbai, and Shanghai. A recent report on storm surges in the United States listed four Florida cities among the eight most at risk. (On that list, Tampa came in at No. 1.) For the past several years, the daily high-water mark in the Miami area has been racing up at the rate of almost an inch a year, nearly ten times the rate of average global sea-level rise. 

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/21/the-siege-of-miami

Facing Rising Waters, A Native Tribe Takes Its Plea To Paris Climate Talks – NPR

Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula has been in the news lately, as an unfortunate “poster child” of ocean rise and climate change. The Quinault Nation has been the first community in the lower 48 that has been forced to move their homes due to what is clearly being attributed to ocean rise. (certainly there are very good reasons to say that Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina also represented climate change created superstorms, this is the first example I’ve seen of a 1:1 relationship).

While the Republican dominated Congress fiddles while their constituents burn, and supposed leaders like Ted Cruz are about to hold a Congressional hearing on climate change that will only include testimony from scientists who oppose the findings of the 97% of scientists that believe in climate change, we only have to look west to the coast, and our neighbors under siege from rising waters. It’s clear that Cruz is not representing his constituents, but the economic forces aligned against taking action. But back to the coast and a report from superb regional journalist Ashley Ahearn.

International leaders gathering in Paris to address global warming face increasing pressure to tackle the issue of “climate refugees.” Some island nations are already looking to move their people to higher ground, even purchasing land elsewhere in preparation. In the U.S. Northwest, sea-level rise is forcing a Native American tribe to consider abandoning lands it has inhabited for thousands of years. The Quinault Indian Nation, whose small village lies at the mouth of the Quinault River on the outer coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, now relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall to protect it from the encroaching Pacific Ocean. Ashley Ahearn report. (NPR)

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/01/455745765/facing-rising-waters-a-native-tribe-takes-its-plea-to-paris-climate-talks

Urban Planners take note – Greenland’s Collapsing Glacier Could Raise Sea Levels More than A Foot – Guardian

Within the next decade, apparently, this melting glacier is likely to raise sea levels more than a foot. Very likely to cause higher high tides, more coastal inundation. Think of the coastal land  of Jefferson County, and think of what might be at threat. Port of Port Townsend comes to mind. Hwy 20 into town near the ferry dock. Planners need to start taking this melting very seriously. Especially when faced with angry homeowners that insist on living 50′ from the mean low tide. The cost of moving should be on them, not the taxpayers.

A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say.

The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/12/collapsing-greenland-glacier-could-raise-sea-levels-by-half-a-metre-say-scientists?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

Federal Fish Managers Brace For Another Warm Year In The Northwest – KPLU

We are not out of the woods yet, as it relates to snowpack.

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish. Seventy U.S. Fish & Wildlife managers passed around a microphone this week in a hotel conference room. They told scary stories about warm Northwest water. The Columbia River heated up this summer, and nearly the entire run of returning sockeye was lost. Anna King reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/federal-fish-managers-brace-another-warm-year-northwest

Record North Pacific temperatures threatening B.C. marine species – CBC

Global warming continues, with no concensus by the leaders of the planet to do anything quickly, if at all. The recent agreement between the US and China won’t do anything for decades, if it even is acted on by our Congress, which is unlikely.

The North Pacific Ocean is setting record high temperatures this year and raising concerns about the potential impact on cold water marine species along the B.C. coast, including salmon. Ocean surface temperatures around the world this year reached the highest temperature ever recorded, due in large part to the normally chilly North Pacific, which was three to four degrees above average — far beyond any recorded value. Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the warmth along the North Pacific coast is very unusual. (CBC)

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/record-north-pacific-temperatures-threatening-b-c-marine-species-1.2845662

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