Half of Columbia River sockeye dying due to hot water

Half of Columbia River sockeye dying due to hot water
BOISE, Idaho (AP) – More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

Federal and state fisheries biologists say the warm water is lethal for the cold-water species and is wiping out at least half of this year’s return of 500,000 fish.

“We had a really big migration of sockeye,” said Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The thing that really hurts is we’re going to lose a majority of those fish.”

He said up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.

Elsewhere in the region, state fisheries biologists in Oregon say more than 100 spring chinook died earlier this month in the Middle Fork of the John Day River when water temperatures hit the mid-70s. Oregon and Washington state have both enacted sport fishing closures due to warm water, and sturgeon fishing in the Columbia River upstream of Bonneville Dam has been halted after some of the large, bottom dwelling fish started turning up dead.

Efforts by management teams to cool flows below 70 degrees by releasing cold water from selected reservoirs are continuing in an attempt to prevent similar fish kills among chinook salmon and steelhead, which migrate later in the summer from the Pacific Ocean.

The fish become stressed at temperatures above 68 degrees and stop migrating at 74 degrees. Much of the basin is at or over 70 degrees due to a combination that experts attribute to drought and record heat in June.

“The tributaries are running hot,” Graves said. “A lot of those are in the 76-degree range.”

In Idaho, an emergency declaration earlier this month allowed state fisheries managers to capture endangered Snake River sockeye destined for central Idaho and take them to a hatchery to recover in cooler water. Of the 4,000 fish that passed Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, less than a fourth made it to Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. An average year is 70 percent.

“Right now it’s grim for adult sockeye,” said Russ Kiefer of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He said sockeye will often pull into tributary rivers in search of cooler water, but aren’t finding much relief.

“They’re running out of energy reserves, and we’re getting a lot of reports of fish dead and dying,” he said.

Thirteen species of salmon and steelhead are listed as endangered or threatened in the Columbia River basin.

Don Campton of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said fish congregating in confined areas trying to find cool water makes them a target for pathogens.

“When temperatures get warm, it does stress the fish out and they become susceptible to disease,” he said.

Graves said that this year’s flow in the Columbia River is among the lowest in the last 60 years. But he said the system has experienced similar low flows without the lethal water temperatures. He said the difference this year has been prolonged hot temperatures, sometimes more than 100 degrees, in the interior part of the basin.

“The flow is abnormally low, but on top of that we’ve had superhot temperatures for a really long time,” he said.

It’s time to make your final plans

And you thought I was negative…


You are not going to like this news

 Lately in the Climate News (the real stuff that they are afraid to print or talk about) there has been new developments.  It comes down to this.  It is WORSE than we thought.  Although this video clip may be just a well done simulation, perfect for a Movie on the subject, it is more true, than it is really just a play, a show, a piece of entertainment, a shocker.

Some people do not want to go through hours of a PowerPoint Presentation, and for that purpose I will give you both.  First a short film that IS factual and relating the small amount that anything called “Mainstream Media” is reporting on
Then I am going to give you the actual Document of FACTS for more intensive study here:

