Tag: Great Lakes

Please don’t forget the wolves!

Time is not on the side of the wolves and for all those who care for them.

It’s unusual for me to publish a post at this time of the day. However, following my recent post I cry for the wolves I wanted to circulate two recent emails received from the Center for Biological Diversity.  Here they are in their original format.

Feel free to forward this post as far and wide as you would like to.

Thank you,

Paul and Jean.

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Center for Biological Diversity

Dear Paul,

Gray wolf

Last week the Obama administration issued a sweeping delisting plan to remove protections for wolves across the lower 48 states. The plan only maintains protections for the small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

If finalized this proposal will mean the premature end of decades of work to restore wolves to the American landscape — even though wolves currently occupy a mere 5 percent of their historic range.

The proposal also means that states will hold the reins of wolf management across most of the country. We’ve already seen what state management entails for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes, where protections were removed in the past two years — in short, aggressive trapping and hunting seasons designed to drastically reduce populations, resulting in at least 1,600 wolves killed.

Please take action now to halt this delisting plan before it’s too late: Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to turn its back on America’s wolves.

Click here to take action and get more information.

If you can’t open the link, go to http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13725.

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Center for Biological Diversity

Dear Paul,

 

Donate Now

Help Save America's Wolves.

Wolves Stripped of Protection —
Don’t Let it Happen.

The future of America’s wolves is at stake right now: The Obama administration just announced its plans to strip Endangered Species Act protections from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states.

We need your help. A generous member is matching all emergency gifts to our Wolf Defense Fund until tomorrow. Please give right now.

This announcement means the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is gutting 40 years of wolf conservation and recovery.

And when wolves lose federal protections, they die. Too often they’re hunted, trapped and ruthlessly persecuted with the same vicious attitude that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.

It also means that wolves — absent today from 95 percent of their historic habitat in the continental United States — are virtually guaranteed never to fully recover in places like the Northeast, California, and most of the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest.

The Center for Biological Diversity’s expert legal team is already working to get into court right away to stop this terrible plan.

The Center has an amazing track record of saving wolves. We’ve overturned illegal wolf-killing decisions in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Wolves in Oregon today are protected by a court injunction won by the Center. But this will be the biggest wolf case yet, and we need your help to win it.

The entire U.S. wolf recovery program hangs in the balance.

If this decision stands, wolves will never be reintroduced to California, the Northeast or the southern Rocky Mountains. Killing of the small population in Oregon and Washington will ramp up, preventing it from ever recovering. Make no mistake: Despite the government’s warm and fuzzy PR spin, this decision is about ending wolf recovery in the United States once and for all.

Our team of scientists, lawyers and activists has been preparing for this terrible decision, and now — with your help — they’ll begin the biggest legal battle of the decade.

If you’re as sickened as I am by the killing, please help us stop it. Donate to the Wolf Defense Fund today.

For the wolves,

Kierán Suckling
Kierán Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Because this is an emergency, one of our members will match every gift made by tomorrow, Sunday, June 16. Help us take advantage of this extraordinary offer by donating as much as you can to the Center’s Wolf Defense Fund and passing this appeal on to your friends and social media networks.

P.P.S. If you have problems with the links above, please cut and paste this into your browser: https://org.salsalabs.com/o/2167/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9994&track=E1305G2

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Extremes of weather.

 

 

“It sometimes feels like a strange movie, you know, it’s all so weird that sometimes I wonder if it is really happening.”

This quote by Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem, is so apt for today’s item.  Because in so many places in so many countries, the weather ain’t what it used to be!

For example, in Grants Pass, Oregon, our local town, yesterday’s high was 86 deg F. (30 deg C.)!  Then recently NOAA reported that:

According to NOAA scientists, the globally-averaged temperature for March 2013 tied with 2006 as the 10th warmest March since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive March and 337th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

So with all this in mind, I’m republishing a recent item on Climate Crocks, with the permission of Peter Sinclair.

