Mail: qdnr@quinault.org   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001

Quinault Climate Change

QIN Declares Drought Emergency on Reservation

Quinault Nation leaders have declared a drought emergency for the Quinault Indian Reservation as snow pack in the Olympic mountains has dwindled to zero percent of normal while total precipitation this year over the western Olympic Peninsula is the third lowest since 1895. The U.S. Drought Monitor on June 11 upgraded the drought classification for the Olympic Peninsula from “moderate” to “severe.” Drought conditions are expected to bring water shortages and restrictions as well as increased wildfire risk and hazards posing a threat to people, fish and wildlife. “The coming summer is likely to bring one of the worst...

Blueback Closure Latest Climate Change Impact

The decision to close commercial fishing for Quinault River blueback (sockeye) salmon for conservation purposes this year is part of the ongoing effort by the Quinault Indian Nation to deal with the very tangible costs of climate change. After announcing the blueback closure on the river last week for 2019, Quinault President Fawn Sharp traveled to Washington, D.C. with a message for Congress about how the entire Quinault ecosystem from the glacier to the ocean is being harmed by climate conditions that have major impacts, economically as well as environmentally. “We are really trying to do some forecasting, not...

Climate Change Effects the Pacific Northwest

Climate change effects — among them, increasing wildfires, disease outbreak and drought — are taking a toll on the Northwest, and what’s to come will threaten and transform our way of life from the salmon streams to ski slopes, according to a new federal climate assessment released Friday. The 1,000-plus-page report, produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is the most comprehensive evaluation to date of climate change effects on the nation’s economy, human health, agriculture and environment. Thirteen federal agencies contributed to the report, which was required to be published by Congress. The federal report’s stark, direct...

Climate Change Tightens Grip on West Coast

Trump’s climate policies have led to criticism from California, Washington and Oregon, but change hasn’t been easier closer to home for those states. California’s exposure to climate change has been laid bare with warnings that San Francisco faces a far worse threat from rising seas than previously thought, while the agricultural heart of the state will increasingly struggle to support crops such as peaches, walnuts and apricots as temperatures climb. The findings, from two new scientific studies, come as California’s neighboring west coast states Oregon and Washington have both faltered in their legislative attempts to address climate policies and deliver a...

How Much Do Climate Risks Cost?

Climate risks are pushing the Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, to fight a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is governments really have two choices when it comes to managing the impact on its peoples from global warming: Spend money on trying to reduce the problem; or spend money on cleaning up the catastrophes. Administration on the Hook for Climate Risks  The Trump administration...

Diminished Oxygen Concentrations at Sea Due to Global Warming

Oxygen is a baseline necessity when it comes to animal life on Earth. From humans and house cats to gorillas and great white sharks, the simple diatomic molecule is essential to the success of cellular respiration, which breaks down complex carbohydrates to produce the energy required for survival. A recently published article in Science magazine reports that all across the globe, oxygen content in our oceans is dropping rapidly. The synthesis piece, titled “Declining Oxygen in the Global Ocean and Coastal Waters,” is the collaborative work of nearly two dozen authors, each bringing to the table specific research expertise. The international organization UNESCO...

Forests are the Key to Freshwater Resources

Freshwater resources are critical to both human civilization and natural ecosystems, but UBC researchers have discovered that changes to ground vegetation can have as much of an impact on global freshwater resources as climate change. UBC Okanagan Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences Professor Adam Wei, PhD candidate Qiang Li and researchers from the Chinese Academy of Forestry recently published a study examining the impacts of how changes in forest vegetation affect water supplies. Using several decades worth of data, their work examined how freshwater resources are responsive to vegetation ground cover and climate change. “As we urbanize land and...

Floods Necessary for Healthy River Ecosystems

Flooding rivers can wreak havoc on homes and roads but are necessary for healthy river ecosystems, research at Oregon State University suggests. The study shows that alterations to rivers’ natural flow patterns – because of dams, diversions and changes in precipitation – cause damage to riparian plant communities and river ecosystems in general. Even minor shifts in temporal flow patterns harm networks of competing vegetation, said the study’s corresponding author, Jonathan Tonkin of the OSU College of Science. The most severe effects, he said, occur when cyclical flooding is removed from the equation. “We think of floods as being...

Climate Change Is a Social Issue

The realities of climate change are no longer only being stressed by environmentalists as illustrated by the 400,000 attendees at the People’s Climate March in New York City and the solidarity events that took place around the world. The effects of climate change will be economic, social, and environmental and will alter people’s lives in a myriad of ways that we are just beginning to understand. Acceptance of this complex interaction, which follows the prescription laid out by the concept of sustainable development, is key to beginning to enact effective policy on climate. Since the recent New Climate Economy Report focused...

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...