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Posted Thu Sep 1 2011: from UC-Davis, via EurekAlert:
Warming streams could be the end for salmon
Warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. There are options for managing water resources to protect the salmon runs, although they would impact hydroelectric power generation, said Lisa Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture at UC Davis.... They fed in scenarios for climate change out to 2099 from models developed by David Yates at NCAR in Boulder, Colo. In almost all scenarios, the fish died out because streams became too warm for adults to survive the summer to spawn in the fall. The only option that preserved salmon populations, at least for a few decades, was to reduce diversions for hydropower generation at the warmest time of the year. "If we leave the water in the stream at key times of the year, the stream stays cooler and fish can make it through to the fall," Thompson said.... Salmon are already under stress from multiple causes, including pollution, and introduced predators and competitors, Thompson said. Even if those problems were solved, temperature alone would finish off the salmon -- but that problem can be fixed, she said.
[Read more stories about: global warming, sixth extinction, tipping point]

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