Then I will give you a brief explanation right here which is NOT so detailed, but get’s to the point.  This is no longer about Fossil Fuels and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.  It is not about Polar Bears or other Species going Extinct on a Grand Scale.  This is OLD news now.  Yesterday stuff.  So 1990 ok?
What we have learned in the past decade is that the Climate Deniers, with all their “Al Gore Rants” from quoting stuff he said more than a Decade Ago, were full of crap (of course) and simply proving themselves as Sheep of the Energy Cartel Propaganda.  All brought to you (of course) by the likes of the Koch Brothers and their addiction to wealth.  Money.  This seems to be a worse addiction than any of the other ones that we might see as destructive.  Worse than heroin, or cocaine, this addiction does not show in the deterioration of the body.  Or the face.  It destroys the mind.  Something that does not show. It is far more destructive obviously, as is pays no mind to extinction of all of mankind.
As it does here.  Basically it comes down to this.  Methane is a far greater greenhouse gas than that of CO2.  It is given off in many forms (gas from every living creature) but it is kept in Vast Amounts in Ice.  This Ice is most easily found in the Arctic and Antarctic, but also deep down on the Ocean floor.  It consists of decomposed plant and animal life, since the Earth began.  If the permafrost begins to melt (as it is melting) it releases its methane, and when it does, it is 100 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is.  After some time, it’s potency lowers to 25 times the greenhouse gas effect of CO2 (which is often what  people wanting to lower the alarm on quote) but that in effect will take effect, long after the major warming has been done by the methane.
This in turn warms the Ice (containing Methane Hydrate) more, with Global Warming, making more Ice melt, causing a runaway effect which never ends, and will not end, until virtually all human life no longer exists on this Planet.  This is no longer in dispute.  We ARE in the process of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction.  How soon can it happen?  You had better HOPE that Guy McPherson has overestimated, but then again, he does not make up his OWN data.
So this is what is happening, while Mainstream Media ignores it.  Not really WORTH news-play is it?  I mean if you were expecting some decent reporting on an important issue, what do you think it might be?  Harper’s new pitch on Child Care Benefits?  The Senate?
Since we are talking Politicians, let’s not forget that there is not just The Harper running in this upcoming Federal Election.  No in fact, there are others running as well.  Now given YOUR LIFE depends on what they are doing about this, what are THEY talking about?  The OTHER Candidates?  Home Mail Delivery?  Are they talking Senate too?  Are these important issues? 
So important that they should not mention
The End of all Life on this Planet?

Sockeye fishing closure considered as half of Upper Columbia’s run apparently dies in warm waters


JULY 24, 2015

By Rich Landers

UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.:  Sockeye closure has been announced starting Sunday, July 26, a half our after sunset  upper Columbia from Rocky Reach Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam.  More details coming.

FISHING — Despite an early facade of excellent sockeye fishing success, the third-largest run on record is in dire straits and Washington fish managers are considering a possible early closure of the prized season in the upper Columbia River.

About half the sockeye run appears to have perished in the low flows and warm water conditions they’ve endured this year in their taxing migration up the Columbia toward spawning areas, says Jeff Korth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regional fisheries manager based in Ephrata.

State fish managers have not responded so far today regarding the status of the proposal.

Oregon and Washington have both enacted emergency fishing rules for some waters that might help fisheries to some degree in this freak year of low snowpack and early runoff that’s ravaged the region’s summer river flows.

Sturgeon fishing was closed this month after dozens if not hundreds of the decades-old giants were found dead in mid-Columbia reservoirs. The sturgeon were stuffed with sockeye and at least some of those sockeye were suffering from bacterial infections promoted by the warm waters.

In early July, biologists were already trying to figure out why 200,000 of the sockeye counted over Bonneville Dam did not make it upstream with their peers to swim over McNary Dam.

  • To date, 503,000 sockeye have been counted swimming over Bonneville, the first dam they encounter on the Columbia on their migration from the ocean.  About 270,000 have been counted over McNary as they enter the upper Columbia at the Tri-Cities.

Last week, government fish scientists monitoring the Columbia, Snake and Southwest British Columbia sockeye returns began coming up with enough evidence to describe the situation among themselves in terms such as “catastrophic.”

Columbia water temperatures have started to tick downward a degree or two and may continue in cooler weather forecast through this weekend. Whether that’s enough change to enable more sockeye to survive remains to be seen.

Korth said the forecast weatehr isn’t going to be enough. “We desperately need the cooler weather,” he said in an email, “but it’s to get the remaining fish up the Okanogan River and through Osoyoos Lake.”

Idaho began trucking some of its endangered Snake River sockeye upstream to hatcheries in hopes of saving enough broodstock to continue a run they’ve had encouraging results in rebuilding from virtually nothing.

The salmon seasons attract thousands of anglers to the Columbia system rivers. A closure would be a huge blow to local economies in towns such as Brewster.

Summer chinook, which are moving up the Columbia in record numbers, apparently are not suffering so much in the warm flows and there’s been no discussion of closing chinook fishing.

But the sockeye run is hurting and future sockeye runs may be in jeopardy, Korth said.

