Warming climate mixed bag for forests

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Lenny Bernstein. “Climate change affecting North American forests, researchers find.” Washington Post 14 Oct 2013 (A3 of the 15 Oct print edition under the headline “Study says warming is affecting forests: for North America, a mixed bag”).
Climate change is making North American forests more vulnerable to insects and disease but is helping some trees grow faster and increase their resistance to pests, a team of researchers from Dartmouth College said Monday.
Researchers reviewed almost 500 scientific studies dating back to the 1950s to produce what they called the most comprehensive review of the affect of climate change on the forests that cover about one-third of North America. The effort was undertaken as part of the National Climate Assessment in 2012…read the article
Aaron S. Weed, Matthew P. Ayres, and Jeffrey Hicke. Ecological Monographs (preprint 11 Feb 2013).

Wildfires and Climate Change

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Galbraith, Kate. “Wildfires and Climate Change.” New York Times 4 Sep 2013.

“Global studies of wildfire patterns are rare. But a paper published last year in the journal Ecosphere predicted that climate change would have an effect on wildfires that varies widely, especially in accordance with a given region’s precipitation patterns.”

“The paper — which focused on climate change but not other variables, like changing land management — projected that dry parts of the middle latitudes and Australia are likely to see more fires over the long term. The American West, already a tinderbox, will become more fire-prone. So, too, will high-latitude areas, the study found, partly because the carbon-rich peat soil there will burn under extreme weather conditions.”

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Profeta, Tim. “Using the Clean Air Act to Regulate Carbon Emissions.” National Geographic 5 Sep 2013.
“A paper published last year in the journal Ecosphere came to a similar conclusion. It suggests that climate change’s effect on wildfires would vary widely, especially when precipitation patterns were factored in.”
Climate change and disruptions to global fire activity Max A. Moritz, Marc-André Parisien, Enric Batllori, Meg A. Krawchuk, Jeff Van Dorn, David J. Ganz, and Katharine Hayhoe. Ecosphere 2012 3:6, art49


Shark migrations

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Miller, Erin “Study: More sharks in late summer, early fall.” Hawaii Tribune Herald 6 Sep 2013.
Wakida, Blayton. “Research: Female tiger sharks migrate to Hawaii in late summer, fall.” KITV News 5 Sep 2013.


ESA News Release:

Female tiger sharks migrate from Northwestern to Main Hawaiian Islands during fall pupping season

A tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) photographed by Wayne Levin in Hawaiian waters.

A tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) photographed by Wayne Levin off the Big Island of Hawaii.

“When we think of animal migrations, we tend to think of all individuals in a populations getting up and leaving at the same time, but it’s not as simple as that,” said first author Yannis Papastamatiou of the University of Florida. “Some are resident and some are transient.”

 A quarter of the mature female tiger sharks plying the waters around the remote coral atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands decamp for the populated Main Hawaiian Islands in the late summer and fall, swimming as far as 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) according to new research from University of Florida and the University of Hawaii. Their report is scheduled for publication in the November 2013 issue of Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecology. The authors’ manuscript is available as a preprint.