Environment

Climate study yields bad news for tiny desert fish

RENO, Nev. (AP) — For 10,000 years, a tiny iridescent blue fish has lived in the depths of a cavern in Nevada's desert. But a new study says climate change and warming waters — and its lack of mobility — are threatening its existence and decreasing its numbers.

Scientists studying climate change anticipate that as Earth continues to warm, fish and wildlife will migrate away from the equator or seek higher ground for a cooler habitat.

"The catch phrase is 'Migrate, Adapt or Die,'" said Mark Hausner, a hydrologist at the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas.

EPA sees problems with California water tunnels

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

A project to build a big $25 billion water tunnel system in Northern California poses water quality problems to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a possible threat to smelt and salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter accompanying comments posted online, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Antarctic ice growth doesn’t negate climate change: Scientists

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

Growth in the Antarctic ice shelf in recent years appears to have been aided by climate patterns including high winds encouraged by the ozone hole and a growth in greenhouse gases, but that doesn’t negate the impact of global warming elsewhere on the planet, scientists have told the Los Angeles Times.

Manatees may soon lose endangered species status

MIAMI (AP) — As they do whenever they visit Florida, Greg Groff and his young daughter stopped by the manatee pool at Miami Seaquarium, where the speed bump-shaped marine mammals placidly swim in circles.

They noted the pink scars and disfigured tail on one manatee, damage from a boat propeller that left it unable to survive in the wild.

Florida's manatees need even more stringent protections than their listing on the federal endangered species list, Groff said, adding that boaters should go elsewhere if they don't like speed limits in waters where manatees swim.

Bait dumping offers invaders path to Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Inadequate regulation of the bait fish trade and carelessness on the part of anglers may be allowing invasive species — including widely feared Asian carp — to reach the Great Lakes and inland waterways, according to a scientific paper released Thursday.

Researchers with Central Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame said they tested water samples from tanks containing small fish for sale as bait at more than 500 shops across the eight states on the lakes and found that 27 tested positive for invasive species' DNA. Positive hits for silver carp, one of the Asian varieties threatening to reach the Great Lakes, were recorded in three water samples from shops along the Lake Erie shore in Ohio.

Ozone in Colorado mountains surprises researchers

DENVER (AP) — Researchers who examined air pollution along northern Colorado's Front Range said they were surprised by how much harmful ozone and ozone-causing chemicals are drifting into the mountains from urban and rural areas below.

"Really, all the way up to the Continental Divide you can find ozone," said Gabriele Pfister, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and one of the principal investigators on the project.

US protects 20 species of coral as threatened

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.

As with the polar bear, much of the threat to the coral species is because of future expected problems due to global warming, said David Bernhart, an endangered-species official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These coral species are already being hurt by climate change "but not to the point that they are endangered yet," he said.

Climate change is making the oceans warmer, more acidic and helping with coral diseases like bleaching — and those "are the major threats" explaining why the species were put on the threatened list, Bernhart said in a Wednesday conference call.

Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials say they tried to balance competing interests in a plan released Wednesday that allows loggers to remove trees killed in a massive central California wildfire last year, but environmentalists called it a travesty and threaten to sue.

The highly awaited decision will allow logging on 52 square miles of forests blackened in the Rim Fire, which burned 400 square miles of the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park's backcountry and private timber land.

Global trash burning more polluting than expected

NEW DELHI (AP) — Rampant trash-burning is throwing more pollution and toxic particles into the air than governments are reporting, according to a scientific study estimating more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned.

The study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology attempts the first comprehensive assessment of global trash-burning data, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, mercury and tiny particulate matter that can dim the sun's rays or clog human lungs.

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

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