Friday, January 25, 2019

1/25 Surfperch, EPA penalties, Canada's emissions, rethinking warming, children's climate, spill clean-up, Kauai solar, North Sound Stewards

Striped surfperch [Robertson/WDFW]
Striped surfperch Embiotoca lateralis
Striped surfperch range from Wrangell, southeastern Alaska to Point Cabras, Baja California, Mexico.  They occur in waters up to 21 m (69 ft) deep along rocky coasts, in kelp beds, and occasionally in sandy surf near rocks. Commonly caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and in embayments along the outer coast. (WDFW)

Civil penalties for polluters dropped dramatically in Trump’s first two years, analysis shows
Civil penalties for polluters under the Trump administration plummeted during the past fiscal year to the lowest average level since 1994, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data. In the two decades before President Trump took office, EPA civil fines averaged more than $500 million a year, when adjusted for inflation. Last year’s $72 million in fines was 85 percent below that amount, according to the agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online database. Cynthia Giles, who headed EPA’s enforcement office in the Obama administration and conducted the analysis, said the inflation-adjusted figures represent the lowest since the agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance was established. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

You’re all hypocrites: Why it’s a colossal cop-out to keep blaming Canada’s sky high emissions on Alberta
This week, the city of Victoria, B.C. announced plans to launch a class action lawsuit against the oil and gas sector. The idea is to tally up the various damages done to the city by climate change and send the bill to the likes of Suncor or CNRL. It’s the latest salvo of a movement that seeks to singularly blame the oil industry for climate change while conveniently ignoring the millions of daily consumer choices, often made by activists themselves, that contribute to Canada’s fossil fuel addiction. Below, a quick primer on how some of Canada’s most anti-oil, anti-pipeline corners seem to have no problem burning oceans of oil when it’s for stuff they like. Tristin Hopper writes. (National Post)

We need to rethink everything we know about global warming
For a while now, the scientific community has known that global warming is caused by humanmade emissions in the form of greenhouse gases and global cooling by air pollution in the form of aerosols. However, new research published in Science by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Daniel Rosenfeld shows that the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated, necessitating a recalculation of climate change models to more accurately predict the pace of global warming.... With this new method, Rosenfeld and his colleagues were able to more accurately calculate aerosols' cooling effects on the Earth's energy budget. And, they discovered that aerosols' cooling effect is nearly twice higher than previously thought. However, if this is true then how come the earth is getting warmer, not cooler?... For Rosenfeld, this discrepancy might point to an ever deeper and more troubling reality. "If the aerosols indeed cause a greater cooling effect than previously estimated, then the warming effect of the greenhouse gases has also been larger than we thought, enabling greenhouse gas emissions to overcome the cooling effect of aerosols and points to a greater amount of global warming than we previously thought," he shared. (Science Daily)

Children's climate rallies gain momentum in Europe
Thousands of schoolchildren in Europe are expected to skip classes and rally for action on climate change. Children plan to stage a sit-in outside city hall in Basel, Switzerland, and similar protests are planned in Berlin and other German cities. They are inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. She is in Davos, urging the World Economic Forum (WEF) to ensure a greener future. On Thursday, 35,000 teenagers marched in Brussels against global warming. Thousands of school pupils went on strike in Switzerland a week ago to demand climate action. (BBC)

Engineers create decision-making tool for oil spill clean-up
A team of Southwest Research Institute engineers has created an interactive decision tree aimed at finding the best solution for specific oil spill scenarios. Numerous chemical dispersant technologies are available to address different types of oil spills and countless variables and external conditions can play into the effectiveness of any given dispersant. SwRI's decision-making tool helps bridge this gap to determine how a dispersant technology will perform under different spill scenarios.... The interactive decision-making tree was created with the programming language Visual Basic for Applications in Microsoft Excel, with the aim of making it accessible to as many people as possible. It contains hundreds of scenario combinations, allowing a user to select certain environmental and oil conditions, and outputs the most efficient dispersant delivery approach and equipment to clean up the spill. (Phys.Org)

Kauai: World’s Biggest Solar Power Plant Relies On A Flock Of Sheep
A new solar generating plant capable of producing and storing power in daylight and then releasing it at night will be partially dependent on 300 sheep. The plant was commissioned Jan. 8 by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and pushes the utility over the 50 percent mark in terms of the amount of its power that comes from renewable sources. It’s the second such plant put in service by KIUC and, according to David Bissell, the co-op’s CEO, it is currently the largest such installation in the world. That’s a distinction which, in a rapidly evolving industry, it’s unlikely to have for long. KIUC believes it is now the most advanced utility in the country in the context of producing electricity from alternative sources that can serve customers virtually around the clock.  Allan Parachini reports. (Civil Beat)

Salish Sea Science
...Two years ago, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and the Whatcom MRC formed the North Sound Stewards, a program in which citizen scientists receive training to build a reliable stock of data on various plants and animals from local beaches and tidal zones. The goal is to inform Salish Sea recovery and protection efforts. For example, RE Sources is working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to use citizen science data in updated management and oil spill response plans. “We need to make sure our elected officials and the public have both the information and motivation to act. Who better to help provide these than a voter who has also helped watch over our precious ocean ecosystems?” said Chris Brown, Whatcom Marine Resource Committee (MRC) member and citizen scientist. To learn more or to become a citizen scientist, visit Eleanor Hines writes. (Cascadia Weekly)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  211 AM PST Fri Jan 25 2019   
 E wind to 10 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 14 seconds. 
 Light wind becoming SE to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 13 seconds. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6 ft  at 13 seconds. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  8 ft at 14 seconds. 
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 7 ft  at 14 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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