42 news posts from March 2013

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Global warming heats the deep oceans

The oceans are the flywheel of the climate system. As atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases increase, the Earth system is warming, and over 90 percent of that increase in heat goes into the ocean. Knowing how much heat the ocean absorbs is vital to understanding sea level rise (the oceans expand as they warm), and predicting how much, and how fast, the atmosphere will warm. 

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How climate change threatens the seas

USA TODAY will explore how climate change is affecting Americans in a series of stories this year.  In their first installment, they cover the threats to our oceans. “Ocean acidification,” the shifting of the ocean’s water toward the acidic side of its chemical balance, has been driven by climate change and has brought increasingly corrosive seawater to the surface along the West Coast and the inlets of Puget Sound, a center of the $111 million shellfish industry in the Pacific Northwest. 

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Volunteers use historic U.S. ship logbooks to uncover Arctic climate data

Citizen-scientists around the world are poring through digital versions of 19th century logbooks of mariners who sailed from Pacific Northwest and California ports to explore the Arctic and chart the newly acquired Alaskan territories. Changes in the Arctic climate are bringing new interest in those historic explorers’ observations. A volunteer effort launched last fall, headed by University of Washington climate scientist Kevin Wood with the support of the National Archives, enlists the help of citizen-scientists to examine digitized scans of the log entries and transcribe the information.  

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Whidbey landslide: 'Where I had been standing was no longer there'

A landslide early Wednesday morning took out a 1,000-foot stretch of hillside on the west side of Whidbey Island. There were no injuries, but several people were displaced.  It is a part of the Puget Sound geology, a legacy of the glacier that formed this area: Massive chunks of shoreline hillsides just slide off.  Read more about this in the Seattle Times. 

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Kitsap water quality continues to improve

Efforts to track down and clean up sources of pollution in Kitsap County continue to pay off, as revealed in the latest water-quality report issued by the Kitsap Public Health District.  Read more about their success in the Kitsap Sun. 

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