Is the drought killing California’s giant sequoias? – LA Times

Sixty feet from the top of a giant sequoia named Kong, biologist Anthony Ambrose studied the foliage around him. Dense clusters of green leaves grew like shaving brushes from the branches, cones clustered like Indian clubs.Topping out 25 stories above the ground, Kong was spectacular, an ancient beastly creature well-suited for its name. Its trunk at the base measured 17 feet across.This broccoli top, Ambrose thought, was doing well, much like the other sequoias he had climbed.

Source: Is the drought killing California’s giant sequoias? – LA Times

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8 Major Cities Running Out of Water

The UN also concluded that the forces destroying the world’s freshwater supply were not strictly meteorological, but largely the result of human activity. That means that with some changes in how water is managed, there is still time—very little, but enough—for children born this year to graduate from high school with the same access to clean water their parents enjoyed.

Though the UN looked at the issue across the globe, the solutions it recommended—capturing rainwater, recycling wastewater, improving sewage and plumbing, and more—need to be implemented locally. Some of the greatest challenges will come in cities, where bursting populations strain systems designed to supply far fewer people and much of the clean water available is lost to waste and shoddy, centuries-old infrastructure.

via 8 Major Cities Running Out of Water.

What Do Reservoirs Reveal When They Dry Up? | Atlas Obscura

Lake Mead is shrinking. The Great Salt Lake is shrinking. The Salton Sea is shrinking.Not just in the American West, but in Africa, Asia, and the sub-Arctic reaches of the globe, lakes are disappearing. Theres not just one reason: its a combination of agricultural overuse, drought, and climate change. The current, terrible drought in the American West could be just a hint of whats coming. In the next century, scientists have predicted that a megadrought will desiccate Americas center and southwest, putting even more stress on freshwater lakes, particularly the reservoirs that were man-made to begin with.And when these disappear, they reveal the secrets that had been hidden beneath the surface—now-useless infrastructure, once lively settlements, and, if they dry all the way, fine-grained and often alkaline dust thats picked up by the wind and blown across the surrounding area.

via What Do Reservoirs Reveal When They Dry Up? | Atlas Obscura.

Meet the Australian wildlife most threatened by climate change

Nearly half of 200 Australian species are threatened by climate change, according to our research published today in PLOS ONE.Climate change is one of the major contributors to global biodiversity loss, and plant and animal species can be affected by climate change in different ways. Some may be directly affected by sea level rise or snow melt, whereas some may lose a pollinator or prey species that they rely on.

via Meet the Australian wildlife most threatened by climate change.

NT deep sea port in environmentally significant area open for business despite no impact assessment – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A $130-million deep sea port in an area listed as internationally significant for wildlife is already open for business, despite no formal environmental impact assessments from either the Northern Territory or Commonwealth governments.

Port Melville is located on the Tiwi Islands, 80 kilometres off the coast of Darwin.

via NT deep sea port in environmentally significant area open for business despite no impact assessment – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

What in hell is this government doing to our Australia and why?

Fishermen discuss warming waters in this lovely short film | Grist

When you are tired of talking to climate deniers, it can be a relief to hear from a fisherman instead.

“The waters are changing,” says Michigan fisherman Ed John in this short, moody video that follows a Native couple fishing the Great Lakes. “We’ve got algae, we’ve got invasive species, we got all of these pollutants we don’t know about going into the water.”

via Fishermen discuss warming waters in this lovely short film | Grist.

Australian farmers face increasing threat of new diseases: report

A nationwide outbreak of foot and mouth disease; an invasion of a devastating wheat disease; our honeybees completely wiped out. These are just three possible disastrous scenarios facing Australia; they’re considered in the Australia’s Biosecurity Future report published today by CSIRO and its partners.Intensifying and expanding agriculture, biodiversity loss, and more people and goods moving around the world are the “megatrends” driving what we have called “megashocks” — new outbreaks of diseases and pests.

via Australian farmers face increasing threat of new diseases: report.

Undercover penguin reduces wildlife stress › News in Science ABC Science

The use of remotely operated rovers to study penguins and seals in their natural habitats is less invasive and stressful for the animals, according to a new study.The findings, published in Nature Methods, also suggest that the rover’s lower impact on animal behavior results in the collection of more accurate scientific data.”Approaching animals with a rover can reduce impact, as measured by heart rates and behaviour of king penguins, thus allowing such animals to be considered as undisturbed,” the authors write.

via Undercover penguin reduces wildlife stress › News in Science ABC Science.

The Secret Bataclysm: White Nose Syndrome and Extinction | Science Blogs | WIRED

In 2013, I got to participate in a bat census at the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwestern Research Station, a biological hotspot with more kinds of bats than anywhere else in the US.I discovered fruit bats smell like a slice of fresh pineapple, and have delightful upturned noses speckled with pollen. Insect-eating bats…. smell a bit like a cat litter-box. But they are still fluffy and cute, like flying leathery hamsters.Trying to convince people they should love bats and that bats aren’t rodents is not easy. When I recounted my amazing bat experience was to friends, inevitably they described their fear of bats and how best to kill said bats with blunt instruments. So, pretty much the same conversations I have with everyone about spiders.

via The Secret Bataclysm: White Nose Syndrome and Extinction | Science Blogs | WIRED.

Calls to protect sugar cane industry in NSW from impacts of coal seam gas – ABC Rural Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Northern NSW, Mt. Warning in background.

A local council in northern NSW is calling on its State Government to protect the regions main agricultural crop from the impacts of unconventional gas extraction.The Tweed Shire Council wants the sugar cane industry to be given ‘critical industry cluster’ status like the equine and viticulture industries in the Upper Hunter.Tweed councillors unanimously voted in favour of a motion that the mayor write to the NSW Premier Mike Baird, the Minister for Planning Pru Goward and the Minister for the North Coast Andrew Stoner, requesting the protection

via Calls to protect sugar cane industry in NSW from impacts of coal seam gas – ABC Rural Australian Broadcasting Corporation.