Time moves ever onward and last years blogs need to keep up. This post will update you on some of the posts I wrote last year. Unfortunately most of the updates will not be good news.
But–let’s start with some good news. The answer to the question, how long can a Red Knot live?, keeps getting longer and longer. This year B95 was observed at Delaware Bay, NJ near the end of May. This was at least the 21st time he has been seen during migration.
“So the bird believed to be the longest-living of his species – although scientists do not know the typical life span – is still on the wing, still stopping off at the bay to refuel on horseshoe crab eggs before setting out on the final leg of a journey to the Red Knots’ Arctic breeding grounds.
By now, he has traveled from the tip of South America to the top of Canada so many times he has been dubbed Moonbird, having flown the equivalent distance between Earth and the moon and more than halfway back.”
Photo courtesy of Allan Baker
“Just in the past two weeks, the incidence of sea star wasting syndrome has exploded along the Oregon Coast and created an epidemic of historic magnitude, one that threatens to decimate the entire population of purple ochre sea stars.
The ochre sea star, which is the species most heavily affected by the disease in the intertidal zone, may be headed toward localized extinction in Oregon, according to researchers at Oregon State University who have been monitoring the outbreak. As a “keystone” predator, its loss could disrupt the entire marine intertidal ecosystem…Sea star wasting syndrome is a traumatic process in which, over the course of a week or less, the sea stars begin to lose legs, disintegrate, ultimately die and rot. They sometimes physically tear their bodies apart. Various epidemics of the syndrome have been observed in the past, but none of this extent or severity.” Below is a video of the waters off Hutt Island, British Columbia one year apart.
I’ve written several articles about the condition of our oceans. One was on acidification and another was called, “The State of the Oceans 2013”. I gave several examples about how acidic ocean waters were affecting oyster farms. You can now add scallops to the list with this Grist article called, “Carbon dioxide pollution just killed 10 million scallops“.
“A scallops producer on Vancouver Island in British Columbia just lost three years’ worth of product to high acidity levels. The disaster, which cost the company $10 million and could lead to its closure, is the latest vicious reminder of the submarine impacts of our fossil fuel–heavy energy appetites. As carbon dioxide is soaked up by the oceans, it reacts with water to produce bicarbonate and carbonic acid, increasing ocean acidity.”
Birds at Risk was a post I wrote about birds and climate change. Let’s add a few more examples.
Amid California’s Drought, Raptors Are Having One Of The Worst Breeding Seasons On Record–This ThinkProgress article explains what is happening.
“… lack of water is causing grass that serves as habitat for the insects and small mammals that raptors feed on to dry up, which is leading to a drop in the numbers of these prey creatures and in turn has led to “emaciated” hawks and owls. This lack of food means many owls and hawk pairs aren’t laying eggs, which means this breeding season could end up being one of the worst on record, Andrea Jones of the California Audubon Society told Accuweather.
“Birds are just not nesting,” she said. “They’re not laying eggs.””
Read the article to find out how Peregrine Falcon chicks, penguin chicks and pelican chicks are dying because of climate change.
Troubling news on Pacific Brown Pelicans–This Audubon blog post documents 5 years of breeding failure for Brown Pelicans on the U.S. Channel Islands.
Something is seriously wrong on the East Coast — and it’s killing all the baby puffins–This Grist article explains that puffin parents are trying to feed their chicks fish that they can’t swallow.
“When he died, there was a huge outcry from viewers,” Kress tells me. “But we thought, ‘Well, that’s nature.’ They don’t all live. It’s normal to have some chicks die.” Puffins successfully raise chicks 77 percent of the time, and Petey’s parents had a good track record; Kress assumed they were just unlucky. Then he checked the other 64 burrows he was tracking: Only 31 percent had successfully fledged. He saw dead chicks and piles of rotting butterfish everywhere. “That,” he says, “was the epiphany.”
Last August I wrote a post called, “Hot! Hot! and More Hot!”. This year I could write that post in June.
In April there was this headline, “Siberia Is Already Experiencing Mid-Summer Temperatures And Major Wildfires“.
Recently we have had these headlines, “‘Climate Change Is Here’: Australia Experiences Hottest Two Years Ever Recorded” and “Record-Breaking Heat Grips India, Causing Blackouts And Riots“.
I could go on with these updates. Climate change is a blog “security” issue. Did you get that? Job security/blog security:>)
I will end with an update on my world famous “Miami is Doomed” post.
“Scenes of street flooding, like this one on Alton Road in Miami Beach in November, are becoming increasingly common. Credit Angel Valentin for The New York Times”
This New York Times article starts out with this paragraph, “MIAMI BEACH — The sunny-day flooding was happening again. During high tide one recent afternoon, Eliseo Toussaint looked out the window of his Alton Road laundromat and watched bottle-green saltwater seep from the gutters, fill the street and block the entrance to his front door.
“This never used to happen,” Mr. Toussaint said. “I’ve owned this place eight years, and now it’s all the time.”
There’s this Guardian article called, “The people of Miami know about climate change. We’re living it”.
And finally there’s this Miami Herald article, “Water in our shoes”. I didn’t know that they wear shoes down there.