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New resources support tribes in preparing for climate change

A tribal fire crew member in Oregon monitors a prescribed burn, a key tool for preventing large wildfires that are likely to become more common under climate change.

As the natural world responds to climate change, American Indian tribes across the country are grappling with how to plan for a future that balances inevitable change with protecting the resources vital to their cultural traditions. The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and regional tribal partners have developed a collection of resources that may be useful to tribes at any stage in the process of evaluating their vulnerability to climate change. 

Read more at UW Today »

First tally of U.S.-Russia polar bears finds a healthy population

An adult female and cub in fall 2017 on Wrangel Island, where hundred of Chukchi Sea polar bears spend the summer months.

Not all polar bears are in the same dire situation due to retreating sea ice, at least not right now. Off the western coast of Alaska, the Chukchi Sea is rich in marine life, but the number of polar bears in the area had never been counted. The first formal study of this population suggests that it’s been healthy and relatively abundant in recent years, numbering about 3,000 animals. 

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High-res data offer most detailed look yet at trawl fishing footprint around the world

A vessel known as a beam trawler sits at the dock in Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom.

About a quarter of the world’s seafood caught in the ocean comes from bottom trawling, a method that involves dragging a net along the ocean’s shelves and slopes to scoop up shrimp, cod, rockfish, sole and other kinds of bottom-dwelling fishes and shellfish. The technique impacts these seafloor ecosystems, because other marine life and habitats can be killed or disturbed unintentionally as nets sweep across the seafloor. 

Read more at UW Today »