DNR weekend reading: Cooling trees, navigating salmon and more

North Bay Natural Area Preserve
DNR manages the 1,215-acre North Bay Natural Area Preserve in Grays Harbor County, Washington, to protect its high quality coastal freshwater habitat. Photo: Joe Rocchio/DNR.

Here are links to reading selections about climate, wildlife, the environment and other science news published recently by science journals, universities, websites, and other sources:

NASA: Pacific Locked in ‘La Nada’ Limbo
Sea-surface height data from NASA’s Jason-1 satellite show that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is still locked in what some call a neutral, or ‘La Nada’ state. This condition follows two years of strong, cool-water La Nina events.

Science Daily: Animal Magnetism: First Evidence That Magnetism Helps Salmon Find Home
A new study, published in this week’s issue of Current Biology and partly funded by the National Science Foundation, suggests that salmon find their home rivers by sensing the rivers’ unique magnetic signature.

University of Guelph: Biodiversity Helps Protect Nature Against Human Impacts: Study
A study by University of Guelph integrative biologists, published as the cover story in Nature, lends scientific weight to aesthetic and moral arguments for maintaining species biodiversity. It suggests that farmers and resource managers should encourage more kinds of plants in fields and woods as a buffer against sudden ecosystem disturbance.

BioMedCentral: Planting trees may not reverse climate change but it will help locally
Afforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effects of climate change by cooling temperate regions, suggests a study in the open access journal Carbon Balance and Management. Afforestation might  lead to cooler and wetter summers by the end of this century.

University of Washington: Salmon runs boom, go bust over centuries
Scientists have recognized that salmon stocks vary not only year to year, but also on decades-long time cycles. One example is the 30-year to 80-year booms and busts in salmon runs in Alaska and on the West Coast driven by the climate pattern known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.