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Jet Stream Blows Winds of Change

April 19, 2013

I’ve been recovering from earth-month speaking-event whiplash, having criss crossed the state over recent days to talk about climate change, and what scientists are telling us.

Meanwhile, Paul Douglas, above, gave a brief summary of what we know about the extreme spring in the US, just before the current river of moisture hit across the nation’s midsection last night.

wunder_river

Near record setting flooding is hitting at my location, schools closed and evacuations underway.  I got a bump from Jeff Masters last night about the situation, he is grappling with the big picture, will be posting more later today.  For now, more concern about extreme weather knock-on effects – possible washing of dangerous invasive species into the Great Lakes water system.

WeatherUnderground:

The rains have brought the Des Plaines River on the east side of Chicago to major flood stage this morning, and a record flood crest is expected on Friday. The Asian Carp, a dangerous invasive species that would cost billions of dollars were it to get loose in the Great Lakes, is present in the Des Plaines River. Today’s flood event is capable of washing significant numbers of Asian Carp from the Des Plaines River into a canal that feeds directly into Lake Michigan, where they might be able to set up a breeding population capable of devastating the Great Lakes’ fishing industry. However, in October 2010, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the Des Plaines River barricade, a 13-mile-long system of concrete barriers and a specially fabricated wire mesh that allows water to flow through the fence but prevents the passage of fish. Hopefully, this barricade will withstand the flood and prevent Asian Carp from washing into Lake Michigan.

CarbonBrief reports on similar extremes in northern Europe :

The Met Office has just released a report entitled “why was the start to spring 2013 so cold?”

The immediate cause was a natural climate fluctuation called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO switches between two states, and this winter (in its negative phase) saw a southward shift of the jet stream, bringing cold air over the UK from northern Europe and Russia.

The Met Office identifies three other natural climate variations that may have made the negative NAO phase more likely.

One is the recent behaviour of another natural climate fluctuation, called the Madden-Julian Oscillation ( MJO). It was particularly strong during late February and March – often a sign that a negative NAO is on the way.

This winter also saw what’s called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming ( SSW) event, where winds in the stratosphere above the north pole reverse direction. This brought cold weather conditions to the UK.

Finally, Europe’s climate is influenced by another natural climate system – the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation ( AMO). While the influence on UK winters is unclear, the report suggests:

“[T]here is some evidence that the changes in Atlantic sea surface temperatures associated with the AMO, dispose the circulation to give drier than normal spring conditions over the UK and northern Europe.”

Arctic Amplification

What about the effects of human-caused climate change? One question that has been much discussed recently is whether the recent rapid decline in Arctic sea ice could contribute to a change in the UK’s weather.

metoffice_seaicedecline_499x329

The new report explains how this could work:

“It is argued that amplification of global warming over the Arctic is reducing the equator to pole temperature gradient, thereby weakening the strength of the mid-latitude jet streams.”

This could allow cold Arctic air to push further south, over mid-latitude countries like the UK, and weather patterns could stay longer in one place.

The possibility of a link between the Arctic and UK weather appears to be gaining scientific support, but the Met Office acknowledges it’s still an “area of ongoing research”. The Met Office has told us it’s holding an “ informal workshop” in the next two to three months for leading UK scientists plus several international experts.

Multiple factors

While scientists are making progress in working out how climate change could influence the odds of abnormal weather, it would be unwise to attribute one year’s events to a single cause. The report points this out, noting that:

“…no single explanation can account for the cold conditions observed”.

The report also highlights that although this spring was unusually cold,”it is not unprecedented or outside the expected natural variability of our climate”.

Nevertheless, with what the Met Office describes as “particularly heightened interest” in recent weather, getting to grips with how climate change could be affecting things is important. Even if, as the Met Office suggests, the complexities of the UK weather make “communicating the science drivers more complicated and nuanced than some audiences may wish.”

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So wherever you are, do try and watch the Chasing Ice film because the more we all see the truth of what’s happening the better we can embrace change; locally, regionally, and globably.