Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2/13 Creeping jenny, park funds, Valentine gifts, Green New Deal, climate where you live

Creeping jenny
Creeping jenny Lysimachia nummularia
Creeping jenny is a garden escapee that has become established occasional from southwestern B.C. south to the Willamette Valley. The common name comes from a translation of the Latin lysimachia, which earns 'ending strife' or 'loosening strife.' This plant apparently deters gnats and flies, which may be why it was used to quiet 'quarrelsome beasts such as horses and oxen at the plough' (stopping their strife). Loosestrife also used to be burned inside the house to drive out serpents, flies and gnats. Pliny says that it was named after the Thracian king Lysimachus (ca. 360-281 BC), a companion of Alexander. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

North Cascades National Park projects awarded $400,000
Washington’s National Park Fund announced this week it has given $1.6 million to the state’s three national parks, including the North Cascades National Park Service Complex that includes land in east Skagit County. It is the largest annual distribution in the organization’s history, according to a news release.... The North Cascades National Park received about $400,000 for 10 projects including wildlife research, electric vehicle improvements, internships and law enforcement equipment. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Nothing says Valentine’s quite like mucus, semen and crunchy sea urchins
This year, nothing may say love better than whale snot. Yeah. Really. But, if you don’t think your beloved will thrill to your passion celebrated by a drone-flying researcher collecting droplet samples from a humpback’s big blow (at a very affordable $22), why not a $14 frog fertility test? A couple of Canadian species are on the brink of extinction, and identifying the biggest and best studs at the Vancouver Aquarium could help bring them back. Then again, if that all seems a bit too real (and frankly a bit yucky), you can always punctuate your warm, fuzzy feelings for him or her by providing tasty, spiky and live sea urchin as food for the adorable sea otters. That sea urchin snack could even prove a 10-buck balm to the bereft. If you’re lovelorn, there’s a chance that the aquarium folks might be willing to name the urchin after an ex. It’s that kind of revenge offering from the El Paso zoo in Texas that went viral a few days ago. Daphne Bramham reports. (Vancouver Sun)

McConnell Plans To Bring Green New Deal To Senate Vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that he wants the Senate to vote on a massive plan to fight climate change. “I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal, and we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate,” McConnell said at a Senate Republican news conference. “I’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., unveiled the “Green New Deal” framework last week. The legislation is a nonbinding resolution that is meant to outline a plan to massively curtail carbon emissions while undertaking sweeping economic changes to boost jobs and worker rights. It also immediately provoked controversy. While some environmental advocates applauded the plan’s grand scope, experts said the plan’s aim to get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years seemed unrealistic. Critics also pounced on a blog post from Ocasio-Cortez’s office — now taken down — that said the policy assures “economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.” In addition, the bill lays out some lofty goals that could require massive, difficult-to-administer new programs, like a job guarantee and a plan to upgrade every building in the country for energy efficiency.  Danielle Kurtzleben reports. (NPR)

Contemporary climatic analogs for 540 North American urban areas in the late 21st century
Researchers Matthew C. Fitzpatrick and Robert R. Dunn write of their project: "A major challenge in articulating human dimensions of climate change lies in translating global climate forecasts into impact assessments that are intuitive to the public. Climate-analog mapping involves matching the expected future climate at a location (e.g., a person’s city of residence) with current climate of another, potentially familiar, location - thereby providing a more relatable, place-based assessment of climate change. For 540 North American urban areas, we used climate-analog mapping to identify the location that has a contemporary climate most similar to each urban area’s expected 2080’s climate. We show that climate of most urban areas will shift considerably and become either more akin to contemporary climates hundreds of kilometers away and mainly to the south or will have no modern equivalent. Combined with an interactive web application, we provide an intuitive means of raising public awareness of the implications of climate change for 250 million urban residents." (Nature Communications)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  249 AM PST Wed Feb 13 2019   
 E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 7 ft  at 12 seconds subsiding to 5 ft at 11 seconds after midnight.

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