On July 1, Korth had a gut feeling things could get bad as I interviewed him for a story about the upper Columbia salmon season opener, which produced very good success rates.

“More than three salmon per angler is darned good opening-day fishing,” Korth said. But he couldn’t ignore the other numbers on his radar.

Even then, the sockeye were stalled below the mouth of the Okanogan River, which was far above mean temperatures and well above the 72-degree threshold that prevents the fish from continuing their run. Normally the fish rush when they can uptream to the deep, cool waters in Canada’s Osoyoos Lake where they hunker until conditions are right for them to spawn.

This week, Columbia River water out of Wells Dam below Brewster was a livable 65 degrees for sockeye (71 at Bonneville).  However, Okanogan River temps were as high as 84 degrees.

“We had 15,000 (sockeye) try to make the run up (the Okanogan) the other day and they all died,” Korth says in a story Thursday about the proposed closure by Northwest Sportsman editor Andy Walgamott.

Korth knew anglers would do well in catching the sockeye stacking up below the Okanogan and looking for a cool place to go.

“It’s going to be a dicey year for managing that stock – but a good year for fishing,” he said.

Now he’s wondering how fish managers can assure that enough sockeye survive disease and fishermen to make it upstream to spawn and continue the run for the future.

Korth, who says he’s waiting today for a response from fisheries officials in Olympia, explained to Northwest Sportsman:

  • With the hot water providing ideal conditions for culimnaris bacteria to thrive, a fish’s wounds from scraping on rocks and fish ladders are quickly infected, leading to lesions.
  • Migrating salmon need more oxygen because of the high metabolic rate needed to swim against currents, but warm waters tend to have less dissolved oxygen.
  • Lake Wenatchee sockeye may not even meet escapement goals, much less return in numbers high enough for a fishing season, which had been scheduled to open last weekend. Korth believes half of the Lake Wenatchee run has died, too. Fewer than 12,000 of the 106,000 forecast have returned so far over Tumwater Dam.
  • Half of the sockeye in the Brewster pool are likely to die instead of reaching Canada’s Okanagan and tributaries to spawn in September and October.
  • Upper Columbia salmon anglers so far have caught around 20,000 sockeye during a fishery that’s been described as “nothing short of fantastic.”  (Anglers caught about 40,000 during the entire 2014 season.)

“I just hope it’s not too much,” Korth told Walgamott. “Just a couple months ago we were all rejoicing because of the (salmon) forecasts.” 

Korth says he’s proposed closing the Upper Columbia for sockeye, but a final decision is up to state fishery managers in Olympia.

They have not responded to queries this morning.

Montana wildfire rages unchecked for third day in Glacier National Park

The Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire burns in Glacier National Park, Montana


View gallery

The Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire burns in Glacier National Park, Montana in this photo taken July 21, …

By Emmett Berg

KALISPELL, Mont. (Reuters) – Flames roared unchecked through heavy timber for a third day in Montana’s Glacier National Park, where the main road has been closed through the eastern half of the park, along with two campgrounds, during its busiest time of year.

The first major wildfire to hit Glacier in nearly a decade has charred roughly 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) since igniting on Tuesday just east of the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, officials said, and has defied firefighters’ attempts to contain it.


Western Drought conditions prompt fishing


OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are closing or restricting fishing on more than 30 rivers throughout Washington to help protect fish in areas where drought conditions have reduced flows and increased water temperatures.  

The closures and restrictions take effect Saturday (July 18) at 12:01 a.m. The changes will remain in effect until further notice.

Fishing will be closed in some waters, and limited in others each day to the hours between midnight and 2 p.m. These “hoot-owl” restrictions will go into effect on rivers where fishery managers want to reduce stress on fish during the hottest time of day.

High water temperatures can be deadly for fish, such as trout, while diminished stream flows can strand migrating salmon and steelhead, said Craig Burley, fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“With such extreme drought conditions in several areas of the state, we needed to take these steps to help protect vulnerable fish in waters where we have concerns,” Burley said. “We’ll continue monitoring stream conditions throughout Washington this summer and take additional actions if necessary.”

