Friday, November 20, 2020

Loose Feathers #776

Ferruginous Hawk / Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and climate change

Climate change and biodiversity

  • The Department of Homeland Security and Army Corps of Engineers are pushing ahead with border wall construction even though Biden has promised to stop construction when he takes office. While Biden can stop further construction, the wall has already done long-term ecological damage. Those links focus mainly on Arizona; this one documents the environmental situation along the Texas border.
  • Burning fossil fuels contributed to the Permian-Triassic mass extinction when volcanic activity in what is now Siberia ignited oil and coal deposits
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in the US are going to drop 9.2% this year, to roughly the level from 1983. The reduction is linked to lower economic activity due to COVID-19.
  • The Trump administration is rushing to lease as much of Arctic NWR as possible before Biden takes office in January.
  • Trump's golf course in Bedminster is draining 63 million gallons of water from the Raritan Basin per year and paying less for it than normal customers. (Wasting water like this is not just a Trump problem; it is feature of golf courses and other manicured lawns.)
  • A new agreement cleared the path for removal of four dams along the Klamath River that block fish migration.
  • Hurricane Iota was the tenth named storm to show rapid intensification this year and was the second major hurricane this November. Both numbers are anomalous.
  • Maryland is studying the potential for removing sediment trapped by the Conowingo Dam, which is known among birders for its concentration of Bald Eagles in winter.