climate change | KNKX

climate change

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

It’s early days yet, but the first draft of a new law to protect and increase Seattle’s tree canopy is out. The proposed ordinance extends safeguards to all trees that have a diameter at breast height of six inches or more.  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Seattle is working on changes to its tree protection ordinance. Trees provide shade and clean the air. They’re acknowledged by the City of Seattle for the ecosystem services they provide, which are increasingly called for as the climate warms. 

P. Granger / Washington Sea Grant

As the climate warms, oceans expand and polar ice caps melt. This means sea level rise is a reality that land owners and local governments must prepare for. It brings with it associated risks, such as flooding and erosion which can impact everything from sewage treatment plants to roads and bridges.

A new report from Washington’s "Coastal Resilience Project" homes in on exactly how high the tides could rise in 171 different sites and communities based on the latest science.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Youth activists concerned about climate change are gearing up for protest marches worldwide this weekend. On Saturday, for the second year running, they’ll take part in an event called The Zero Hour that was conceived by a young woman from Seattle.

Jaime Margonlin, a student at Seattle’s Holy Names Academy, was inspired by the women’s marches around the country and wanted to do something similar for climate. She’s in D.C. for the main march this year. But the movement she started is growing. 

Courtesy First American Project

A newly formed coalition of tribal leaders and communities of color plans to put its combined weight behind the latest voter initiative to curb carbon pollution.

Ellen Hoke / Great Pacific Race

Less than a week into an event that was expected to last well into July, Seattle climate rower Eliza Dawson is back on land.

All are safe, but strong Pacific winds ultimately thwarted her four-woman team’s attempt to travel 2,400 miles across the Pacific, on human-power alone.  

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

People in the Pacific Northwest have been experiencing a bit of a roller coaster ride weather-wise lately, with temperatures spiking up and down in a manner that KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says is quite typical for late May. The ride will go uphill this weekend to a predicted high of about 80 degrees on Sunday, just in time for Mother’s Day.

“The weekend is going to be wonderful,” Mass says. The clouds will dissipate later in the afternoon Friday, he says, as temperatures climb to the upper 60s and high pressure builds. Mass says it will stick around for a while.

Seattle leaders are hoping changes to some parking policies might help address big issues like affordable housing and climate change. 

To that end, the City Council voted Monday to adjust several off-street parking regulations.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Confronting the likely effects of climate change can feel overwhelming. One recent graduate in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington is channeling that fear into an ambitious athletic feat.

Eliza Dawson is joining three other women to row across the Pacific to Hawaii this summer. They hope to beat the world record in what she’s calling a race for the climate.  

Alan Vernon / flickr via Compfight

Scientists from the Audubon Society and the National Parks Service have teamed up to look at the effects of climate change on birds. The study predicts the behavior of 513 species across 274 national parks in summer and winter.     

The authors found on average nearly a quarter of the bird species found in popular park destinations could be completely different by mid-century.  

While you may be able to easily change your coat when the snow melts, it’s not so simple for animals whose fur turns white in winter for camouflage. A new study finds they'll need to rapidly evolve to match a climate with less snow.

Climate Activists Urge Washington Lawmakers To Take Action In 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Climate activists want Washington state to be powered exclusively by renewable energy within 10 years. They rallied at the state Capitol Monday—the first day of the legislative session.

"Tacoma" by jc.winkler is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2AGBPk2

Flooding, wildfires, heat waves, air pollution: No one expects these anticipated impacts of climate change to respect city and county borders.

That's why local leaders plan to begin pooling resources and ideas next year as they brace for a potentially harsher future in the Puget Sound region. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The federal government’s latest special report on climate change directly contradicts the Trump administration’s policies. Hundreds of pages long, the report outlines the latest science and states that humans are the main cause of planetary warming.