For details on the closures and restrictions, check the emergency regulations, which will be posted tomorrow on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

Fishing closures and restrictions are listed by region below. Today’s action does not include any rivers in Region 6 (South Sound/Olympic Peninsula). However, earlier this summer, the department closed fishing on a section of the Sol Duc River to protect returning chinook during drought conditions.

Region 1 – Eastern Washington

Closed to fishing:

  • North Fork Touchet River above Spangler Creek.
  • South Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Griffen Fork and above Griffen Fork.
  • Wolf Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Coates Creek and Robinson Fork.
  • Asotin Creek and tributaries (Asotin Co.) from the mouth to headwaters.
  • Kettle River and all tributaries (Ferry Co.) from the Barstow Bridge to the headwaters, all portions contained within Washington.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  • Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) from McDonald Road Bridge to the Oregon State Boundary.
  • Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  • North Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Spangler Creek.
  • Tucannon River (Columbia/Garfield Co.) From the Highway 12 Bridge to Cow Camp Bridge.
  • Spokane River (Spokane/Lincoln Co.) from upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State Boundary.
  • Spokane River tributaries, including Little Spokane River and tributaries (Spokane/Pend Oreille/Stevens Counties) from the State Route 25 Bridge upstream to Monroe Street Dam.
  • Colville River and all tributaries (Stevens Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
  • Sullivan Creek and all tributaries (Pend Oreille Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.

Region 2 – North Central Washington

Closed to fishing:

  • Wenatchee River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to the Icicle River Road Bridge.
  • Icicle River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
  • Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)
  • Okanogan River from the Hwy 97 bridge upstream to Zosel Dam, except open to game fish fishing.
  • Similkameen River from the mouth upstream to Enloe Dam.

Region 3 – South Central Washington

Closed to fishing:

  • Ahtanum Creek, including the north and middle forks
  • Little Naches River
  • Teanaway River, including west, middle and north forks

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  • Naches River from Tieton River to Bumping River/Little Naches River
  • Rattlesnake Creek

Region 4 – North Puget Sound

Closed to fishing:

  • Raging River (King Co.) from the mouth upstream.
  • Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) from the mouth upstream closed to all fishing, except the section around Reiter Ponds remains open from the Gold Bar/Big Eddy Access (Hwy. 2 Bridge) upstream to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  • Wallace River (Snohomish Co.). From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  • Stillaguamish River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) From Marine Drive upstream including the North and South forks and all tributaries.
  • South Fork Nooksack (Whatcom Co.) From the mouth to Skookum Creek, and from Wanlick Creek to headwaters including Wanlick and all tributaries.
  • Suiattle River (Skagit Co.) Tributaries Buck, Downey and Sulpher Creeks.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  • North Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  • South Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish/King Co.) From Sunset Falls upstream and all tributaries, including the Beckler, Foss, Miller and Rapid rivers and their tributaries.
  • Sauk River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) Above the Suiattle River including the North Fork to the falls and the South Fork to headwaters.
  • Samish River (Skagit Co.) From I-5 to headwaters, and Friday Creek upstream.

Region 5 – Southwest Washington

Closed to fishing:

  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park downstream.
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge downstream.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park upstream.
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge upstream.

WDFW has also closed fishing for spring chinook on the Grande Ronde River in eastern Washington due to low river flows.

For more information about drought’s impact on fish and wildlife, visit WDFW’s drought webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/drought/.

“I think Arctic drilling is insane”–Al Gore

Al Gore criticizes Obama on climate change and ‘insane’ Arctic drilling

With Shell planning to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea within days, Gore said that Obama was wrong to ever allow drilling in the Arctic

From: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/16/al-gore-obama-climate-change-arctic-drilling?CMP=share_btn_fb

The former US vice-president and climate champion Al Gore has made a rare criticism of Barack Obama as Royal Dutch Shell prepares to drill an exploratory well in the Arctic Ocean, denouncing the venture as “insane” and calling for a ban on all oil and gas activity in the polar region.

With Shell planning to begin drilling in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea within days, Gore said in an interview with the Guardian that Obama was wrong to ever allow drilling in the Arctic.

