(March 27, 2012)
A new proposed nationwide standard, the first of its kind issued by the EPA for carbon dioxide, limits greenhouse gas emissions from any new, but not currently existing, US power plants.
(March 26, 2012)
Southern Oregon Mail Tribune
A recently released peer-reviewed study of the Klamath-Siskiyou region in southwest Oregon and northwestern California by a University of Central Florida scientist and the Ashland-based Geos Institute ” concludes that mature and old-growth trees in the region help stave off rising temperatures near the ground, prevent the rapid loss of the mountain snowpack, retain cool stream temperatures and reduce the loss of fog in the coastal forests.”
(March 23, 2012)
The USDA Forest Service News Release
Replacing the 1982 rule currently in place, on March 23rd, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final Planning Rule for America’s 193-million acre National Forest System that includes stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of rural communities.”
(March 22, 2012)
“The coldest deep ocean water that flows around Antarctica in the Southern Ocean has been mysteriously disappearing at a high rate over the last few decades, scientists have found.”
(March 21, 2012)
San Francisco Chronicle
Another tough summer is projected for both salmon and farmers in the Klamath basin with drought declarations initiated and record numbers of salmon predicted to return this year. Below-average snowpack is a concern for biologists who worry that a repeat of 2002 could occur, when, after restoring irrigation to farms that had been shut off to protect salmon, tens of thousands of adult salmon died of gill rot disease spreading in the warm crowded waters before they could spawn. The Klamath basin regularly has trouble meeting the demands of both farms on the federal irrigation project at the top of the basin as well salmon in the river, resulting in political battles and a federal plan to restore the Trinity River .
(March 16, 2012)
The Billings Gazette
A new study released by the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station looks at the impacts that climate change would have on the Shoshone and the consequences to the surrounding ecosystem. “Summer visitors to the Shoshone National Forest and Yellowstone National Park could benefit from a warming climate, though fires would likely increase, water would run short by season’s end, and some species could vanish from the landscape.”
(March 16, 2012)
American Society of Naturalists
A new study published in the March issues of The American Naturalist (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/665007) finds that for the first time, the Mountain Pine Beetle is switching from reproducing once a year to twice a year. The current beetle epidemic is already ten times larger than the next largest documented epidemic, with further growth projected with further increasing temperatures. At the 10,000 foot study site, temperatures have been slowly increasing over the last four decades, causing the beetles to start their flight season about a month earlier than historically documented, to fly twice as far, and now, to produce an entire extra generation each season. This is the first time the summer generation has been documented for the Mountain Pine Beetle. Another recent report highlights the complex and seemingly contrary effects of mountain pine beetle devastated forests on wildfire size and severity: Report defies conventional wisdom on pine beetles and wildfire (The Missoulian, March 18, 2012).
(March 14, 2012)
Washington’s cherry blossoms are blooming early this year, with uncharacteristically warm temperatures that made for an elusive bloom date that kept moving up in the forecast, and happened 2 days before the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival began. The flowering times are highly sensitive to temperatures, and scientists are suggesting that the blossom time will occur anywhere from 5 t0 13 days sooner than average by 2050.