Spring Storm Smashes Snow and Temperature Records

Ocean Conserve - Fri, 04/12/2013 - 04:00
Climate Central: You name the type of precipitation, and odds are that it is falling somewhere between Texas and Minnesota on Wednesday, as ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings for heavy snowfall, and flood watches and warnings have all been issued across this region as a strong spring storm moves through. Forecast high temperatures on Wednesday, April 10, showing the sharp contrast ahead of and behind the Arctic cold front. The storm has smashed all-time snowfall records and set new benchmarks for a late...
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Mystery sticky substance back to blight seabirds

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 17:45
Guardian: More than 30 birds have been rescued after being washed up on beaches across the south coast of England covered in a sticky substance, the RSPCA said on Thursday. A further 27 guillemots were collected from beaches stretching from Mevagissey in Cornwall to Plymouth and Whitsand Bay. It adds to the 12 guillemots rescued on Wednesday affected by what appears to be the same sticky substance that harmed their colonies out at sea two months ago. An RSPCA spokesman said: "Most of the birds gathered...
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Conoco halts offshore drilling in Alaskan Arctic

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 14:00
Agence France-Presse: US oil giant ConocoPhillips on Wednesday announced it is suspending its offshore Alaska drilling program in the Alaskan Arctic due to changing regulations. Two months after a similar move by Shell, ConocoPhillips cited "evolving" federal regulatory requirements in putting on hold its 2014 exploration drilling plans in the Chukchi Sea on Alaska's northern coast. "While we are confident in our own expertise and ability to safely conduct offshore Arctic operations, we believe that more time is...
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McCarthy needs to open the windows at the EPA, letting in press and public

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 14:00
Environmental Health: President Obama has an opportunity to fix badly broken media policies that keep Americans in the dark about their environment. Gina McCarthy's nomination as the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency affords him an opportunity to live up to his promise to create an "unprecedented level of openness in government.' The Obama administration has been anything but transparent in its dealings with reporters seeking information, interviews and clarification on a host of environmental, health...
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Philippines charges Chinese fishermen over reef crash

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 04:22
BBC: The Philippines has charged 12 Chinese fishermen with poaching after their boat ran aground a protected coral reef, reports say. The men face up to 12 years in jail and $300,000 (£195,784) in fines, said an official from the Tubbataha reef park, a Unesco World Heritage site. They were also charged with bribery after they allegedly tried to pay off Philippine park rangers. The US also faces a fine after its ship crashed in the same reef in January. The Chinese fishing vessel, which measures...
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Early warning signs of population collapse

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 00:54
ScienceDaily: Spatial measurements of population density could reveal when threatened natural populations are in danger of crashing. Many factors -- including climate change, overfishing or loss of food supply -- can push a wild animal population to the brink of collapse. Ecologists have long sought ways to measure the risk of such a collapse, which could help wildlife and fishery managers take steps to protect endangered populations. Last year, MIT physicists demonstrated that they could measure a population's...
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MPs criticise slow progress on seas

Ocean Conserve - Thu, 04/11/2013 - 00:40
BBC: MPs have criticised the government for dragging its feet over plans to create zones to protect wildlife in the seas. A coalition of conservationists, anglers, fishermen and leisure sailors proposed 127 Marine Conservation Zones. The government has consulted on just 31 of these MCZs, and MPs on the Science and Technology Committee say sites are being degraded by the delay. Ministers say the speed of marine protection is being slowed by complexity and cost. It is more than three years since...
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U.S. tuna plan pleases conservationists, upsets Mexican industry

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 22:45
Reuters: A U.S. proposal to revamp its dolphin-safe tuna label rules to comply with a trade case won by Mexico is drawing praise from conservationists and criticism from Mexico's fishing industry, which says it will keep their exports out of the U.S. market. A World Trade Organization appellate panel ruled last year the two-decade-old labeling program was "not even-handed" because it focused on the use of large purse seine nets in the eastern tropical Pacific to catch tuna, and failed to address the risk...
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Study: Southern California slammed by weather disasters

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
KCET: Twenty California counties have endured weather-related disasters since January 2007 that were damaging enough to merit 41 Federal disaster area declarations, and two-thirds of Californians live on counties struck by those disasters. That's according to a report released today by Environment California. The report, entitled "In the Path of the Storm," crunches numbers acquired from FEMA disaster declarations to assess the frequency of extreme weather events and related disasters across the country....
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In Warming, Northern Hemisphere is Outpacing the South

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
Climate Central: If global warming were a race, the Northern Hemisphere would be winning. It is warming faster than the Southern Hemisphere, with some of the most rapid warming rates on Earth located in the Arctic, where sea and land ice is shrinking and thinning. Not only is the North winning now, but projections show that, largely due to the influence of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, it is likely to widen its lead in the coming decades. Two new studies shed light on this disparity, and how it could have...
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Charting the Arctic’s future with logbooks from the past