It was the only real point of criticism from Gore of Obama’s efforts to fight climate change, at home and through a global deal to be negotiated in Paris at the end of the year.

“I think Arctic drilling is insane. I think that countries around the world would be very well advised to put restrictions on drilling for oil in the Arctic ocean,” Gore told the Guardian in Toronto, where he was passing on his techniques for talking about the climate crisis to 500 new recruits from his Climate Reality Project.

ExxonMobil and Climate Change

They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change Thursday,

16 July 2015    
Written by 
William Rivers Pitt   By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

Between 1956 and 1964, Bell Laboratories produced a number of television specials titled “The Bell Laboratories Science Series.” The topics ranged from an examination of the Sun, to human blood, deep space, the mind, the nature of time and life itself. The programs were produced by Frank Capra, whose films include It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, so the production value of the series was notably superior. Even 30 years later, schools all across the US were still showing these Bell Labs films to students.

In 1958, a chapter in this series titled “The Unchained Goddess” was broadcast. The topic was the weather, and it starred Richard Carlson and a USC professor named Dr. Frank C. Baxter. At one point in the program, Carlson asked Dr. Baxter, “What would happen if we could change the course of the Gulf Stream, or the other great ocean currents, or warm up Hudson Bay with atomic furnaces?” The “atomic furnaces” bit is a quaint throwback to the atom-crazy 1950s, but the response given by Dr. Baxter is what makes this particular film notable.

“Extremely dangerous questions,” replied Dr. Baxter, “because with our present knowledge we have no idea what would happen. Even now, Man may be unwittingly changing the world’s climate through the waste products of his civilization. Due to our release, through factories and automobiles every year, of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide – which helps air absorb heat from the Sun – our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer. It’s been calculated that a few degrees rise in the Earth’s temperature would melt the polar ice caps, and if this happens, an inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water.”

Again, this was broadcast in 1958. The fact that climate concerns were being voiced almost 60 years ago is likely surprising to many, but the history and beginnings of the environmental movement in the US date even earlier. Ten years before, in 1948, the first piece of federal legislation to regulate water quality – the Federal Water Pollution Control Act – was passed. President Eisenhower spoke to the issue of air pollution, which had killed nearly 300 people in New York City two years earlier, in his 1955 State of the Union Address. That same year, the Air Pollution Control Act was passed.

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published, a watershed event many consider to be the official beginning of the environmental movement. In 1963, the Clean Air Act was passed. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb was published, which argued that the world’s pollution problems were due to overpopulation. In 1970, President Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency, and the first Earth Day protest – an event that included some 20 million people nationwide, then the largest protest in US history – was held.

In 1974, the first detailed scientific research connecting chlorofluorocarbons to the depletion of the ozone layer was released, and was augmented two years later. In 1979, President Carter pledged to embark upon a program to ensure that the US would get 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2000. That same year, he installed solar panels on the White House, which President Reagan removed after he took office. Reagan, in his first year, slashed the EPA’s budget by more than half. In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established.

The struggle to identify, diagnose and deal with climate change has been ongoing for almost seventy years, involving presidents and scientists and millions of ordinary citizens who recognized the dangers inherent in a climate affected by our actions … which is what makes this report so thoroughly maddening.

ExxonMobil, it seems, was fully aware of the existence and dangers of global climate change as early as 1981, a fact revealed by a number of recently-released internal memos. The company was looking to exploit a massive natural gas field in Indonesia, but their pet in-house scientist warned against it, because the field was 70 percent carbon dioxide, and drilling for the gas would release the CO2, which would be dangerous to the environment.

For the next 27 years, despite knowing better, ExxonMobil spent millions of dollars to promote “scientists” and think tanks who worked hammer and tongs to promulgate the idea that climate change was a myth. Climate-deniers like Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics made mad bank by spraying scientific falsehoods into the polluted wind, thanks to the largesse of a number of energy corporations, including ExxonMobil.

They knew. They lied. They paid others to lie. They deranged the conversation, perverted bedrock science into a muddle of greed-inspired opinion-based nonsense, and maybe, or probably, humanity might have missed its window to fix all this because of the long delay they created in the name of profit.

