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The Greatest Threat

The Greatest Threat

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The Greatest Threat

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  1. “The evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading of the atmosphere.” Newt Gingrich Former House Speaker “We know the science, we see the threat posed by changes in our climate, and we know the time for action is now.” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger R-California The Greatest Threat

  2. Alaska & North Dakota Commonalities • Wetlands & ponds* • Waterfowl • Critical Habitat • Cold Water Fish • Fish Sticks and other Seafood • Winters • Robust Renewable Energy Potential • Small, innovative, pioneering population • Warming ground • Important Senators*

  3. Alaska Waterfowl Cackling Hatchlings • Hatch dates have advanced 5 to 10 days since 1982 in all 5 species studied in Yukon Delta NWR. • “Seal level rise, increased storm frequency and intensity and wetland drying will likely cause dramatic changes in waterfowl communities.” -- Julien Fischer, Scientist, USFWS Brandt Geese Aleutian Cackling Geese White Front Goose on Nest

  4. Wind Power • Wind potential: 1.3 trillion kilowatt hours (100 times the amount of electricity used in ND in 2000). Redefining Progress 2004

  5. Conservation Tillage • Carbon Credits • Farmers Union enrolled 833,000 acres in North Dakota (equivalent of 320,000 tons of carbon). Bismarck Tribune 4/07 • $1.50/acre for no till • $2.50/acre for grass • $4 to $12/acre for forestry Chicago Climate Exchange

  6. Waterfowl -- Scaup • Population of these diving ducks appears “to be in peril”(Consensus Report 2006 [CR]). • Declined from over 7 million (in 1970s) to 3.39 million (2005)(CR). • Record low in 2006 -- 3.2 million(Ducks Unlimited 2007). • 70% breed in western boreal forest; fastest rate of decline (94,000 birds per year (1978 to 2005.)) “…declines reflect breeding season events”(CR). • 19% wetland loss in Yukon Flats (1985-89 v. 2001-03) • Where ponds lose 20% or more surface, decline in scaup food sources (i.e., amphipods, gastropods and chironomid larvae)(Corcoran et. al 2007).

  7. Hunting and Angling “In 2001 and 2002, sportsmen and women spent more than $468 million hunting and fishing in North Dakota. Gross business volume, including direct and indirect hunting and angling spending, was $1 billion, supporting than 13,000 jobs.” National Wildlife Federation

  8. Existing Impacts in North Dakota • “Across the Northern and Central Great Plains, temperatures have risen more than 2oF in the past century… Over the last 100 years, annual precipitation has decreased by 10% in North Dakota.”(National Assessment Synthesis Team 2000/2004) • Temperatures in 2006, 3.94o warmer than 30-year benchmark • December 2006 – February 2007: 8.94o F warmer than baseline in Fargo. (Fargo Forum 4/07)

  9. Existing Impacts in North Dakota “There was a dramatic warming of the ground sometime after the Industrial Revolution….. But it’s in the last decade or two that temperatures have increased at the greatest rate.” Dr. Will Gosnold of University of North Dakota , analyzed 952 boreholes Dr. Gosnald and Shannon Heine recording readings at one of the 952 boreholes sites

  10. Future Impacts in North Dakota • Dr. Andrei Kirilenko – UND professor, study • Region could suffer from: • Increase in drought • The introduction of new, invasive species that could harm crop yields • Reduction in insect species that are integral to ecosystem

  11. Carbon Sequestration • Coal Gasification: North Dakota to Saskatchewan • $10 million/year • 8,900 tons/day piped • Other projects being explored • Bismarck Tribune 4/07

  12. What We Can Do Government Actions Senator Byron Dorgan Energy Efficiency Promotion Act • Sets aggressive national goals for reducing gasoline usage by 20 percent by 2017; 35 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030. • Expedites New Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances • Promotes Advanced Lighting Technologies • Promotes Federal Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy • Federal and state fleets of civilian vehicles are required to reduce petroleum consumption by 30 percent by 2016. “Efficiency in buildings,efficiency in appliances, greater efficiency in automobiles by battery technology and electric drive vehicles all of this I think will be very helpful to our country and especially to North Dakota.”

  13. Be Heard Global Warming Our future is at risk. Please Act Now Be Heard Write Your Montana Senators • Alaska Conservation Solutions http://www.alaskaconservationsolutions.com • Ducks Unlimited athttp://www.ducks.org/states/21/index.html • North Dakota Farmers Union http://www.ndfu.org/ • Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/ • Plains CO2ReductionPartnership http://www.undeerc.org/PCOR/default.asp • US Department of Energy ~ North Dakota http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/projectdatabase/stateprofiles/2004/North_Dakota.html

  14. Dall Sheep “…we’re going to have declining Dall sheep. We’re losing their habitat”Dr. John Morton - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge • Dall sheep live exclusively in alpine tundra • Due to warmer temperatures, the treeline in the Kenai Mountains has risen at a rate of about 1 meter/year over the past 50 years. Photo: Tim Craig, Wildlife Biologist BLM

  15. Muskoxen • Population in northern Alaska and Canada declined from approximately 700 to 400 (Pat Reynolds FWS 2007). • Risk Factors • Icing events • Lower calf production • Deeper snow • Not highly mobile • Increase in disease e.g. nematode lungworm (able to complete life cycle in 1 years vs. 2 years) (Kutz et. al, 2004)

  16. Brown Bears • Factors of Concern • Diet Impairment: fish and berries (Kenai Brown Bears – fish 90% of diet vs. black bears 10%) • Hibernation disturbances for reproducing females (Jan-May) • 2 months to implant • Cub growth • Flooding of dens (Sean Farley ADF&G 2007). • Reduction in productivity and survival rates followed salmon decline in Kuskokwim (additional research underway)(Steve Kovach FWS 2007).

  17. Polar Bear in Peril • Largest land or ice predator on earth. Males weigh more than 1200 lbs, 12 ft. long and 50 in. necks. • Born in snow dens, weighing about a pound and half • Most mobile of all quadrupeds some in excess of 600,00 km2 • Feed almost entirely on 2 species of ice seals ringed (90%) and bearded • Evolved between 80,000 (fossil record) and 200,000 (molecular genetics) years ago(Steve Amstrup, 2007).

  18. Golovin, September 23, 2005. photo courtesy of Toby Anungazuk, Jr. Statement of Conscience “ We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others tohalt practicesthat fuel global warming/climate change to instigate sustainable alternativesand tomitigate the impending effectsof global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses.” ANTHC photo

  19. Extra Pictures