Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8/8 Forest fires, current & future climate, Trump's gas pipes, Navy blasts

Black-Backed Woodpecker [Lyann Comrack]
Let Forest Fires Burn? What the Black-Backed Woodpecker Knows
A scientific debate is intensifying over whether too much money and too many lives are lost fighting forest fires…. The black-backed woodpecker is one of the rarest birds in California, and lately it has become something more: a symbol of a huge scientific and political debate over the future of fire in American forests. Justin Gillis reports. (NY Times)

Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.
The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Think it's hot now? Here's what climate models say about the future of the Pacific Northwest
Some parts of Washington state, like Walla Walla County, could see dozens more 95-degree-plus days if only modest action is taken on climate change, according to an analysis of climate models. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Seattle's 'amazing transition' from wet to dry probably just a coincidence, scientists say  Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Trump now has the votes to feed U.S. fracking frenzy with new gas pipelines
Before leaving town, the U.S. Senate handed President Donald Trump and the oil industry two long-sought regulatory appointments that could expedite construction of natural gas pipelines nationwide. Since February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has lacked a quorum to decide on new projects, frustrating the oil and gas industry, which lobbied Trump and the Senate to fill vacant seats. Just before its August recess, the Senate delivered, approving the nominations of Republicans Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to serve on the commission, commonly known as FERC. Stuart Leavenworth reports. (McClatchy) See also: Secrecy and Suspicion Surround Trump’s Deregulation Teams  Danielle Ivory and Robert Faturechi report. (NY Times)

Victoria whale watching company blasts navy over loud training exercises
Whale watching companies in Victoria are upset with the Royal Canadian Navy, claiming loud training exercises went ahead even though a pod of endangered southern resident killer whales was nearby. Navy ships from CFB Esquimalt often conduct exercises with explosives at Bentinck Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and follow protocols to stop blasting if boats or whales breach a one-kilometre buffer zone…. But the navy says it has looked into the incident and disagrees that the whales were too close. It says the whales were outside of the one-kilometre buffer zone; a sentry boat keeps watch and advises range operators if marine mammals are detected nearby. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Tue Aug 8 2017  
TODAY
 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. Smoke patchy fog  and drizzle in the morning then patchy smoke in the afternoon.
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy smoke  in the evening then smoke patchy drizzle and fog after midnight.

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