Current Yosemite News and Events

Current Yosemite News and Events, Yosemite News Articles.
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Megafire does not deter Yosemite's spotted owls
A new study by researchers from The Institute for Bird Populations and Yosemite National Park found that California Spotted Owl numbers and nesting rates remained stable in areas of the park that were burned by the 2013 Rim Fire. The study suggests that Yosemite's owl population has benefited from the park's diverse forest habitats and restored fire regime, and that these factors have allowed them to thrive even after a major disturbance like a megafire. (2020-09-03)

Protected areas worldwide at risk of invasive species
Protected areas across the globe are effectively keeping invasive animals at bay, but the large majority of them are at risk of invasions, finds a involving UCL and led by the Chinese Academy of Science, in a study published in Nature Communications. (2020-06-08)

Study finds natural fires help native bees, improve food security
Native bees that boost food crops are in decline but changing fire management policies could help them. A UC Riverside study finds these native bees are better able to survive harsh climate events, like drought, in areas where naturally occurring fires are allowed to burn.  (2020-05-01)

Road salt pollutes lake in one of the largest US protected areas, new study shows
New research shows road salt runoff into Mirror Lake in Adirondack Park prevents natural water turnover and therefore poses a risk to the balance of its ecology. (2019-12-09)

Study of past California wildfire activity suggest climate change will worsen future fires
A new study finds that climate has been the dominant controller of wildfire activity in the Sierra Nevada region of the past 1,400 years, suggesting that future climate change is poised to make fires worse. (2019-10-08)

People can see beauty in complex mathematics, study shows
Ordinary people see beauty in complex mathematical arguments in the same way they can appreciate a beautiful landscape painting or a piano sonata. (2019-09-05)

Restricted permit-only access to Yosemite National Park's Half Dome summit, anticipated to improve hiker safety, did not
According to a new study in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, implementation in 2010 of permit-only access to Yosemite National Park's Half Dome cable handrails along the final ascent of this iconic landmark reduced the number of people on the summit at one time, but this did not result in a significant reduction in the overall toll of associated human suffering and mortality, or search and rescue (SAR) activity and costs. (2019-06-26)

National trash: Reducing waste produced in US national parks
When you think of national parks, you might picture the vast plateaus of the Grand Canyon, the intricate wetlands of the Everglades, or the inspiring viewscapes of the Grand Tetons. You probably don't envision 100 million pounds of mashed water bottles, barbecue-smudged paper plates, and crumpled coffee cups -- but that is the staggering quantity of garbage that is generated in our National Parks each year. And handling that amount of waste is becoming a huge problem. (2019-06-25)

Why large forest fires may not be a big threat to some endangered animals
A new study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that certain endangered owls may continue to persist and even flourish after large forest fires. (2019-01-29)

WSU sociologist sees environmental support slip under democratic presidents
Erik Johnson has what looks like a surefire way to hurt support for spending to protect the environment: Elect a Democratic president. (2019-01-22)

NASA's IMERG measures heavy rainfall in California wildfire areas
Heavy precipitation recently fell in areas of California that were recently devastated by deadly wildfires such as the Camp Fire and the Woolsey fire. This flooding rainfall has resulted in evacuations in burn scarred areas such as Butte County where the deadly Camp Fire hit this month. NASA used data from satellites and other sources to calculate the amount of rainfall that has occurred recently. (2018-12-04)

Location, location, location
In a box, within a canister, surrounded by snow, tucked tightly into a backpack strapped to one determined ecologist. Twenty at a time they travel, these unassuming, iconic frogs, departing places where they're thriving for sites from which their species has vanished. Their mission: population recovery. (2018-11-19)

Do rock climbers seek out high-risk climbs?
The sport of rock climbing is gaining international attention, having been approved for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. But news headlines about the sport are still dominated by reports of gruesome injuries and near-death falls. Are rock climbers going out of their way to seek these risks? A new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal reveals that decreasing the level of injury risk at a climbing site generates substantial welfare gains for climbers. (2018-09-17)

