Tag Archives: yosemite national park

A Taste of the Wild: On The Nature Trail in Yosemite National Park

April 2020. In Yosemite National Park, this is usually the most exciting time of year, as winter fades into a distant memory, and the park’s rich wildlife begins to wake up to the promise of spring. However, as we all know, 2020 was a little different. (more…)

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Magma can survive in upper crust for hundreds of millennia

Reservoirs of silica-rich magma – the kind that causes the most explosive volcanic eruptions – can persist in Earth’s upper crust for hundreds of thousands of years without triggering an eruption, according to new University of Washington modeling research.

That means an area known to have experienced a massive volcanic eruption in the past, such as Yellowstone National Park, could have a large pool of magma festering beneath it and still not be close to going off as it did 600,000 years ago.

“You might expect to see a stewing magma chamber for a long period of time and it doesn’t necessarily mean an eruption is imminent,” said Sarah Gelman, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences. (more…)

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Pesticide Accumulation in Sierra Nevada Frogs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A study on frogs in remote Sierra Nevada mountain habitats including Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument, detected concentrations of pesticides in frog tissue that potentially came from California’s Central Valley sources. 

“Our results show that current-use pesticides, particularly fungicides, are accumulating in the bodies of Pacific chorus frogs in the Sierra Nevada,” says Kelly Smalling, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and lead author of the study. “This is the first time we’ve detected many of these compounds, including fungicides, in the Sierra Nevada. The data generated by this study support past research on the potential of pesticides to be transported by wind or rain from the Central Valley to the Sierras.” (more…)

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USGS Study Confirms U.S. Amphibian Populations Declining at Precipitous Rates

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.

According to the study released on May 22, 2013, in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, even the species of amphibians presumed to be relatively stable and widespread are declining. And these declines are occurring in amphibian populations everywhere, from the swamps in Louisiana and Florida to the high mountains of the Sierras and the Rockies. (more…)

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NASA Opens New Era in Measuring Western U.S. Snowpack

PASADENA, Calif. – A new NASA airborne mission has created the first maps of the entire snowpack of two major mountain watersheds in California and Colorado, producing the most accurate measurements to date of how much water they hold.

The data from NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory mission will be used to estimate how much water will flow out of the basins when the snow melts. The data-gathering technology could improve water management for 1.5 billion people worldwide who rely on snowmelt for their water supply. (more…)

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Handful of Heavyweight Trees Per Acre Are Forest Champs

Big trees three or more feet in diameter accounted for nearly half the biomass measured at a Yosemite National Park site, yet represented only 1 percent of the trees growing there.

This means just a few towering white fir, sugar pine and incense cedars per acre at the Yosemite site are disproportionately responsible for photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into plant tissue and sequestering that carbon in the forest, sometimes for centuries, according to James Lutz, a University of Washington research scientist in environmental and forest sciences. He’s lead author of a paper on the largest quantitative study yet of the importance of big trees in temperate forests being published online May 2 on PLoS ONE. (more…)

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