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Natural Resource News, Information and Resources from Around the World

Fossil Fuels Emissions Set To Hit All-Time High

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are surging again after staying flat for three years, climate scientists reported on Monday, a sign that efforts to rein in planet-warming gases still have a long way to go Emissions from fossil fuels and industrial uses are projected to grow 2 percent this year, reaching 41 billion tons by the end of 2017, according to the report presented at the United Nations’ climate summit in Bonn, Germany. The increase was predicted to continue in 2018. Total greenhouse gas emissions remained level, at about 36 billion tons per year from 2014 to 2016, even...

Sudden Oak Death Ravaging Fir Trees

Scientists have recently discovered a deadly plant disease that’s infecting fir trees in the Pacific Northwest. This “European” strain of sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum) appeared in southwest Oregon a few years back, and it was known to spread to fir trees in Europe. This disease has killed millions of tanoak trees and several oak tree species (coast live oak, California black oak, Shreve oak and canyon live oak). Differing from the European strain of sudden oak death, the North American strain has been killing tanoak throughout Curry County for years. The European strain has forest managers worried because of the potential to infect...

US Report Finds Climate Change 90% Manmade

Major report by government agencies goes against senior members of Trump administration and finds evidence of global warming stronger than ever.  A comprehensive review by 13 US federal agencies concludes that evidence of global warming is stronger than ever and that more than 90% of it has been caused by humans. The conclusion contradicts a favorite talking point of senior members of the Trump administration.  A 477-page report released on Friday said it was “extremely likely” – meaning with 95 to 100% certainty – that global warming is manmade, mostly from carbon dioxide through the burning of coal, oil and natural gas....

Quinault Tribe Preparing Proposal to Address Climate Change

The Quinault Indian Nation is working on a legislative initiative to tax carbon emissions as part of the effort to combat climate change. The Quinault Nation is also challenging Donald Trump’s decision on the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. The accord is aimed at keeping the increase in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Change Ballot Measure QIN President Fawn Sharp told Sputnik. “Our tribe is working on a ballot measure to take to the citizens in the state of Washington around climate change. We believe that there should be a 25 percent carbon tax,” Sharp said. “We are working...

Study Points To Win-Win for Spotted Owls and Forest Management

Remote sensing technology has detected what could be a win for both spotted owls and forestry management, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and the University of Washington. For 25 years, many forests in the western United States have been managed to protect habitat for endangered and threatened spotted owls. A central tenet of that management has been to promote and retain more than 70 percent of the forest canopy cover. However, dense levels of canopy cover leave forests prone to wildfires and can lead to...

GAO: Climate Change Already Costing US Billions in Losses

A non-partisan federal watchdog says climate change is already costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year, with those costs expected to rise as devastating storms, floods, wildfires and droughts become more frequent in the coming decades. A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year’s wildfires and three major hurricanes, expected to be among the most costly in the nation’s history.  The Senate on...

World’s First Floating Wind Farm Begins Operating in Scotland

The world’s first floating wind farm started delivering electricity to the grid in the north of Scotland.  The Hywind project, built by Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA and Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., has five turbines floating 25 kilometers (16 miles) off the coast of Peterhead, near Aberdeen. The project has a capacity of 30 megawatts and cost about 200 million pounds ($263 million) to construct.  “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “Hywind will provide clean energy to over twenty thousand homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate...

Coming to Terms with Species Invasions

Species invasions have contributed to the extinction of many species world-wide. Believe it or not, fish don’t care what we call them. However, terminologies associated with certain species can affect how society perceives their importance and impact. Naturalists have been interested in the effects of species introductions just as long as we have been moving species around. In that time, species introductions have had a variety of consequences—sometimes the alteration of entire ecosystems, but often with little appreciable effect. This has led to a numerous terms associated with non-native species, some of which overlap and some which are belligerent...

Salmon Fish Traps the Future?

Back in the 19th century, salmon fish traps brought in big hauls of Columbia River salmon. Retooled for the 21st century, could they be part of a more sustainable future for commercial harvests?  CATHLAMET, Wahkiakum County — More than eight decades after their demise, salmon fish traps are getting a fresh look from researchers convinced they offer a more sustainable way to catch Columbia River salmon. These traps are formed by nets attached to pilings that gently guide the fish into a kind of underwater corral. Wild fish protected under the federal Endangered Species Act can be released to...

State Greenlights 1 Million Farmed Salmon for Puget Sound

The WA Department of Fish and Wildlife has quietly given a permit to Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture to raise an additional one million farmed Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound, despite an August mishap that saw thousands of the firm’s salmon escape. Eric Kinne, manager of WDFW’s hatchery division, said the permit is not related to the company’s Cypress Island net pen facility in the San Juan Islands, where on August 19 one of Cooke’s pens collapsed and more than 100,000 farmed salmon escaped. Atlantic Salmon Operations Cooke, which operates net pens at eight locations in Puget Sound, applied in late...