Posts Tagged ‘climate change’


September 10, 2017

Warmer soil loses carbon to the atmosphere as global warming produces this negative feedback loop of more carbon into the air.

Neonicotinoids are contaminating bees and their honey around the world.  Bee-saster in the the making.

Click here for information on the herpes epidemic attacking commercial oyster beds using Asian oyster species.  The herpes microbes have been found in some oysters in California, not the native oysters.

Click here for info on Monsanto’s latest powerful poison and one state’s fight to prevent its use.

How bad can global warming extinctions become?


San Francisco’s Natural History

April 20, 2017

To be published in 2017:
FROM SAND DUNES TO STREETCARS69644847_Kindle Ready Front Cover JPEG_7303473

This book traces the changes in San Francisco’s landscape from the days of the Ohlone to the present.  What native species were present when only Native Americans lived here? What animal grazed, flew or swam here? In the wild countryside what natural waterways supported life?  What trees, fruits, and flowering plants would the Ohlone have known and used?  And…what happened to all that after the Europeans arrived? It’s a dramatic cascade of changes, filled with disappearance and devastation, ruin, restoration and rebirth.  As the centuries passed and the cityscape developed and changed, so has the natural landscape and the creatures in it, including us–humans, whose values and actions have altered and shaped everything.

In spite of what amounts to obliteration of the old natural environment, many native species survive and even thrive in the modern city.  “Life” here includes wildlife. Contemporary restoration projects mover forward.  Brown Pelicans and coyotes have been joined by new immigrants like collared-doves and eastern gray squirrels.  Forests of introduced trees today host Red-shouldered Hawks and Hooded Orioles. And yet, there is not stasis and never has been. Now comes climate change.  All is flux.

Through this book, I hope to help provide knowledge and perspective on what has gone before, but also what we now face.  To protect and preserve this peninsula, this beautiful piece of our planet, the decisions we humans must make are not just cosmetic, they are matters of life and death.  People must understand what’s happened and what;s happening in order to avoid repeating devastating mistakes of the past, and in order to proceed wisely and humanely into the future. From open space to micro-plastic pollution, the decisions rest with us.

The Ohlone managed the landscape through use of fire:

ohlone boatOHLONE FIREOhlone village sites:Ohlone_villages-mapohlone1ohlone3

Beechey’s map from 1826-7:sf map
First United States map of San Francisco, before Gold Rush.sf1848

1849, Gold Rush boomtown and bay fillearly mapearlysf1early-yerba-buena YB PORT

1851 and the ships abandoned by crews


Ocean Beach around 1890ob1890photoPlowing the dunes in preparing to create Golden Gate Park, 1870s:Richmond$plowing-dunes-with-horsesLiving with sand after earthquake:sand hillsTheodore Wores’ painting of dunes looking across to Lake Merced in early 1900s, lupine in bloom where houses now stand:San-Francisco-Sand-Dunes-and-Lake-mercedCutting through sand hill to make Second Street near Rincon Point, before 1900.Second-Street-Cut-1869-A12.28.752nSunset District just after WW2:Sunset_dunes_1947


October 10, 2015

I speak about western birds and climate change at 530pm in Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon on the night of October 15th. Talk is free.

CLIMATE CHANGE: A SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR PACIFIC COAST BIRDERS This bibliography include articles and books that deal with species outside the Avian clan but changes in moose or monarch populations, or diseases in forest trees cannot be isolated from similar or related affects on birds.

Alaska’s spruce bark beetle crisis:

Amphibian decline:

A Great Aridness. William de Buys.

All the Wild That Remains. David Gessner. Book describes the environmental thoughts of Stegner and Abbey and author visits sites they knew and loved.

When the Rivers Run Dry. Fred Pearce.

