Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7/31 Skeleton shrimp, heat wave, 'Climate Kids,' warm Arctic, king penguins, Rama DelaRosa, seal scapegoats, plastic plague

Skeleton shrimp [Monterey Bay Aquarium]
Skeleton shrimp Caprella spp
Skeleton shrimp look like, and are sometimes called, "praying mantises of the sea." They have two pairs of legs attached to the front end of their bodies, with three pairs of legs at the back end. The front legs form powerful "claws" for defense, grooming and capturing food. The rear legs have strong claws that grasp and hold on to algae or other surfaces. They use their antennae for filter feeding and swimming....Shrimp, sea anemones and surfperch prey on skeleton shrimp. The females of some skeleton shrimp species kill the male after mating. Skeleton shrimp use their front legs for locomotion. To move, they grasp first with those front legs and then with their back legs, in inchworm fashion. They swim by rapidly bending and straightening their bodies.  (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

B.C. heat wave day 8: It will get better  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC) Here's when our Puget Sound heatwave will end   The heatwave across Western Washington is coming to an end, with cooler and cleaner air on the way!281-578734509 Rich Marriott reports.(KING)

Supreme Court Declines To Suspend 'Climate Kids' Case 
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend proceedings in a potential landmark climate case that pits a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government. The court’s decision preserves the Oct. 29 start date for a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Eugene.... Solicitor General Noel Francisco earlier this month asked the court to stop the case from going forward. But the court said Monday in a written order that the government’s request is premature. Jack Moran reports. (Eugene Register-Guard)

Warming Arctic could be at heart of deadly July heatwave
It's been a hot July.... If we want to understand what's driving this heat wave — and if we should expect more of the same — we need to look northward, according to Dr. Jennifer Francis, research professor in Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Francis has been studying Arctic climate her entire career, and has authored and co-authored dozens of articles in peer-reviewed publications on the subject since the 1990s. "The basic story is that because the Arctic is warming so much faster than everywhere else, it's having an effect on mid-latitude weather," she told CBC. According to Francis, weather patterns can stall in certain areas — prolonging an intense heat wave, for example — if the jet stream gets too weak. (CBC)

Largest king penguin colony shrinks 90% in 30 years
The world's largest king penguin colony has shrunk nearly 90% since the 1980s, research suggests. Aerial and satellite images show breeding pair numbers have fallen 88% in the last three decades, an article in the journal Antarctic Science says. The colony lies on the France's uninhabited Île aux Cochons between Africa and Antarctica in the Indian Ocean. Researchers say there is no clear reason for the decline. (BBC)

Inspired by orcas, swimmer aims for another loop around Salt Spring 
A close encounter with an orca during a swim around Salt Spring Island last year was a magical experience for Rama DelaRosa, so she is back for more in 2018. DelaRosa, 36, was scheduled to set out on her second Salt Spring circumnavigation swim today at 6 a.m. from Vesuvius Bay. She will do the swim in increments, as before, and plans to finish Sunday at Vesuvius in the early evening. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Peter Ross and Lance Barrett-Lennard: Harbour seals are easy scapegoats in Chinook salmon decline
Explaining the declining numbers of iconic Chinook salmon is more complicated than one might think, and harbour seals have been increasingly put forth by some as the primary culprit. Sure, seals eat salmon. But food webs are complicated, and it is easy to gloss over the positive roles that predators play in contributing to healthy and productive coastal ecosystems. Declining salmon abundance is the result of a complex variety of factors, and cannot be solely attributed to harbour seals. In the case of declining numbers of vulnerable Chinook salmon, threats include warming ocean and freshwater temperatures, destruction and alteration of stream and estuary habitats, fishing pressures, pollution, and the salmon’s starring role as prey for other fishes, seals, sea lions, birds, bears, dolphins, porpoises, and whales — including critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Dr. Peter Row and Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard of Ocean Wise write. (Vancouver Sun)

The other plastic plague
Does plastic spread disease through the oceans? Research on 159 reefs round Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia has shown that when there was no plastic in contact with the coral, about 4 percent of it had one of six common diseases, including white syndrome- a collection of diseases that nearly always kill coral. But 89 percent of the coral that was in contact with plastic was diseased. Christina Reed reports. (New Scientist)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Tue Jul 31 2018   

TODAY  NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  9 seconds. A chance of drizzle in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 8 seconds. A chance of drizzle after midnight.

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