Here are summaries of articles about science topics that we’ve selected for your weekend reading:
Science Daily: Bark Beetle May Impact Air Quality, Climate
The hordes of bark beetles that have bored their way through more than six billion trees in the western US and British Columbia since the 1990s do more than damage and kill pine, spruce and other trees. A new study finds that these pests can make trees release up to 20 times more of the organic substances that foster haze and air pollution in forested areas.
National Science Foundation: Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests
Seagrasses are a vital part of the solution to climate change and, per unit area, seagrass meadows can store up to twice as much carbon as the world’s temperate and tropical forests, say authors of a paper published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.
USGS: Watershed Scale Response to Climate Change—Naches River Basin, Washington
A fact sheet recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey summarizes the potential impacts of climate change on the Naches River Basin below the Tieton River. Global climate change simulations indicate less runoff in the late spring and summer in the future, which would have large implications for water managers who rely on snowmelt from the spring snowpack to replenish reservoirs and provide early season irrigation. As the largest tributary of the Yakima River, the Naches plays a large role in irrigated agriculture in the Yakima Basin. Thirteen other major basins were also studied.
Green (New York Times blog): Hatched and Wild Salmon: A Bad Mix?
Hatcheries are an important piece of salmon sustainability, but a collection of 23 studies published this week in a special issue of the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes presents significant evidence of ecological problems posed by salmon hatched in captivity and then released to live in the wild.
Scientific American: Once-Rare Butterfly Species Now Thrives, Thanks to Climate Change
More evidence that there will be winners as well as losers due to climate change: the once-rare brown argus butterfly is on the move, expanding its range and numbers in the U.K.—and it may be due to climate change.
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