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
Climate Central: Figuring out the future of the rapidly warming Arctic is crucial for climate scientists, largely because changes in the region's ice -- both on land and at sea -- can have major consequences for the rest of the planet. Sea ice declined to a record low in September 2012, and scientists have projected that the region will become seasonally ice-free by mid-century, based on satellite data, observational evidence, and other information. But researchers have only recently had the ability to keep close...
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Heat to shift wine industry tradition

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
Australian Broadcasting Corporatin: Bye bye bordeaux The French wine industry could lose Bordeaux as climate change pushes wine-growing regions in Europe north, a new study says. At the same time, some of Australia's Barossa reds may become Devonport drops with the impact of climate change pushing prime wine-growing conditions further south. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines a shift of wine growing areas around the world in response to climate change. The international study...
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Bottled-up climate study finally released by South Carolina agency

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
The State: South Carolina’s wildlife department has finally released a climate study that agency scientists completed more than a year ago, but which had been bottled up during a shift in department priorities. The 101-page report appears to be identical to a draft study obtained by The State newspaper earlier this year, although the director’s letter to the final report has been toned down and shortened. The Department of Natural Resources posted the report on its website this week and will seek public comments...
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Sea level rise forces Fiji villages to move

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 14:00
Radio Australia: Two villages in Fiji are being re-located because rising sea levels are forcing them from their present homes. Vunidogoloa village in the north is the first to suffer the impact of climate change with salt water flowing into the village. In the south of Fiji plans are being drawn up to move Narikoso village also suffering from the effects of climate change and sea level rise. From Fiji, freelance journalist Samisoni Pareti joins Pacific Beat.
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Obama Budget Reduces Spending for Environmental Protection Agency

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 08:48
Dow Jones: The Obama administration's 2014 budget proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency totals $8.2 billion, or about 3.5% below the 2012 enacted level and almost 5% less than provided for under the 2013 continuing resolution. Most programs receive roughly similar funding levels as the last two years. The administration proposes cutting funds for grants to state-level environmental programs by about $465 million, or about 13%, compared with 2012 levels. The administration often proposes cuts in...
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Radioactive Water Leaks From Japan’s Damaged Nuclear Plant

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 01:19
Environment News Service: The Government of Japan has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to fix fresh radioactive water leaks at its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Leaks in three underground storage pits at Fukushima Daiichi have released an estimated 32,000 gallons of radioactive water since Friday, TEPCO officials report. The underground tanks contain water that became radioactive when it was sprayed into the Fukushima Daiichi reactors continuously for months to cool the nuclear fuel after the earthquake...
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Volcanic ash triggers plankton bloom

Ocean Conserve - Wed, 04/10/2013 - 00:32
BBC: The 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption, which disrupted European flights, also had a "significant but short-lived" impact on ocean life, a study shows. Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano deposited dissolved iron into the North Atlantic, triggering a plankton bloom. The authors said it was good fortune they were at sea at the time as it provided a unique opportunity to sample the ocean during a volcanic eruption. The findings appear in the Geophysical Research Letters journal. In April...
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Federal fisheries administrative merger could cost California

Ocean Conserve - Tue, 04/09/2013 - 23:46
LA Times: Federal budget cutters are merging the two West Coast administrative regions of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a move that could leave California at a disadvantage. The merger will create one administrative region for the West Coast, saving an estimated $3 million in management costs. Currently the agency has two West Coast regions: The Southwest, headquartered in Long Beach, oversees California. The Northwest, based in Washington state, covers Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The merger,...
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Spring rains bring life to Midwest granaries but foster Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone'

Ocean Conserve - Tue, 04/09/2013 - 23:42
ScienceDaily: The most serious ongoing water pollution problem in the Gulf of Mexico originates not from oil rigs, as many people believe, but rainstorms and fields of corn and soybeans a thousand miles away in the Midwest. An expert on that problem -- the infamous Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone' -- today called for greater awareness of the connections between rainfall and agriculture in the Midwest and the increasingly severe water quality problems in the gulf. Keynoting a symposium at the 245th National Meeting...
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West Coast fisheries to see ecosystem approach

Ocean Conserve - Tue, 04/09/2013 - 14:16
Associated Press: Federal fisheries managers for the West Coast are poised for a major change in the way they make sure that plenty of fish remain in the sea. The Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting in Portland this week. On Tuesday, it's expected to adopt a new ecosystem management approach to managing the catch off Oregon, Washington and California. That means that when making decisions on sport and commercial fishing seasons, quotas and fishing methods, the council will take into account factors...
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