Vast swaths of the US West, including Alaska most significantly, are on fire. Many parts of the world, including Europe, are boiling in unprecedented heat waves. California is basically out of water, with no relief to come in the foreseeable future. Half of Greenland’s ice sheet is now liquid. Pink salmon, mussels, oysters, clams and scallops are about to disappear from the menu because the oceans are turning to acid. Those oceans are rising 2.5 times faster than originally estimated. Fracking persists, tar sands oil extraction continues to scar the air and the sure-to-leak Keystone XL pipeline marches inexorably toward delivering poison to the world.

People have been working for nearly 70 years to warn us of the dangers inherent in fossil fuels and the unchecked release of CO2. Since 1981 at least, ExxonMobil and other energy interests have known what these dangers represent, but spent money hand over fist to obscure the truth in order to line their pockets.

More: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31885-they-knew-they-lied-exxonmobil-and-climate-change

Attack of the Ten Ton Babies

According to the timely July 14 article in the Washington Post by Erica Gies, “Having kids is terrible for the environment, so I’m not having any: The population explosion and climate change are linked. I want to do my part,” “An American woman driving a more fuel-efficient car, improving the energy efficiency of her house, recycling, and making similar lifestyle changes would save 486 tons of CO2 emissions during her lifetime, while choosing to have one less child would save 9,441 tons.” [Or 18.8 million lbs., whichever sounds worse.]safe_image

If you’re thinking of adding another baby to this morbidly over-crowded planet, please do the world a favor: don’t. Or at least think first of the other species your little monster love-child would crowd off the Earth.

Sure, you plan to raise it right; but there’s still an even chance the little bundle of joy will turn out to be the next Hitler, George W. or Ted Nugent rather than another Jesus, Einstein or Gandhi. The world needs more bison and prairie dogs, more moose, elk and wolves, more salmon, smelt and sea lions, more swans, snow geese and pelicans—more biodiversity—not another climate-warming, Earth-gobbling human baby.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

Climate Change Downplayers are Almost as Bad as Outright Deniers

In terms of potential harm to the planet, these so-called “experts” (often with no direct knowledge of how the weather is supposed to behave or how far off kilter things have gotten these days) are sometimes as bad for the planet as outright deniers…


MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) – Seattleites without air conditioning aren’t the only ones suffering from record-setting temperatures this summer.

The glacier-covered faces of Mount Rainier are melting faster than usual this year, creating conditions on the mountain more like August or September just a few days into July….

Things have been looking different for the last 40 years, at least, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report that found Mount Rainier glaciers had lost 14 percent of their volume from 1970 to 2008.

But while global warming is fingered for shrinking glaciers, it may not be behind the most recent hot weather, according to University of Washington atmospheric science professor Cliff Mass.

Mass said the warmer weather over roughly the last year – and especially the last few weeks – is so out of the ordinary that it can only be attributed to natural variations in weather.

“If you have a very, very extreme situation, global warming can’t be the cause of most of it,” Mass said. “Global warming isn’t large enough to be the cause of it.”


Also see:

No, Arctic sea ice is not going to be okay

One of the most obvious effects of global climate change is that it’s causing ice to melt all over the world, especially at the planet’s frozen poles. Ice losses have been observed for years now in glaciers and ice sheets, as well as in Arctic sea ice — the ice that floats on top of the ocean. In a confusing twist, though, new research published Monday is showing that there was a large increase in Arctic sea ice in 2013, rather than a decrease.

It’s just the kind of news often seized upon by climate skeptics as a way to undermine the concept of anthropogenic global warming. However, making sense of these observations requires a deeper understanding of long-term trends in sea ice and the factors that affect it from one year to the next.

Overall, Arctic sea ice has experienced a decreasing trend since the 1970s — however, its extent still fluctuates slightly from one year to the next depending on local climate-related conditions, sometimes increasing a bit from one year to the next, and other times decreasing. Despite these little annual fluctuations, the overall trend observed for decades now still shows that we’re losing ice in the long term.

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/20/no-arctic-sea-ice-is-not-going-to-be-okay/