Climate Report Cover-up, Conservation Triage, Fishless DNA, and a Day Aboard an Icebraker

New Nooze for your Tuesday! A really fantastic line-up of stories today: Sammy fretwellFirst,  Sammy Fretwell with The State in South Carolina digs up a secret climate report that has been hushed-up by agency officials with the state Department of Natural Resources:

Secret climate report calls for action in SC

A team of state scientists has outlined serious concerns about the damage South Carolina will suffer from climate change – threats that include invading eels, dying salt marshes, flooded homes and increased diseases in the state’s wildlife.

But few people have seen the team’s study. The findings are outlined in a report on global warming that has been kept secret by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for more than a year because agency officials say their “priorities have changed.”

DNR board members never put the study out for public review as planned. The State newspaper recently obtained a copy... Read more.

This marsh in Georgetown County near Debordieu Beach is among those expected to be vulnerable to coming climate changes detailed in a state report. Saltier water would threaten freshwater species. (Photo by Kim Foster-Tobin)


michelle nijhuisNext, from Michelle Nijhuis writing for Slate Magazine, a look at a theoretical ark, and how we select which animals we rescue:

Conservation triage: Which species should be saved?

Politically controversial species attract more funding, as do those with symbolic value, like bald eagles (Photo by Reuters/Victor Fraile)

Let’s say you’re in charge of picking the survivors. You’ve got a boat—oh, let’s just make it an ark, shall we?—and you can load it with any kind of animals you like. The species you coax on board will probably make it through climate change. The ones you leave on shore probably won’t. While you can choose your passengers, there are limits: Put too many critters in the ark and the whole thing, you included, will start to sink.

Which species will you save? Will you pick the rarest, the largest, or the smallest? The strongest or the weakest? The most beautiful … or just the tastiest?

The thing is, most of us are already making these choices, and making them all the time. Not that we think much about it. But every time we decide what to buy, where to build, or who to put in charge of spending our tax dollars, we’re indirectly deciding which species deserve our consideration and which species can do without it... Read more. 


john flesherFrom John Flesher with AP, evidence that just because there's DNA, there may not actually be fish:

Study: Asian carp DNA may not signal live fish 

Live Asian carp don't necessarily have to be present for their DNA to turn up in the environment, according to a government study released Wednesday that could intensify the debate over how to prevent the aggressive, hungry invaders from reaching the Great Lakes and other vulnerable waters.

DNA is found in excrement, slime and scales from live fish. But the report by three federal agencies identifies six other possible means through which genetic fingerprints from bighead and silver carp could find their way into locations such as the Chicago waterway system and western Lake Erie, where it has been detected in dozens of samples taken in recent years... Read more. 


Cassandra BrooksAnd finally, from Cassandra Brooks, reporting from an icebreaker in Terra Nova Bay in the Antarctic, a look at a day onboard the research vessel:

Sampling the Ross Sea Time Lapse: A Day's Work Condensed Into 60 Seconds