Abhinaba Basu / Wikimedia Commons

If you trek to Mount Rainier National Park every summer to catch the spectacular display of wildflowers, take note: In the future, some flower species may bloom earlier while others could disappear altogether, according to a study from the University of Washington.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is in Bonn, Germany, this week for the United Nations latest conference on climate change. He’s part of a panel of local leaders talking about sub-national strategies for meeting commitments made in the Paris agreement, even after the U.S. withdrawal.

Spokane could become the next in a growing list of Northwest cities including Seattle, Portland and Bend, Oregon, to commit to a climate change agreement President Trump opted out of this spring.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be plenty of sunshine and opportunities for enjoying the outdoors this weekend, especially in and around Seattle. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the city "is known to have the best summer in the United States."

We'll have highs in the upper 70s for Friday and Saturday for the whole region, with no precipitation and hardly any clouds.

If you've ever bought coffee labeled "Uganda" and wondered what life is like in that faraway place where the beans were grown, now's your chance to see how climate change has affected the lives of Ugandan coffee farmers — through their own eyes.

When President Trump announced this week that he was taking the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, there were swift and vocal reactions from many industries --- but most of the organizations that represent American agriculture were silent.

Chris Clayton, though, a veteran reporter at one of the leading farm publications in the country, took to Twitter:

It was eight against one, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On one side, leaders of Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, plus two EU representatives. On the other side, President Trump.

And up for debate, the peril of climate change and the urgency of the U.S. commitment to the Paris accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Merkel said that everyone at the table at the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy, was urging Trump to stick with the pact, according to Reuters.

The glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park are rapidly disappearing.

Some have been reduced by as much as 85 percent over the past 50 years, while the average loss is 39 percent, according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.

The researchers looked at historic trends for 39 glaciers, 37 of which are found in the park. The other two are on U.S. Forest Service land.

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land.

The vote over the greenhouse gas was close — 49-51 — with Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins coming down against the resolution, which would have repealed the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste and Prevention Rule.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

SEATTLE (AP) — Climate activists opposed to oil pipeline projects are demonstrating at several JPMorgan Chase bank locations in Seattle.

They're calling on the bank not to do business with TransCanada, the company pushing for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Buy a ticket in the Nenana Ice Classic and you could win nearly $300,000. All you have to do is guess when the ice covering Tanana River at the city of Nenana, Alaska will break up.

Organizers of Saturday's nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science "as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity." Promoting "evidence-based policies in the public interest." Oh, and don't forget highlighting "the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."

Whoa, that's a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign!

There's an unplanned experiment going on in the northern Rocky Mountains. What's happening is that spring is arriving earlier, and it's generally warmer and drier than usual. And that's messing with some of the fish that live there.

The fish is the iconic cutthroat trout. It's a native North American fish that thrives in cold, small streams. Explorer Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark Expedition fame was among the first European-Americans to catch this spangly, spotted fish. He used deer spleen as bait.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

If the cold, rainy weather has been getting you down, you’re not alone. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this weekend, Seattle-area people will get a respite from all that.

“It’s going to be perfect for Easter egg hunting. It will be perfect for anything on Sunday;  Sunday’s going to be absolutely wonderful,” Mass said.

But he says people here will first have to get through a couple days of transition.

On Friday, cold and unstable air was over the region again, said Mass, who is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Bellamy Pailthorp / knkx

Climate change is one of those issues that tends to turn people off. It’s not much fun to think about the consequences of the carbon pollution and the subsequent warming of the atmosphere. But Seattle Times Writer Lynda V. Mapes spent the better part of two years studying how it affected one tree while she was on a science fellowship in upstate New York.

Her book about that experience is called "Witness Tree: Seasons Of Change With A Century-Old Oak."

For the second consecutive year, aerial surveys show severe coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

While severe bleaching events have occurred three other times in the past 20 years — in 1998, 2002 and 2016 — this year marks the first time it's known to have happened two years in a row. Scientists say the damage is caused by higher water temperatures due to global warming.

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