Lichen is losing to wildfire, years after flames are gone
As increasingly hot and severe wildfires scorch the West, some lichen communities integral to conifer forests aren't returning, even years after the flames have been extinguished, according to a study from scientists at the University of California, Davis. (2018-08-09)

California's Mendocino complex of fires now largest in state's history
California has been dealing with record breaking fires for the past month and they aren't even halfway through their fire season. The Mendocino Complex eclipsed last year's Thomas fire which burned 283,800 acres last December 2017 in Ventura and Santa Barbara. (2018-08-07)

Ozone levels in US national parks similar to levels in largest US cities
Ozone concentrations in U.S. national parks like Yellowstone and Acadia were largely indistinguishable from ozone levels in America's largest metropolitan areas between 1990 and 2014, according to a new analysis. It also suggests higher ozone levels are linked to a decrease in park visitation, during this time. The U.S. National Park Service has raised concerns over (2018-07-18)

Rapid 3D analysis of rockfalls in Yosemite
Yosemite National Park contains some of the world's most iconic landforms, including Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan. Although the cliffs of Yosemite Valley may appear static, rockfalls from these cliffs are common, with a rockfall occurring every four to five days on average. Rockfalls are key to shaping this iconic landscape but also pose risk to the four- to five-million visitors to the park annually. (2018-06-28)

Yosemite granite 'tells a different story' story about Earth's geologic history
A team of scientists including Carnegie's Michael Ackerson and Bjorn Mysen revealed that granites from Yosemite National Park contain minerals that crystalized at much lower temperatures than previously thought possible. This finding upends scientific understanding of how granites form and what they can teach us about our planet's geologic history. (2018-06-27)

Granite crystallizes at temperature 200 degrees lower than previously thought
Evidence from rocks in Yosemite National Park suggests that granite stored in the Earth's crust is partially molten at 500 degrees Celsius, nearly 200 degrees lower than had previously been believed. (2018-06-27)

Early warning system for deadly amphibian pathogen
Environmental DNA is a new technology that detects telltale bits of genetic material that living creatures shed into their environment. WSU scientists demonstrate for the first time that it can be used to detect the presence of a deadly pathogen before it wipes out populations of amphibians. (2018-03-12)

Controlled burns limited severity of Rim Fire
Controlled burning of forestland helped limit the severity of one of California's largest wildfires, according to Penn State geographers. (2017-12-08)

The strange case of the scuba-diving fly
How a species of fly subverted nature to forage in a caustic underwater habitat. (2017-11-20)

Study reveals structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks
The glaciers that carved Yosemite Valley left highly polished surfaces on many of the region's rock formations. These smooth, shiny surfaces, known as glacial polish, are common in the Sierra Nevada and other glaciated landscapes. Geologists at UC Santa Cruz have now taken a close look at the structure and chemistry of glacial polish and found that it consists of a thin coating smeared onto the rock as the glacier moved over it. (2017-11-15)

Oregon-led research opens fresh view on volcanic plumbing systems
Volcanic eruptions such as Mount St. Helens' in 1980 show the explosiveness of magma moving through the Earth's crust. Now geologists are excited about what uplifted granite bodies such as Yosemite's El Capitan say about magma that freezes before it can erupt on the surface. (2017-07-10)

Small variations in breeding pools make for big differences in Yosemite toad use
The Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus) is a rare species found exclusively in California's Sierra Nevada. While its range encompasses hundreds of miles, spanning five national forests and two national parks, the livelihood and future survival of this federally threatened species may come down to mere centimeters. According to research by the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station and its collaborators, for pools within alpine meadows to be suitable habitat for laying eggs and sustaining tadpoles, little things mean a lot. (2017-06-20)

Spotted owls benefit from forest fire mosaic
Fire is a crucial part of the forest ecosystem on which threatened spotted owls rely, but climate change and decades of fire suppression are changing the dynamics of these forests. A new study examines California spotted owl habitat use and shows that while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity. (2017-05-31)

