Wednesday, December 26, 2018

12/26 Winter scavenge, Green New Deal, oilsands opposition, Skagit R climate, ocean acid, shooting sea lions, protect marine mammals, saving coral

Raven [Richard Wesley/BirdNote]
Winter - Nature's Cold Storage
For birds and other animals with good natural insulation, winter provides a striking benefit as they scavenge. Bacteria function very slowly or not at all in the cold, preventing dead bodies from rotting. In northern latitudes, ravens and other scavenging birds take advantage of winter's cold storage. When a caribou, moose, or deer dies in Canada, Alaska, or other cold place in the winter, it's available to be eaten for months. Bacteria must wait until spring warms the carcass before they can begin to consume it (BirdNote)

The Optimistic Activists for a Green New Deal: Inside the Youth-Led Singing Sunrise Movement
On a Sunday in mid-December, some eight hundred young people filled the pews and the aisles of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. They had trickled in from all over the country, in vans and buses, carrying backpacks and sleeping bags, some of them college students and others still in high school. They belonged to an environmental movement called Sunrise, and they had come to the capital to pressure their congressional representatives on the issue of climate change. The next day would be one of visits and protests, where the young people planned to lobby the incoming Democratic majority to begin work on a Green New Deal. The plan they hope to see adopted—to make the United States economy carbon neutral—would be nothing less than a total overhaul of our national infrastructure. Emily Witt reports. (The New Yorker)

Drawing a line in the oilsands
Why the leaders of First Nations that have been on the front lines opposing oilsands expansion now support a project to develop the industry's biggest mine in their own backyard Kyle Bakx & Geneviève Normand report. (CBC)

Changing climate, water flows impact bald eagles' feasts on the Skagit River
From mid-December to February, hundreds upon hundreds of bald eagles flock to the Skagit River in northwest Washington to feast on spawning salmon. It's one of the biggest seasonal concentrations of eagles in the Pacific Northwest, but this eagle watching hot spot is being affected by changing cycles of nature. Researchers from the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey observed the timing of the peak eagle convergence has moved about two weeks earlier over the past 30 years. The bald eagles are following the chum salmon run, which is moving earlier by about half a day per year for reasons that are not entirely clear, but might have to do with changing water temperatures. North Cascades National Park Service Complex senior wildlife biologist Jason Ransom said the shift in timing is unfavorable for eagles because the salmon now arrive prior to the usual winter flooding. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network) See also: Eagle Watcher program victim of government shutdown  Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Study: Northwest Salmon Not Immune To Ocean Acidification
A new study suggests that salmon will not be immune to the effects of ocean acidification. Scientists found that changes to ocean chemistry disrupt a fish’s ability to smell danger in the water. Researcher Chase Williams of the University of Washington exposed young coho salmon to the elevated ocean CO2 levels expected over the next few decades. He then dropped in an odor that normally makes the fish react as if a predator is near. The fish ignored it. Jes Burns reports. (OPB)

Sea lion shootings: Federal crime or legal response to annoying animal?
Casey Mclean, a veterinary nurse, stood over the 800-pound carcass of a California sea lion on the West Seattle waterfront. The bloated animal had washed up on a boat launch after floating around Puget Sound for weeks. “Typically this time of year, we'll see maybe three or four animals, but we're up to case 16 of dead animals,” Mclean said. She worked with SR3 – Sealife Response Rehabilitation and Research. Of those, 12 of the dead sea lions had bullets in them. Federal officials are investigating what could be a federal crime – or a perfectly legal response to an age-old conflict. Competing for food Sea lions and humans both like to eat salmon, which brings the two mammals into conflict. John Ryan reports. (KUOW) See also: New law to allow culling of sea lions  The Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act will permit as many as 900 sea lion killings per year in and around the Columbia River to protect endangered fish stocks. Gabe Stutman reports. (Kitsap Daily News)

NOAA issues more protective rules for marine mammals
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it has authorized new rules that are more protective of marine mammals during U.S. Naval training and testing exercises in the Pacific than ever proposed in the past. NOAA said on Thursday that the new rules under the Marine Mammal Protection Act — the third authorized in a series of five-year regulations for the Navy’s Hawaii-Southern California training and testing activities — will allow for only incidental, not intentional, “takes” of marine mammals, and cover a larger area, through December 2023. By “take,” NOAA means the disruption of behavioral patterns or temporary hearing impairment among marine mammals, as well as some significantly lesser number of injuries and a very small number of mortalities. Nina Wu reports. (Honolulu StarAdvertiser)

Saving Coral
Special Report: Researchers in Hawaii are involved in cutting-edge science aimed at countering the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans. (Civil Beat)

Now, your tug weather--West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  830 PM PST Tue Dec 25 2018   WED  SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 11 seconds  building to 9 ft at 11 seconds in the afternoon. Rain. 
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 10 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of  showers in the evening then a slight chance of showers after  midnight.

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