Tuesday, October 30, 2018

10/30 Decorator crab, climate kids, BC pipe, bird extinction, Stanley Park, 'Blob,' green crabs, tossing sockeye

Decorator crab [Central Coast Biodiversity]
Slender decorator crab Oregonia gracilis
Oregon gracilis is found intertidal and subtotal zones to a depth of 435 m (143o ft). I ti most common in shallow habitats with mixed composition bottoms. Its range stretches from the Bering Sea to Monterey, CA. It is also found in Japan. This crab decorates itself the most of all northern decorator crabs. (Biodiversity of the Central Coast)

Youth Climate Activists Rally At Courthouses Nationwide 
Dozens of youth climate activists and their supporters rallied outside the federal courthouse in Seattle on Monday. Their demonstration was one of more than 70 such gatherings planned around the country, in support of the 21 young plaintiffs in a landmark case against the U.S. government.    The young plaintiffs argue the federal government’s support of fossil fuels violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property and has failed to protect resources in the public trust for future generations. The landmark case was set to begin Monday in federal court in Eugene, but is on hold while the Supreme Court decides whether it should move forward. The U.S. government argued litigation costs for a trial would be too much. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Burnaby mayor-elect opposes Trans Mountain expansion over possible ‘boil over’
The mayor-elect of Burnaby, B.C., is taking up the fight against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, citing concerns about fire safety at the proposed expansion to the oil tank farm in the city. Mike Hurley, a former firefighter, said a potential “boil over” at the Trans Mountain oil tank yard is behind his opposition to the project. A boil over is when a fire in a tank spills over to set fire to other nearby parked tanks, leading to the discharge of molten crude into areas as far as 600 metres away from the property. The issue was raised in a 2015 Burnaby Fire Department report about risks associated with the expansion of the pipeline. Mr. Hurley, who will be sworn in on Nov. 5, said it’s the doubling of the number of tanks near a residential area that worries him. “We just don’t have the resources in the city to fight something like that,” he said. Ian Bailey reports. (Globe and Mail)

Climate change is 'escalator to extinction' for mountain birds
Scientists have produced new evidence that climate change is driving tropical bird species who live near a mountain top to extinction. Researchers have long predicted many creatures will seek to escape a warmer world by moving towards higher ground. However, those living at the highest levels cannot go any higher, and have been forecast to decline. This study found that eight bird species that once lived near a Peruvian mountain peak have now disappeared.  Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

Stanley Park ecosystems and seawall at risk of rising sea levels 
Stanley Park is widely considered a gem of Vancouver's geography but the beloved seawall and surrounding wildlife are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to a local sustainability specialist. Angela Danyluk says coastal residents can expect to see one metre of sea level rise by the year 2100, which would have serious effects on the ecosystem of Vancouver's shoreline. "That will cause the low tide mark to come up and shrink that habitat, that intertidal zone that is the nursery, home, and kitchen for many plants and animals," she told The Early Edition's Claudia Goodine. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

The return of ‘The Blob’ ready to play havoc with Northwest weather
It’s almost as if the Earth knows that it is almost Halloween. A scary oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon, christened “The Blob” by Washington climatologist Nick Bond some five years ago, has returned. First observed in the northeastern Pacific Ocean in late 2013, the blob is a large area of warm water with temperatures 3 to 4 degrees above long-term averages. It persisted for about three years, and scientists believe it to be the cause of problems to the environment and economy of the Northwest and beyond. The pattern broke down in 2017 when a cooler and wetter regime returned for a year. But the blob is back. Paul Krupin reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Invasive green crabs poised to move to South Sound
Invasive green crabs continue to threaten Puget Sound's most fragile ecosystems. As the crabs poise to move southward, scientists are concerned their funding to stop the spread may disappear. "They look small, but they can be a really big problem," said UW Research Scientist Sean McDonald. In Maine, the crabs are an established invader that's destroyed eel grass, an important habitat for shellfish. Similar habitat is home to Dungeness crab in Puget Sound. Since the first spotting in 2016, green crab have now been located at seven different sites. McDonald and others are worried that the crabs will get more challenging to remove if they're able to make it to the south Sound, because the offspring in the area would likely stay in the area. They believe it would serve as an incubator for a species that needs no help reproducing. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Sockeye carcasses tossed on shore over two decades spur tree growth 
Hansen Creek, a small stream in southwest Alaska, is hard to pick out on a map. It’s just over a mile long and about 4 inches deep. Crossing from one bank to the other takes about five big steps. Yet this stream is home to one of the most dense sockeye salmon runs in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. Each summer, about 11,000 fish on average return to this stream, furiously beating their way up the shallow creek to spawn and eventually die. For the past 20 years, dozens of University of Washington researchers have walked this creek every day during spawning season, counting live salmon and recording information about the fish that died — for a salmon, death is inevitable here, either after spawning or in the paws of a brown bear. After counting a dead fish, researchers throw it on shore to remove the carcass and not double-count it the next day. The data collection is part of a long-term study looking at how bear predation affects sockeye salmon in this region. When this effort began in the mid-1990s, Tom Quinn, a professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, decided that everyone should throw sockeye carcasses to the left side of the stream — facing downstream. They might as well be consistent, he thought, and who knows — maybe someday they could see whether the tossed carcasses had an effect on that side of the stream. Twenty years later, Quinn and colleagues have found that two decades of carcasses — nearly 600,000 pounds of fish — tossed to the left side of Hansen Creek did have a noticeable effect: White spruce trees on that side of the stream grew faster than their counterparts on the other side. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Tue Oct 30 2018   

TODAY  E wind to 10 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 9 ft at 11 seconds. A slight chance  of showers in the morning then a chance of showers in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at  10 seconds. Rain.

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