Wildfire management vs. fire suppression benefits forest and watershed
In the West, wildfires have traditionally been suppressed to prevent them from getting out of control. But for 40 years in one watershed in Yosemite National Park, most natural fires have been left to burn. A UC Berkeley study shows that the strategy created a landscape more resistant to catastrophic fire, with more diverse vegetation and forest structure and increased water storage, mostly in the form of meadows in areas cleared by fires. (2016-10-24)

Vegetation matters
Researchers show that when it comes to climate change and stream flow, plants play an important role. (2016-08-30)

New University of Montana study quantifies morel mushroom abundance after wildfire
University of Montana forest ecology professor Andrew Larson recently published research estimating the abundance of morel mushrooms after a wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada. (2016-07-25)

Feds choose UC Davis to monitor nation's fine particles
The UC Davis Crocker Nuclear Laboratory is now the prime contractor for both major federal fine particle air quality monitoring networks -- the National Park Service's IMPROVE network and the Environmental Protection Agency's Chemical Speciation Network, or CSN, which monitors urban air quality. Together, they cover more than 250 sites nationwide, providing data that helps inform national air quality standards and regulations. (2015-12-04)

EARTH: Closing the gap in the tetrapod fossil record
In a study covered by EARTH Magazine, geoscientists identified fossils that are helping close the 15-million-year period in the fossil record known as Romer's Gap -- the time from when fish showed early evidence of arms and legs until we definitively see four-legged land animals. (2015-09-10)

Smoke-free zones, higher taxes deter youth smoking, study shows
Banning smoking in the workplace and increasing taxes on cigarettes have discouraged teens and young adults from taking up smoking, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Merced. (2015-09-08)

Study finds black bears in Yosemite forage primarily on plants and nuts
Black bears in Yosemite National Park that don't seek out human foods subsist primarily on plants and nuts, according to a study conducted by biologists at UC San Diego who also found that ants and other sources of animal protein, such as mule deer, make up only a small fraction of the bears' annual diet. (2015-08-24)

Yosemite forest fire example of possible things to come
Forest composition, ground cover and topography are the best predictors of forest fire severity in the Western US, according to Penn State physical geographers who also see that the long history of fire exclusion on federal lands leads to uncharacteristically severe burns and potentially changes the dynamics of forests and their recovery. (2015-06-30)

MARC Travel Awards announcement for: The West Coast SDB Regional Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the West Coast SDB Regional Meeting from March 24-27, 2015 in Yosemite, Calif. (2015-03-13)

Even in restored forests, extreme weather strongly influences wildfire's impacts
A study led by the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station and recently published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management examined how the Rim Fire burned through forests with restored fire regimes in Yosemite National Park to determine whether they were as resistant to high-severity fire as many scientists and land managers expected. (2014-12-17)

EPA recognizes Virginia Tech postdoc's research on birds
Laura Schoenle is interested in how mercury contamination affects the levels of a stress hormone called glucocorticoid in birds. Low levels of environmental mercury can have a profound effect on animal populations in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. (2014-11-04)

Fracture-controlled erodibility, great rock climbing
Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park is an iconic American landscape: It is a sub-alpine meadow surrounded by glacially sculpted granitic outcrops in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Because of its accessibility and aesthetic appeal, it is a focal point for both vacationers (up to 4,200 people per day) and geoscientists. It also has historical significance: The idea for a Yosemite National Park came to John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson over a campfire there. (2014-10-31)

This week from AGU: New Oso report, rockfall in Yosemite, and earthquake models
This week from AGU: Oso landslide report, reducing rockfall in Yosemite National Park, and a new earthquake model. (2014-07-23)

New paper suggests High Tibet was cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals
A new study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences identifies a newly discovered 3- to 5- million-year-old Tibetan fox from the Himalayan Mountains, Vulpes qiuzhudingi, as the likely ancestor of the living Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), lending support to the idea that the evolution of present-day animals in the Arctic region is intimately connected to ancestors that first became adapted for life in cold regions in the high altitude environments of the Tibetan Plateau. (2014-06-10)

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