Earth­week: a Di­ary of the planet

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - SCOREBOARD -

Cana­dian sci­en­tists say the huge glaciers that blan­ket parts of the Yukon are shrink­ing much faster than what would be ex­pected un­der global warm­ing. The glacial re­treat has cut off crit­i­cal water sup­plies to Klu­ane Lake, caus­ing the level of the UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site to drop by more than 6 feet. This has stranded thou­sands of fish from their tra­di­tional spawn­ing rivers. “The mag­ni­tude of the changes is dra­matic,” said David Hik of Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity. Un­der­wa­ter noise cre­ated by ship­ping is mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for dol­phins to talk to each other, ac­cord­ing to a study. Univer­sity of Mary­land re­searchers say the com­plex whis­tle calls used by the ma­rine mam­mals are be­com­ing sim­pli­fied to make sure they can be un­der­stood through mar­itime traf­fic. Ma­rine bi­ol­o­gists made the dis­cov­ery by an­a­lyz­ing record­ings from mi­cro­phones on the bot­tom of the At­lantic. An ear­lier Ja­panese study found that hump­back whales re­duce their songs when near loud noise from pass­ing ships. For the week end­ing Fri­day, Nov. 2.

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