Wednesday, January 23, 2019

1/23 Rhino auklet, tidal anomalies, WA lege, BC oil pipe, BC LNG, glaciers, global warming, nitrate water

Rhinoceros auklet [Liron Gertsman]
Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata
Named for the vertical white plate at the base of its bill, the Rhinoceros Auklet is a bird of the coastlines and open seas of the north Pacific. The only member of its genus, it is closely related to puffins. The oldest recorded Rhinoceros Auklet was at least 28 years, 3 months old. It was banded in 1984 in British Columbia,and found in Oregon in 2010. (All About Birds)

Prepare For 'Tidal Anomalies' In Puget Sound Wednesday
Puget Sound is under multiple weather warnings and advisories, including a coastal flooding advisory that will coincide with high tides on Wednesday morning. As of Tuesday night, there was a flood warning (Mason County), winter storm warning (Cascades in King County), a winter weather advisory (eastern Cascades slopes), a small craft advisory (all of Puget Sound), and the coastal flooding advisory, which impacts places like Shoreline, Seattle, and Edmonds. The National Weather Service says to prepare for "tidal anomalies" in those areas on Wednesday morning as high tides peak between 5 and 8 a.m. The advisory is in effect until 10 a.m., however. Neal McNamara reports. (Patch)

Orcas, climate, oil spills and more – can Inslee, Dems perform in just 105 days?
A sweeping array of Washington legislative proposals to counter climate change have their best chance to pass into law in 2019 than at any time in recent years. But it won’t be easy for majority Democrats and Gov. Jay Inslee, a climate action advocate, to get all they want in the 105-day session that began last week. The thrust to combat climate change comes on the heels of a new Crosscut/Elway poll finding that the number of Washington voters choosing the environment as their top issue doubled — to one out of six voters. Five times that many want action on preventing the smoky wildfires that scientists say will likely increase as the planet warms, the poll showed. 2019 marks the first year in seven that Democrats hold a significant majority in both the House and Senate. Yet Democrats are not guaranteed to be united. They have not fallen uniformly in line behind Inslee on climate policy in the past, assisting in killing a series of climate-policy losses on the governor’s part. Brad Shannon reports. (Investigate West)

B.C. files final argument to NEB against Trans Mountain Pipeline
The Government of British Columbia has filed its final argument in the National Energy Board's (NEB) reconsideration of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. The submission recommends against approval of the project and outlines concerns about the impact an oil spill could have on the environment and coast, as well as the ability to effectively respond to a spill. "The province maintains the proponent has failed to prove the case that twinning the existing pipeline and significantly expanding current volumes of bitumen crossing B.C. is necessary," said a statement from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The province's submission also highlights the potential impacts that increased oil tanker traffic would have on southern resident killer whales.... The NEB's final report has to be submitted to the federal cabinet by Feb. 22, 2019. (CBC)

UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state
It appears a pattern of heavy storms in the Pacific Northwest may have obscured the effects of climate change over the past 20 years. Researchers here have identified a southern shift in the jet stream as a source of heavy precipitation that built up snow pack and glacier mass in Washington and Oregon, while they were declining elsewhere. David Shean, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, uses high-resolution satellite images to get precise measurements of glaciers and ice mass. For a recent study, Shean teamed up with colleagues at the University of Northern British Columbia to assemble thousands of satellite pictures of North America's western glaciers. They mapped and modeled changes in the ice since 2000. Shean says they found a rapid increase in ice loss over the past 18 years overall, but less happening in the Pacific Northwest. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Concern About Global Warming Among Americans Spikes, Report Says
In 2018, Americans watched as California towns were incinerated by fires, hurricanes devastated coastal communities and a government report sounded the alarm about the impacts of a changing climate. All those factors contributed to significant changes in perceptions of global warming in the U.S., according to the authors of a new public opinion survey. The proportion of Americans who said global warming is “personally important” to them jumped from 63 percent to 72 percent from March to December of last year. There has also been an 8-percent rise in the number of Americans who are “very worried” about global warming – 29 percent said they feel that way, while 40 percent said they are “somewhat worried.” And 56 percent of Americans said their family will be harmed by global warming.  Ian Stewart reports. (NPR)

Some elected Aboriginal councils want LNG pipeline for better lives
It was a difficult decision to sign a benefit sharing agreement with Coastal GasLink that would allow for a natural gas pipeline through the Wet'suwet'en territory, but a necessary one, an elected band council member says. Joseph Skin is with the Skin Tyee band, a community of about 180 people within the Wet'suwet'en First Nation, and said many members live in "poverty" on the reserve and the agreement offered an opportunity for a better future.  Skin said he spent most of his life living in a home shared by three or four families. There was no running water in homes on the reserve until 10 or 15 years ago, he said.... Coastal GasLink has said it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations bands along the pipeline route from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada's $40-billion export facility on the coast in Kitimat. Amy Smart reports. (Canadian Press) See also: Canadian musicians sign letter backing opponents of Coastal GasLink pipeline  Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Study: Millions Of Americans Could Be Drinking Water High In Nitrates
More people than expected are drinking water that could be harmful to their health. That’s according to a new study that looked at a water contaminate that’s been an issue in one of the Northwest’s most productive farming regions. The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found more than 5.6 million Americans may be drinking water that’s contaminated with nitrates. The study found Latino residents are disproportionately drinking water that’s often more contaminated than other areas. At high levels, nitrates can be harmful to infants, causing what’s known as “blue baby syndrome.” Lower exposure levels to nitrates can contribute to other health problems, like birth defects and some cancers, said Laurel Schaider, the study’s lead author and an environmental chemist at Silent Spring Institute. Courtney Flatt reports. (NW Public Broadcasting)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  223 AM PST Wed Jan 23 2019   
 SW wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt this morning  then becoming E 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft  subsiding to 1 to 3 ft. W swell 12 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of  showers in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the  afternoon. 
 S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  11 ft at 14 seconds subsiding to 9 ft at 13 seconds after  midnight.

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