YubaNet.com
Saturday, August 23 2014

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
Sci/Tech
 

What Can Mild Winter Do to Environment?


    Google+    

By: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Jan. 18, 2012 - Snowfall in the nation’s snowiest large city (Syracuse, N.Y.) has added up to less than half of its average mid-January total and temperatures in the usually wintry Northeast are expected to rise into the 50s again before January is over. As portions of the United States experience an unusually mild start to the winter, with higher-than-normal temperatures and less-than-average snowfall, questions are raised about the weather’s effect on the environment.

Scientists and researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) are available to discuss several aspects of this issue:

Aquatic insects and fish: Some aquatic insects, such as mayflies, might emerge earlier this spring. Winter stoneflies might appear earlier and they might grow faster as larvae. Fall-spawning fishes such as brown trout could have higher survival rates this year. Submerged aquatic vegetation is likely to be affected by not having been covered by ice. >From an angler’s standpoint, the lack of ice fishing opportunities could mean increased survival of some game species such as northern pike.

Plants and trees: The warmer-than-usual winter could result in injury to plants, especially trees, that have not hardened (become freeze tolerant) because of the lack of persistently cold temperatures. These trees can be severely damaged by hard freezes when they finally occur. Lack of snow also means that soils are not insulated from freezing weather, which can damage shallow roots thus affecting many shallow-rooted trees in urban environments and in wetlands, riparian zones and other poorly drained areas.

Amphibians and reptiles: If warm temperatures continue throughout the winter they will emerge earlier and have a longer breeding season, which benefits them in northern climates with short growing seasons. But if there is a cold snap and no snow, the lack of insulation normally provided by snow will enable the freezing to penetrate deep into the ground and into wetlands where these animals are hibernating; that could kill many of them. Another danger could be presented by a lack of snow pack in the spring to sustain vernal pools, keep stream levels high and keep the ground moist into summer. A dry environment is dangerous for these animals.

Insects: Snow pack provides both protection from predators and insulation for insects that overwinter in the duff; without it they can die. Snowmelt provides perfect habitat for the development of black fly larvae in the spring. Without it, their numbers can be reduced.

Oranmental plants: Plants that are native to warmer climates could be affected without snow cover. They are more likely to break buds if temperatures get warm again because many have had their cold requirements met by now. Any flowers or leaves that emerge from buds before temperatures are consistently above freezing can be damaged; severely damaged flower buds won't produce flowers or fruit. Severely damaged leaf buds won't produce leaves; many species can't readily put out new leaves.

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

 

Latest Headlines

Sci/Tech

Seven Things to Know About Ebola: Small chance of infection in North America

Poll finds many in US lack knowledge about Ebola and its transmission

Ozone-Depleting Compound Persists, NASA Research Shows

Wildland Fire Modeling Can Lead to Better Predictions

8,000-year-old mutation key to human life at high altitudes

Toothless 'dragon' pterosaurs dominated the Late Cretaceous skies

Early Antibiotic Exposure Leads to Lifelong Metabolic Disturbances in Mice

Video: Our Curiosity

Stanford's Maryam Mirzakhani wins Fields Medal

Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes


More

 

 

 

 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky . Horoscope . Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2014
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600