Avian keratin disorder:
I am investigating an epizootic of similar bill deformities in Alaska. This epizootic has recently spread to the Pacific Northwest, with a large cluster of bill deformities appearing in the Puget Sound region. Birds affected by this ‘avian keratin disorder’ have bills that are abnormally long and often crossed, such as in this nuthatch. We’ve determined that the keratin layer of the beak (like the material in a person’s fingernails) is growing too rapidly. Despite extensive testing, we still don’t know what’s causing the problem. We’ve documented beak deformities among a large number of species, including chickadees, crows, nuthatches, jays, woodpeckers, ravens, and several raptors. We are very interested in receiving reports of any birds with abnormal bills such as this one. Please visit our website at the USGS Alaska Science Center or contact me directly:
–Colleen Handel
Research Wildlife Biologist
USGS Alaska Science Center

Beetle infestation:
Empire of the Beetle. Andrew Nikiforuk.
Birds as sentinel species: “Canaries in a Global Cole Mine?” pp. 1337-1338. “Ecology” 88(5), 2007. Review of the book Birds and Climate Change by Moller et al. Elsevier. Burlington, Mass. 2006.

Bobcat-lynx hybrids:

Bumble bee evolution right now: Functional mismatch in a bumble bee pollination mutualism under climate change. Authors: Nicole E. Miller-Struttmann, Jennifer C. Geib, James D. Franklin, et al. Science 25 September 2015: 1541-1544. [DOI:10.1126/science.aab0868] Researchers write: “We found that in two alpine bumble bee species, decreases in tongue length have evolved over 40 years. Co-occurring flowers have not become shallower, nor are small-flowered plants more prolific. We argue that declining floral resources because of warmer summers have favored generalist foraging, leading to a mismatch between shorter-tongued bees and the longer-tubed plants they once pollinated.”

California climate change: [this contains list of all state’s climate change reports]

California’s official West Nile Virus website:

California West Nile infection map:

Carbon tetrachloride still being emitted:

Center for Biological Diversity:

Christmas Bird Count Analysis:

Climate change anxiety:

Climate change disagreement, not debate:
“How to Talk About climate Change So People Will Listen. By Charles Mann. “The Atlantic,” Sept., 2014.

Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis. By John Berger. Northbrae Books. 2014.

Coal use worse than we’ve been told:

Coal burning waste:

“Climate for Coffee” in “National Geographic” magazine. Sept. 2015.

Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Elizabeth Colbert. Henry Holt. 2014.

Extinctions predicted:
“Extinction risk from climate change” letter in Nature 427, 145-148 (8 January 2004) | doi:10.1038/nature02121; Received 10 September 2003; Accepted 13 October 2003, By Chris Thomas, et al.

Feral. George Monbiot. Penguin. 2013. Argues for helping all animals and plants find space for survival.
Website for book:

Greenhouse gas list, according to IPCC:

Greenland ice sheet loss accelerates:

Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybridization

Health hazards with climate change:

IPCC report, Fall, 2014:

Christina Larson “Hostile shores”
Science 9 October 2015: 150-152. [DOI:10.1126/science.350.6257.150]. Describes environmental degradation of marshlands used by Asian migrant birds.

Methane from rice:

Methane sources:

Minnesota moose population:

Moose population decreases:

Monarch migration and species hybrids on NPR’s “On Point:”

Monarch population decline:

Monarch population decline covered by “Living on Earth,” of NPR:

Monterey pine disease:

Mountaintop species and climate change:

National Wildlife Federation, on adaptation to climate change:

Oak sudden death:

Ocean acidification effects on marine life:
Holly B. Ernest, Leslie W. Woods and Bruce R. Hoar
Journal of Wildlife Diseases Apr 2010, Vol. 46, No. 2 (April 2010) pp. 401-408

Moller, Anders, et al. (eds). Feeling the Heat. Elsevier, Burlington, MA. 2006.

Pepperwood Preserve climate change studies:

Pine beetles:

Rising land:

Solar power installation kills birds:

Starfish die-off on Pacific Coast:

Tricolored Blackbird Population Crisis
Urban heat islands:

Warming hiatus:

White-tailed Ptarmigan’s future:
World Health Organization on climate change, starvation and disease: