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Anne

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Oceans
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:37:49 AM »
This is a good piece of journalism from The Seattle Times to share with non-scientists about the effects of ocean souring, which will have serious consequences for all of us.

Quote
Acidification wasn’t supposed to start doing its damage until much later this century.

Instead, changing sea chemistry already has killed billions of oysters along the Washington coast and at a hatchery that draws water from Hood Canal. It’s helping destroy mussels on some Northwest shores. It is a suspect in the softening of clam shells and in the death of baby scallops. It is dissolving a tiny plankton species eaten by many ocean creatures, from auklets and puffins to fish and whales — and that had not been expected for another 25 years.

And this is just the beginning.

Ocean acidification also can bedevil fish and the animals that eat them, including sharks, whales, seabirds and, of course, bigger fish. Shifting sea chemistry can cripple the reefs where fish live, rewire fish brains and attack what fish eat.

Those changes pose risks for our food, too, from the frozen fish sticks pulled from the grocer’s freezer to the fillets used in McDonald’s fish sandwiches, to the crab legs displayed at Pike Place Market, all brought to the world by a Northwest fishing industry that nets half the nation’s catch.

And this chemical change is not happening in a vacuum.

Globally, overfishing remains a scourge. But souring seas and ocean warming are expected to reduce even more of the plants and animals we depend on for food and income. The changes will increase ocean pests, such as jellyfish, and make the system more vulnerable to disasters and disease. The transformation will be well under way by the time today’s preschoolers reach middle age.

The article takes an overview of several scientific studies, including a couple that investigated the effect of increased CO2 on fish behaviour.

The story ties in with the excellent article in the NYRB about the increasingly global plague of jellyfish, which I posted about on the feedbacks thread.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 04:33:12 AM »
The story ties in with the excellent article in the NYRB about the increasingly global plague of jellyfish, which I posted about on the feedbacks thread.

I'd like to put dimethlysulphide (DMS) on people's radar too - a positive feedback arising as a consequence of ocean acidification. My very limited understanding is that this process cycles sulphur from the oceans into the atmosphere where it has relevance on albedo due to it's role in cloud formation and I think in terms of direct albedo effect. Given that the prediction is for a decline in the production of DMS, we can expect additional warming from this source, ie it is a positive feedback (though not one likely to run away).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826095846.htm

Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 04:32:31 PM »
Ccg, More on the mescosm studies. A shift of plankton communities towards nano-plankton means less large plankton that supply dimethylsuphide but also a negative effect on ballasting of organic matter thereby interrupting the carbon pump. We will not be able to count on the oceans to remove the 25% of the annual Co2 emissions.
 http://www.egu.eu/news/76/tiny-plankton-could-have-big-impact-on-climate/

Shared Humanity

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 07:17:18 PM »
Given the mass of the oceans and the relatively slow response to global warming (as compared to the atmosphere) I am frightened that the changes we are seeing could take hundreds of years to reverse. If the food chain is significantly altered (large extinction event) it might never recover.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 12:42:33 AM by Shared Humanity »

wili

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 03:43:21 AM »
SH, I share your fright.

Bruce, here's another recent piece on plankton response to warming waters:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1989.html

“…temperature significantly affects eukaryotic phytoplankton metabolism with consequences for biogeochemical cycling under global warming. In particular, the rate of protein synthesis strongly increases under high temperatures even though the numbers of ribosomes and their associated rRNAs decreases. Thus, at higher temperatures, eukaryotic phytoplankton seem to require a lower density of ribosomes to produce the required amounts of cellular protein.

The reduction of phosphate-rich ribosomes2 in warmer oceans will tend to produce higher organismal nitrogen (N) to phosphate (P) ratios, in turn increasing demand for N with consequences for the marine carbon cycle due to shifts towards N-limitation. Our integrative approach suggests that temperature plays a previously unrecognized, critical role in resource allocation and marine phytoplankton stoichiometry, with implications for the biogeochemical cycles that they drive.”

If I follow this correctly, they seem to say basically that warming speeds up the organisms' metabolism in such a way that they will use up all the available (usable?) nitrogen in the ecosystem, but I could be way off. Anyone else have an interpretation/paraphrase?

(Thanks to hank at RC for the link, by the way.)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 06:51:25 PM »
Caldeira and Wicket2003 based their projections of a .4 decrease in ocean pH by 2100 on a BAU emissions path. They also show that if we somehow burned the 5000gt of carbon in reserves by 2300 the decrease in  ocean ph would be about .7 below pre-industrial levels.  We are currently emitting about 10 gt carbon per year and the total carbon emissions since ~ 1750 are about 356 gt. By 2028 that total will have reached 565 gt C.  Somewhere around 2045 we will hit 15 gt C per year and around 2080 annual carbon emissions will be ~ 20gt. Things add up quickly and a little after 2100 we will have used half of the 5000gt C total. That is right in line with the 2,795 gt C that is currently owned by countries and corporations. 
   http://www.climateconsent.org/pages/carbonmaths.html
So the trillions of dollars of fossil fuel reserves stay in the ground and the big corporations that own them go bankrupt or the ocean gets it.  So if we do hit 12.5 gt carbon emissions ~2025 and 15 gt C
~ 2045 we will be on tract to create the biggest OA driven extinction event in the last 500 million years, the giant oil corporations will however still be solvent .   
 I started following OA a year after the Caldeira and Wicket paper came out and we are still on the same emissions trajectory they modeled. 

werther

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 08:17:54 AM »
This was shared on my FB by friends this morning. I had a bad time reading while having a first coffee. Hope it doesn't spoil your day....

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/

The link is present at the Fukushima thread on the Forum, too, by johnm33.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 04:26:19 PM by werther »

ggelsrinc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 04:23:13 PM »
This was shared on my FB by friends this morning. I had a abd time reading while having a first coffee. Hope it doesn't spoil your day....

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/

The link is present at the Fukushima thread on the Forum, too, by johnm33.

I wonder? Has anybody done a study and a good comprehensive study on such trash presently in our oceans to determine if the plastics breaks down in UV light and how long it would take to do so, stop floating on the surface and what true impact it has? The reason I bring up this point is I'm old and many plastic materials in my youth were nearly indestructible. I still have shirts I bought to go to college in 1970 as a Chemistry major. I recall the early attempts to do things like put corn starch and other things like cotton in garment products and eventually to make them UV sensitive, but considered it an attempt for marketing based on conspicuous consumption, like making light bulbs to only last so long.

Why didn't we see this coming and why didn't we know? I don't know. Between Jan. '72 to Jan '74 I was in the USMC on active duty, so I had no attention anywhere else, if it mattered. I wasn't the only man in this world and I was so focused getting married and having my first child, I didn't have time to consider the total world I lived in, so why should I demand more from someone else now? It wasn't until '75 I heard the first mentioning of a possible problem with our CO2 emissions in a Physical Geography class I took for an elective and it was mentioned as a casual possibility and not a topic of discussion. We didn't know about global warming until the ends of the '70s, did anyone else surely see it coming? I can testify to the fact that very few scientists even considered it a concern at those earlier dates mentioned, but no one was concerned until temperatures started climbing about the time measures to stop acid rain was destroying our planet. I think the policies removed special garments from our pollution with our acid rain problems. Only then was the naked truth revealed in all it's glory.

Werther, I'm asking a simple question, because I know you are sensitive to the arts and will respond properly. Are people guilty for existing as existence required them to be, or is there any proof that governments made them to be that way during our present environmental problems, excluding Republicans in the USA, of course, because they don't give any consideration to others and surely don't deserve any consideration worth the cost of giving the smallest farthing?  It's that confusing in America, simply to ask a question and provide details to ask it, but I'm exaggerating as usual to make my point! I don't see anyone in Europe coveting our Bagger spawn and as few as we have, we would gladly share them with you and all of the rest of the world, just dial 1-800-EAT-SH!T to submit your requests! If you think what I'm saying is confusing, just try living here for a few days and you'll figure it out!

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 05:12:32 PM »


I wonder? Has anybody done a study and a good comprehensive study on such trash presently in our oceans to determine if the plastics breaks down in UV light and how long it would take to do so, stop floating on the surface and what true impact it has?

ggelsrinc

Here is a little info.  It is not a good story as I am sure you expected.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090820-plastic-decomposes-oceans-seas.html

Go to this link and type in marine_debris.pdf in the search engine and they have an interesting list of items and decomposition times.  I have not had enough coffee to figure out the direct link this morning.
http://des.nh.gov/.../marine_debris.pdf] [url]http://des.nh.gov/.../marine_debris.pdf [/url]
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ritter

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 05:45:53 PM »
This was shared on my FB by friends this morning. I had a bad time reading while having a first coffee. Hope it doesn't spoil your day....

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/

The link is present at the Fukushima thread on the Forum, too, by johnm33.

Yeah, that was a God-awful read.

I recall as a kid visiting family in southern California (early 1980s) and fishing off the piers. Everyone would catch something, almost certainly, every time. I've never been able to replicate those results now as an adult taking my daughter out for a bit of sport and wonder. I get skunked every time I go ocean fishing (not that it is very often). There are still fish in the sea, but not at the levels (or sizes) they used to occur. It's the same story for much of terrestrial life. We have been very thorough in our destruction.

werther

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 05:50:02 PM »
Well, that was a hefty read, ggelsrinc.

First, I had to look in to some idiom to get my senses in line with your American English. I don’t think I’m successful. At least, not on the very depressing Phone number you recommended.

But hey, your society also spawned Zappa, and quoting him, I’d say “…broken hearts are for assholes…” . I always like that one when I feel I’m getting oversentimental.

Nevertheless, I got the creeps reading that d****d eyewitness report.

I remember having enjoyed Thor Heyerdahls’ book on his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which many details illustrated the rich ocean environment still present in 1947.
I remember too how he was worried after his Ra-expeditions in ’69 and ’70, though these led him through the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific.

On your question: no matter whether you’re religious or evolutionist, I guess mankinds' reckless profligacy is obvious from both spectres. A Christian could see this as one of the bad attributes mankind took on after being dismissed from Paradise. An evolutionist would see the evidence in 2 million years old campsites, where the ancestors littered their surroundings with bones, stoneflakes and everything else that has not stood up to decaying time.

That said, I have a hard time holding only governments responsible for the waste.

Within both general providence  and our personal fate there are continuously short moments of choice. I think everyone knows deep down which way to choose.
And when I think about that way, I just hope it’s not like this one, painted by Anselm Kiefer:



It’s Varus’ way, death in sombre forest.

I saw it first in Simon Schama’s book “Landscape and Memory”. And later, in real life, in the Kröller-Müller Museum, where it held both my attention and my breath.

I’m not a sad person. I hope I can accept death without being too sad for our children and other sensitive creatures) having to endure this waste. On our fate, in this material world, I have little doubt. For me, there’s only compassion left that can make the rest of our time here worthwhile. Other expectations are very, very likely in vain.

Oh, JimD, I'm glad you posted some practical info. We should try to fix our mess and enjoy even the small successes..

ggelsrinc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 10:16:23 PM »


I wonder? Has anybody done a study and a good comprehensive study on such trash presently in our oceans to determine if the plastics breaks down in UV light and how long it would take to do so, stop floating on the surface and what true impact it has?

ggelsrinc

Here is a little info.  It is not a good story as I am sure you expected.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090820-plastic-decomposes-oceans-seas.html

Go to this link and type in marine_debris.pdf in the search engine and they have an interesting list of items and decomposition times.  I have not had enough coffee to figure out the direct link this morning.
[url]http://des.nh.gov/.../marine_debris.pdf]http://des.nh.gov/.../marine_debris.pdf] [url]http://des.nh.gov/.../marine_debris.pdf [/url]

JimD, don't judge a book by it's cover!

It was closer to 40 than 30 years ago, when I found myself having a job doing chemical analysis removing carcinogens from plastic materials and was working directly under the head of the gas chromatography department of a major chemical corporation. I thought I was doing something noble and made major advances, but it dawned on me, when they showed me a whole list of carcinogens and told me I'd be working there the rest of my life, that I had a simpler solution that the corporation surely wouldn't like. "Keep your damned plastic carcinogens away from people's food", in other words, there are other materials people can use. The job itself was only about a third of my workload, but it broke this camel's back. Despite other projects, like GC squared that I developed and had interest in for them and another major corporate interest, I turned my back and walked away. There is nothing noble in that entire experience, including what I did. I only became a Chemistry major to make money, but my soul costs too much.

I know what's in plastics, because I could measure it accurately in parts per billion back then.

My point about plastic materials and my example isn't my earliest involvement, which includes many of the materials in your links, like PET. When mankind uses chemistry to make a product, the chemicals aren't pure, so side products are also produced. It's bad enough we don't mitigate these side products by processing, which can be very harmful, but to produce them in quantities that will pollute the surface of an ocean and distribute to the destruction of Earth is purely stupid.

JimD, what is wrong with this message? I don't think the trash in the Pacific Ocean comes from Delaware, but the developments to make that trash could come from here. I rule out Arizona along with most of the Pacific coast of America, so where does the trash originate? My thoughts are simple, pick up your own plastic trash from international waters that you know you put there! Own up to your own mistakes! It shouldn't be that hard to find and get rid of it. If done intelligently and fish are caught in the process, you can catch and release them without harm.

The end.

JimD, the links you provided are very useful and I thank you for them.

 

johnm33

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 01:51:15 AM »
   As far as sorting out some of this mess goes try http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/floating-cities.html don't know how feasible that is and the algalita[?] foundation has some plans too.
There was a repeat of the kon tiki trip,or at least a re-sailing of the route, I think by Hyerdals son, and he was surprised how it took him days to catch fish where his father more or less only had to put the line in the water.
One of the main challenges facing us is an artifact of our evolution. We are wired for about 150 relationships, so maybe an extended grouping of 750. We all operate, compete, look for identity and status within such a bubble. Even the worlds elite/rich http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0902/0902.0878v1.pdf or  http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/global-power-project-part-5-banking-on-influence-with-goldman-sachs.html , when you look at the numbers. Unfortunately the dynamics of game theory when applied to social groups tends to lead in practice to a set up like social insects have developed, first a pampered core always looking to improve its lot[disseminate genes], then a sociopathic warrior caste to impose order within and without, and last a mass of bemused workers,hormonally/memetically, pressured into serving the needs of the center, not their own. We're kind of group thinking our way out of existence just by being what we are.

wili

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 02:09:53 AM »
Nicely put, John.

Here's a sign that we may at least be able to track the state of the oceans more accurately as they spiral into terminal anoxia and lifenessness:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/10/22/2814591/xprize-ocean-acidification-climate/

Innovation Foundation Pushes Scientists To Delve Deep Into Struggling Oceans

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 12:18:07 PM »
Well, that was a hefty read, ggelsrinc.

First, I had to look in to some idiom to get my senses in line with your American English. I don’t think I’m successful. At least, not on the very depressing Phone number you recommended.

But hey, your society also spawned Zappa, and quoting him, I’d say “…broken hearts are for assholes…” . I always like that one when I feel I’m getting oversentimental.

Nevertheless, I got the creeps reading that d****d eyewitness report.

I remember having enjoyed Thor Heyerdahls’ book on his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which many details illustrated the rich ocean environment still present in 1947.
I remember too how he was worried after his Ra-expeditions in ’69 and ’70, though these led him through the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific.

On your question: no matter whether you’re religious or evolutionist, I guess mankinds' reckless profligacy is obvious from both spectres. A Christian could see this as one of the bad attributes mankind took on after being dismissed from Paradise. An evolutionist would see the evidence in 2 million years old campsites, where the ancestors littered their surroundings with bones, stoneflakes and everything else that has not stood up to decaying time.

That said, I have a hard time holding only governments responsible for the waste.

Within both general providence  and our personal fate there are continuously short moments of choice. I think everyone knows deep down which way to choose.
And when I think about that way, I just hope it’s not like this one, painted by Anselm Kiefer:



It’s Varus’ way, death in sombre forest.

I saw it first in Simon Schama’s book “Landscape and Memory”. And later, in real life, in the Kröller-Müller Museum, where it held both my attention and my breath.

I’m not a sad person. I hope I can accept death without being too sad for our children and other sensitive creatures) having to endure this waste. On our fate, in this material world, I have little doubt. For me, there’s only compassion left that can make the rest of our time here worthwhile. Other expectations are very, very likely in vain.

Oh, JimD, I'm glad you posted some practical info. We should try to fix our mess and enjoy even the small successes..

werther, I knew you wouldn't disappoint me and appreciated every word you said and have said. I could add a little, but not add anything which is significant enough, except maybe the Thor Heyerdahls’ book on his Kon-Tiki expedition comment, which I just copied and posted instead of putting it in my own words with my American accent. When I was in high school, 9th grade I believe, Thor Heyerdahl was a very real hero or inspiration to me. There is a thread about people who inspired you, I think it's in the rest forum, but when I first read the story of Kon-Tiki and what Thor Heyerdahl did, I was amazed. I know I'm going off subject, but if Neven will forgive me, I will get back on the subject of oceans once I'm allowed to paint a picture.

Just after entering school, my painting experience was later confirmed by me identifying a man by seeing his face in the newspaper and he had axe murdered a child in our area. The man just had a switch blade knife, when I approached him as I was running up towards the top of a bridge near where I lived, but he looked funny, because he had his right hand up in the air from his right shoulder height and something or someone kept calling my name in the back of my mind saying Gary, Gary, Gary, over and over and over, but I wanted to get home quickly, so I heard it, but didn't hear it at the same time, like a child ignoring it. Somehow, I stopped within two meters of that odd person and IIRC it was about four feet. The man turned around with a switch blade obviously showing in his hand, still at a right angle from shoulder to hand and said: "come here, boy, I'm not going to hurt you." That face became painted in my mind.

I instantly turned around and started running down that bridge with speeds I think to this day only an Olympic athlete could match. Eventually I turned my head around to look and noticed the man wasn't chasing me, but I also noticed a kid on the other side of the highway, who I believe must have been the one who was calling my name, so I cut across met him. As soon as I approached that boy, noticing he was younger than I was and who I have never met before, he said: "don't go near that man, that man is crazy." I told my parents and grandparents, but only when I was delivering papers did I spot that man's picture on the front page and was told he had axe murdered a child in a park near were we lived.

Now, what the hell does that story have to do with oceans?

It could be everything or nothing. How does a child living in that stressful environment, like 6 white people in the first grade in a white American school and the last white person to leave that class, in a bad neighborhood, grow up with enough superior intelligence that he cares about everything? I wouldn't recommend that life experience on a dog, but since I'm interested in everything, it could be as simple as stress can make you or break you, based on people trying to understand what makes people have intelligence. I believe mathematics proves the equation that as long as two opposite sex human beings can still breathe and mate, the human race will exist and they will care about the oceans and anything else. The oceans are very important, but not enough to sink the ship of humanity. Let the oceans rise and we won't build Noah's ark, we'll go to the moon or beyond with our mates! Things like oceans and life just continue on as long as you don't give up. Take that Doomsdayers!

Getting back to Thor Heyerdahl and my ramblings, it occurred to me at a fairly young age, why would someone risk their life to prove a point. I ran for my life, so does it make sense risking your life to make a point? Thor Heyerdahls’ book helped me conquer fear and fear is a terrible thing for people to have and have to live with, but to be honest, fearless dumbasses like myself, no matter how intelligent a person can become may be a worse example of humanity, than people having natural fear. When it comes to survival, I'd put my money on that scared child and not a fearless adult.

I remember meeting the ocean for the first time as a child about two years before school during a summer in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was so blue contrasted against sand so white and it was so captivating that it mesmerized me and almost felt like it was pulling me into it. All my visits to an ocean since then have been a disappointment compared to that first view of paradise. We went deep sea fishing often during that summer, but never caught anything of significance, but the view, which was enough in itself. A beautiful ocean as far as the eye could see. It's sad what we have done to our oceans, because every child should be allowed to get as close to heaven on Earth as I did as a child.

Sorry no pictures posted, werther, I'm a lousy artist, who chooses to see life with a child's eye!     



 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 12:34:45 PM by ggelsrinc »

wili

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 01:22:52 PM »
Thanks for those reflections.

Back on oceans; Not sure if this strategy will work, but good to see people are looking for every way possible to slow down the rate of damage we are inflicting on our present and future:

http://grist.org/climate-energy/clean-water-laws-second-front-in-the-war-on-greenhouse-gases/?


Clean-water laws: The second front in the war on greenhouse gases


Quote
    Necessity being the mother of invention, congressional inaction on climate change has forced environmentalists to be creative. Since Congress won’t pass a cap-and-trade bill to control atmospheric emissions, activists are trying to apply existing laws to the problem. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA forced the Environmental Protection Agency to examine whether greenhouse gases harm the public. Since — surprise! — they do, the EPA will now regulate them like every other pollutant.

    First air, now water. A federal lawsuit against the EPA, filed last week by the Center for Biological Diversity, may do the same for ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act that Massachusetts v. EPA did for climate change under the Clean Air Act. And since acidification is caused largely by CO2 emissions, the results could help combat climate change as well.

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 02:24:53 PM »
Thanks for those reflections.

Back on oceans; Not sure if this strategy will work, but good to see people are looking for every way possible to slow down the rate of damage we are inflicting on our present and future:

http://grist.org/climate-energy/clean-water-laws-second-front-in-the-war-on-greenhouse-gases/?


Clean-water laws: The second front in the war on greenhouse gases


Quote
    Necessity being the mother of invention, congressional inaction on climate change has forced environmentalists to be creative. Since Congress won’t pass a cap-and-trade bill to control atmospheric emissions, activists are trying to apply existing laws to the problem. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA forced the Environmental Protection Agency to examine whether greenhouse gases harm the public. Since — surprise! — they do, the EPA will now regulate them like every other pollutant.

    First air, now water. A federal lawsuit against the EPA, filed last week by the Center for Biological Diversity, may do the same for ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act that Massachusetts v. EPA did for climate change under the Clean Air Act. And since acidification is caused largely by CO2 emissions, the results could help combat climate change as well.

Thanks for allowing me to paint my picture, wili.



EPA is written in large caps on the other side of that buffalo.

I have more faith in a stink bug coming up with a solution, than anything the EPA is involved in.

wili

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2013, 06:55:26 PM »
Well, that kind of gets at the conundrum, doesn't it?

If we can't stand having a branch of government regulate these poisons, and the fossil-death-fuel industry sure as he!! isn't going to regulate itself, who do we turn to then to at least put some kind of breaks on this runaway train we seem to be riding straight to hell at an ever accelerating rate?

Apparently, the courts.

There's just no escaping lawyers, it seems.  :(
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 09:05:00 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2013, 11:04:07 PM »
Well, that kind of gets at the conundrum, doesn't it?

If we can't stand having a branch of government regulate these poisons, and the fossil-death-fuel industry sure as he!! isn't going to regulate itself, who do we turn to then to at least put some kind of breaks on this runaway train we seem to be riding straight to hell at an ever accelerating rate?

Apparently, the courts.

There's just no escaping lawyers, it seems.  :(

Taking a closer look at the EPA is as easy as clicking on that picture of the buffalo I posted. You'll instantly see what I mean.

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 08:45:42 PM »
Ocean acidification

World’s oceans acidifying more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years

Quote
...In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100.

They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive in these conditions....

..."You don't find a mollusc at the pH level expected for 2100, this is really quite a stunning fact," said Prof Gattuso...

We all know what this will mean to food production.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24904143

Check the graph out at this link.

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/11/worlds-oceans-acidifying-more-rapidly.html


We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 09:28:23 PM »
My grandchildren will reminisce fondly on Christmas Eve dinners with spreads of shellfish.

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2014, 05:16:35 PM »
Excellent article on the fate of Plankton with the acidifying ocean.

Quote
Acid trap

Earth’s oceans are beginning to warm and turn acidic, endangering plankton and the entire marine food chain
Quote
She attributes this rising corrosive horizon to the additional input of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. When more carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere than is removed, the balance not only traps infrared radiation that warms the air, but also makes the ocean more acidic (as the paleontologist Peter Ward likes to say, the process works the same whether the carbon dioxide is from volcanoes or Volvos).

According to some models, by 2050 this rising brew of more acidic water will reach the surface waters of the Antarctic, and calcium carbonate will begin to dissolve throughout much of the Southern Ocean.

‘It’s not a question of if pteropods will be dissolving, or if they will be compromised – it is certain they will be,’ Bednaršek said.

Quote
‘The turnover time of the ocean is about 1,000 years,’ Zachos told me. ‘But most of the anthropogenic CO₂ is accumulating in the upper ocean within 100 years. The ocean can’t mix it fast enough into the deep sea.’ By 2050, Zachos expects the ocean’s pH to drop by the same amount as during the entire PETM. Despite these whiplash changes, Zachos expects that the ocean’s chemistry will be restored eventually, even if it takes more than 100,000 years. But no one knows what will happen in the short term. Perhaps evolution or animal physiology will surprise us, keeping up with the dramatic changes afoot. Or maybe there will be a mass extinction. All anyone knows is that everything is in flux.

2050 again crops up.  It is getting hard to see how things can be held together much past that date.  The ocean is part of the food production system and it is pretty clear that its part is in great peril.  Is 2050 the upper bound? 

http://aeon.co/magazine/nature-and-cosmos/plankton-the-tiny-sentinels-of-the-deep/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2014, 07:49:57 PM »
2050 again crops up.  It is getting hard to see how things can be held together much past that date.  The ocean is part of the food production system and it is pretty clear that its part is in great peril.  Is 2050 the upper bound? 

Actually I think you'll find it's just a neat human appealing number. It's convenient to pick dates that have some element of neatness about them - whether it's 2100, 2000, 2050, even 2025 or 2030 in a more minor way. Nobody will pick 2047, from so far back.

I'm starting to wonder, is it an inner desire for neatness and order in things that leads you to pick it! Why not 2045? Or 2052? Certainly one shouldn't read too much into other peoples tendency to pick that value, if using it as a basis for your own assessment - my opinion at least...

Of course as we know, collapse is an ill defined process that has already effectively started and will run over years at the very least, and potentially decades. Tough to pick any value in that context.

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2014, 08:24:32 PM »
In a way it is sort of like not having too many significant digits.  A 2050

Better than primes in any case!  If we had to choose from them our selection out to 2100 would be...

2017   2027   2029   2039   2053
   2063   2069   2081   2083   2087   2089   2099

Hmmm....obviously it would be 2053.  Right?
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2014, 08:57:08 PM »
Hmmm....obviously it would be 2053.  Right?

Ever the optimist!

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2014, 05:02:31 AM »
Ocean acidification killing  phytoplankton can certainly disrupt the marine  food chain but what about the impact on  oxygen creation? It  is estimated that between 50% and 70% of the oxygen created comes from the oceans.

wili

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2014, 05:42:01 AM »
True, but the huge amount of 'fossil oxygen' in the atmosphere means that it would be a few thousand years before that supply was depleted. Still, very bad for the long-term prospect for much of life on the planet.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2014, 05:45:13 AM »
Ocean acidification killing  phytoplankton can certainly disrupt the marine  food chain but what about the impact on  oxygen creation? It  is estimated that between 50% and 70% of the oxygen created comes from the oceans.

Hmmm... That does sound scary.  It would be like we were all high altitude mountaineers!  At 70% that is the same as 9000 ft today.  I can handle that.  At 50% that is the same as 18,000 ft today.  Ouch!  Everyone would have to live at sea level, which would be rising of course.

Maybe Monsanto can GM us a plankton which likes high levels of acidity.  Problem solved!

Seriously though we need someone with some expertise on that issue.  I thought that the oxygen depletion in the PETM (sort of where we are headed I guess) was primarily in the ocean.  I had got the impression that this did not translate to much lower levels of atmospheric oxygen.  I admit that I have no idea if that is the case or not.  A very interesting question.  Does anyone know the answer?
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2014, 05:48:27 AM »
Fossil oxygen?  Did you make that up? 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2014, 07:09:09 AM »
From models " Bopp et al 2013" my first posting on the carbon cycle page. By 2100 average ocean oxygen content is reduced 3.45 % and ocean pH is reduced .3 to .4 from current 8.1. Mind you this will require the emissions of 2500 gt carbon, current totals ( fuels + land use ) are 500gt. A large part of the oxygen decrease is from ocean warming, warm water doesn't hold oxygen as well.
 Acidification will change the composition of plankton with nano and pico phytoplankton potentially having an advantage over larger phytoplankton. This may change the rate that the carbon is transported into the depths but there will still be functioning phytoplankton that will continue to produce oxygen. So IMHO we will have much bigger problems from heat and food vulnerabilities if we continue BAU until 2100. Oxygen isn't the kill mechanism, pH and temperature are. The oxygen minimum zones will increase but that is in the ocean and there will be problems in certain ecosystems as a result... In the ocean.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2014, 09:55:50 AM »
Seriously though we need someone with some expertise on that issue.  I thought that the oxygen depletion in the PETM (sort of where we are headed I guess) was primarily in the ocean.  I had got the impression that this did not translate to much lower levels of atmospheric oxygen.  I admit that I have no idea if that is the case or not.  A very interesting question.  Does anyone know the answer?

Oxygen is depleting as carbon is burned, just very slowly and not very significantly. A few seconds of thought about the difference between 20% and 400ppm should illuminate on that score.
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/oxygen/modern_records.html

Quote
If we take the worlds supply of fossil fuel to be 10,000 billion metric tons of carbon, as per http://genomicscience.energy.gov/carboncycle/index.shtml and we oxidize all of it we would get about 37,000 billion metric tons of CO2, and about 27,000 billion metric tons of O2 would have been consumed. Some additional O2 would have also been consumed by oxidation of hydrogen in the (hydrocarbon) fuel, so that roughly 38,000 billion metric tons of oxygen would have been consumed. This is about 3.3 percent of the atmosphere's oxygen. Such a loss would be equivalent to increasing your elevation from sea level to about 330 meters, or about 1100 feet.

That said, oxygen content has varied atmospherically over time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OxygenLevel-1000ma.svg

Looks to me like the end Permian has a notable dip (down to around 15%) and I can only assume if the PETM has an equivalent dip that oxygen levels never really recovered from it.

The ocean of course is another matter entirely.

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n2/abs/ngeo420.html

I don't think we need worry too much about atmospheric oxygen, it's hard to see how rate of change would be so fast we wouldn't adapt gradually to it as it happened and it takes truly colossal amounts of carbon to really shift it much.

Just because a massive portion of the oxygen producers are wiped out doesn't mean the levels of oxygen will fall past a point - let's not forget similarly massive (if not greater by virtue of higher food chain position) portions of oxygen consumers will also be gone...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 11:50:27 PM by ccgwebmaster »

jdallen

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2014, 10:09:32 PM »
Recent offering from close to my neck of the woods (Seattle)

http://www.pqbnews.com/news/247092381.html

Oyster and Scallop fisheries are failing all along the coast from Oregon north to Alaska.  Prompt cause, I suspect is increased CO2 emissions from China acidifying the region locally, as overall, oceanic PH has not dropped as much as they are seeing in British Columbia.

Another source for local increase *could* be the result of deforestation and increased runoff acidified by local mineralogy  and breakdown of organic material.

Either way, it directly demonstrates the consequences of lowered Oceanic PH.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2014, 12:48:24 AM »
Jdallen, The acidification of upwelled waters along the Pacific Northwest coast can be traced back to their source in the Sea of  Okhotsk. North Pacific intermediate waters are formed there in winter polynya. The polynya cause cold salty water to sink and as it sinks it takes with it organic matter that is remineralized at intermediate depths. As the atmosheric Co2 increases the cold sinking surface waters absorb larger amounts of Co2 and they also carry CFC's and radio nucleotides that allow us to fingerprint the waters as they move across the Pacific. There is also an additional increase of about 10% due to ballasted organics supplied by surface waters. The high Co2 intermediate waters that seasonally upwell along the coast are 35-50 years old and the atmospheric Co2 load they carry is from when atmospheric concentrations where < 350 ppm. We can accurately project future pH levels of the intermediate waters and we expect surface to bottom undersaturation (~7.8pH)along our coast by the time the waters currently downwelling in Asia  reach our coast. Most of that damage is in the pipeline already and is totally unavoidable. The warm water phase of the PDO thickens the thermocline on our side of the Pacific and makes
upwelling more difficult and the cold water phase makes upwelling easier so we may see a slight repreve when we go back into the warm water phase but it will only be temporary. We can count aquacultured oyster mortalities but the effects on wild stocks are much more difficult to quantify.
  If you would like more info you can check out the "carbon cycle" page. There are changes afoot that haven't happened in over 30 million years. 30 more years of BAU will really hammer our coastal
ecosystems. I don't find many people interested in hearing about this problem and when I go to symposia I have to lie and call myself a scientist in order to submit abstracts or participate. Fishermen aren't generally included or invited but then fishermen aren't for the most part paying as much attention as they should.   

jdallen

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 10:10:54 PM »
Jdallen, The acidification of upwelled waters along the Pacific Northwest coast can be traced back to their source in the Sea of  Okhotsk. North Pacific intermediate waters are formed there in winter polynya. The polynya cause cold salty water to sink and as it sinks it takes with it organic matter that is remineralized at intermediate depths. As the atmosheric Co2 increases the cold sinking surface waters absorb larger amounts of Co2 and they also carry CFC's and radio nucleotides that allow us to fingerprint the waters as they move across the Pacific. There is also an additional increase of about 10% due to ballasted organics supplied by surface waters. The high Co2 intermediate waters that seasonally upwell along the coast are 35-50 years old and the atmospheric Co2 load they carry is from when atmospheric concentrations where < 350 ppm. We can accurately project future pH levels of the intermediate waters and we expect surface to bottom undersaturation (~7.8pH)along our coast by the time the waters currently downwelling in Asia  reach our coast. Most of that damage is in the pipeline already and is totally unavoidable. The warm water phase of the PDO thickens the thermocline on our side of the Pacific and makes
upwelling more difficult and the cold water phase makes upwelling easier so we may see a slight repreve when we go back into the warm water phase but it will only be temporary. We can count aquacultured oyster mortalities but the effects on wild stocks are much more difficult to quantify.
  If you would like more info you can check out the "carbon cycle" page. There are changes afoot that haven't happened in over 30 million years. 30 more years of BAU will really hammer our coastal
ecosystems. I don't find many people interested in hearing about this problem and when I go to symposia I have to lie and call myself a scientist in order to submit abstracts or participate. Fishermen aren't generally included or invited but then fishermen aren't for the most part paying as much attention as they should.   

Thank you for the brilliant and informative reply, Bruce!

I very much would like to absorb the research you've already done.  I, like you, think this really is a "show stopper" for CO2 emissions that needs to be communicated.  I'm alarmed by the realization that the conditions we see showing up now along the west coast are the consequence of CO2 uptake from 35 years ago.  Yes, and for certain, our northern coastal environments are going to be hammered, and hard.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2014, 12:01:11 AM »
Jdallen, It all drives me quite bonkers. I have put more time into studying the carbon cycle than the entirety of time put into my meager formal education. Got married out of high school and began my dive career at 19. I am a fisherman and I would really like other fishermen to stand up and help spread the word. I have a couple posts on the "carbon cycle page" about the researchers in the linked article below. Strange as it seems fishermen do have some credibility with the public .
 I should add that the downwelled waters from the Sea of Okhotsk mix with and entrain some of the waters from the Oyoshio Current and that boosts the organic carbon load.

http://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/2014/03/05/ocean-acidification-research-at-the-school-of-aquatic-fisheries-sciences-safs-university-of-washington/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wordpress%2FlRgb+%28Ocean+acidification%29

jdallen

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2014, 02:36:35 AM »
@Bruce - let us correspond.

jdallen _ wa @ yahoo dot com

Others are welcome to contact me.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2014, 04:10:43 AM »
jdallen, I use my real name and you can find plenty about me if you google
Bruce Steele acidification. I don't know if being transparent online is too bright but I kinda figure this is a battle for life. I am willing to take my chances.  Neven's blogs are so nice to read and participate in. The international audience , the amazingly polite exchange and the brilliant
minds willing to contribute are one of the joys of my existence.
 I started reading "The Sea Ice Blog" when "climate progress"put in a link to Jim Pettite's
" Arctic Sea Ice Spiral ". I was hooked on Neven's blog and read every day for most of a year before posting. Kinda intimidated by the meteorology and I needed to get up to speed as best I could. There was a guy called " Superman " who  was a bit of a pain and had a way of going off topic. Neven was very kind and took quite a while till he eventually cut Superman off but Neven said he would create a site to cover a larger field of interests. When " Arctic Sea Ice Forum " started I got brave and started posting. As it turns out the Europeans have a bit of a Atlantic + Arctic focus that is complimented by the U.S. West coast members who have a more Pacific way of looking at things. ASLR has alway focused on the Antarctic but much of that  is the South Pacific. I could really fry some synapses trying to keep up with him but even picking up bits and pieces has expanded my more narrow North Pacific knowledge base. Half of the Pacific I knew almost nothing about.
 I have this carbon cycle knowledge that I have accumulated by much reading. Everything I could get my hands on and when I didn't outright pay the pay wall for every paper I did pay for a bit. It took me awhile to figure it out, how did all that carbon get into the deep sea? How much carbon is in the various sinks and how long does it stay there? What processes absorb the carbon( they are almost all biological ) and what processes contribute to ventilation( not as it turns out biological). Saturation , undersaturation, and buffer capacity as well as some of the terrestrial processes that contribute to these components of carbonate chemistry all remind me of how incredibly interconnected life is with the regulation of oceanic processes and consequently atmospheric telecommunication of the delicate balance that supports all life on this planet. Call it GAIA cause that's as close as it gets I think. Love Lovelock.
  This was intended as a letter but I might as well post it. I do owe a debt of gratitude to so many members of both of Neven's blogs and come to think of it I need to track down someone with a pay pal account so I can contribute to an Austrian orchard.   

Sent from my iPad
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 07:10:56 AM by Bruce Steele »

jdallen

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2014, 08:05:22 PM »
Bruce et. al. ;

The FAC draft climate assessment is out; I'm still digesting it, but acidification and the state of the oceans in general appears to be high on the committee's list of concerns.

10.  Life in the oceans is changing as ocean waters become warmer and more acidic.
Warming ocean waters and ocean acidification across the globe and within U.S. marine
territories are broadly affecting marine life. Warmer and more acidic waters are changing the
distribution of fish and other mobile sea life, and stressing those, such as corals, that cannot
move. Warmer and more acidic ocean waters combine with other stresses, such as
over fishing and coastal and marine pollution, to negatively affect marine-based food
production and fishing communities (Ch.2,23,24,25).


Link to the full report below:

http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/download/NCAJan11-2013-publicreviewdraft-fulldraft.pdf
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2014, 08:36:42 PM »
JD, I tried to send you a couple e-mails but someone named Jeff responded and informed me I had the wrong address. I found a JDAllen who had published a paper on freshwater fisheries. Thought maybe it was you.

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2014, 06:11:47 PM »
Another fish story.

Animals losing migratory routes? Devasting consequences of scarcity of 'knowledgeable elders'

Quote
Small changes in a population may lead to dramatic consequences, like the disappearance of the migratory route of a species. A study carried out in collaboration with the SISSA has created a model of the behaviour of a group of individuals on the move (like a school of fish, a herd of sheep or a flock of birds, etc.) which, by changing a few simple parameters, reproduces the collective behaviour patterns observed in the wild. The model shows that small quantitative changes in the number of knowledgeable individuals and availability of food can lead to radical qualitative changes in the group's behaviour.

Until the '50s, bluefin tuna fishing was a thriving industry in Norway, second only to sardine fishing. Every year, bluefin tuna used to migrate from the eastern Mediterranean up to the Norwegian coasts. Suddenly, however, over no more than 4-5 years, the tuna never went back to Norway.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320111934.htm
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2014, 04:57:22 PM »
Scientists in focus – Lyman and Johnson explore the rapidly warming oceans
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jun/11/scientists-in-focus-lyman-johnson

Laurent

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2014, 10:51:59 PM »
Our Oceans Are Dying: Mobilizing an Indifferent Public to Confront This Crisis
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/our-oceans-are-dying_b_5533322.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2014, 11:10:41 PM »
You are well seated, everything is fine...ready to jump into the unknown, extraordinary of our world...not possible ?...

Huge 'whirlpools' in the ocean are driving the weather
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25801-huge-whirlpools-in-the-ocean-are-driving-the-weather.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.U63cIFFJzlc

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2014, 06:07:59 PM »
Bluefin tuna found off Greenland suggest influence of climate change
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Scientists in Denmark have made an unusual discovery in the normally chilly waters off the east coast of Greenland. Along with schools of mackerel, their research vessel brought in three bluefin tuna - a species known from the Mediterranean and in the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Denmark's National Institute of Aquatic Resources says the findings are further evidence of climate change. Professor Brian Mackenzie, lead author of the study, spoke to VoR.
 The tuna were found in waters of around 13 degrees Celsius, which is several degrees warmer than is normally found off the coasts of Greenland and Iceland.
The tuna would have been feeding off the same kind of foods - mackerel and herring - as in the warmer waters further south where they are usually found, says Prof Mackenzie.
"In fact, the bluefin tuna that form the basis of our research were captured during an exploratory fishery survey for mackerel in between the east of Denmark and Iceland. And in the same haul were six tonnes of mackerel, so we think the tuna were there for the warmer temperatures but also partly because of the presence of species that they usually feed on."
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_08_05/Bluefin-tuna-found-off-Greenland-suggest-influence-of-climate-change-3560/
http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_08_05/Bluefin-tuna-found-off-Greenland-suggest-influence-of-climate-change-3560/

Laurent

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2014, 04:31:08 PM »
Pacific dead zone has been shrinking for a century
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26020-pacific-dead-zone-has-been-shrinking-for-a-century.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.U-d-aZjodeQ

Laurent

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2014, 11:27:00 PM »

JimD

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Re: Oceans
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2015, 04:56:30 PM »
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/27/toxic-plastic-synthetic-microscopic-oceans-microbeads-microfibers-food-chain?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Ecologist Mark Browne knew he’d found something big when, after months of tediously examining sediment along shorelines around the world, he noticed something no one had predicted: fibers. Everywhere. They were tiny and synthetic and he was finding them in the greatest concentration near sewage outflows. In other words, they were coming from us.

In fact, 85% of the human-made material found on the shoreline were microfibers, and matched the types of material, such as nylon and acrylic, used in clothing.

It comes from our synthetic clothes as they wear out and are washed.

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But Browne’s 2011 paper announcing his findings marked a milestone, according to Abigail Barrows, an independent marine research scientist based in Stonington, Maine, who has helped to check for plastic in more than 150 one-liter water samples collected around the world. .....

By sampling wastewater from domestic washing machines, Browne estimated that around 1,900 individual fibers can be rinsed off a single synthetic garment - ending up in our oceans.

1,900 per garment per wash.  Yikes.

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Bad chemistry
Browne’s difficulty in finding companies to cooperate might be compounded by the fact that the industry that is already under scrutiny for different environmental issues. According to the World Bank, textile manufacturing generates up to 20% of industrial wastewater in China, and a number of environmental groups, chiefly Greenpeace, have launched campaigns to pressure clothing makers to rid their supply chains of toxic chemicals, such as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) used in textile processing. PFCs are linked to environmental toxicity and human health problems, and Kevin Brigden, a chemist and Greenpeace honorary research fellow, says some manufacturers are finally beginning to phase them out.

But Brigden fears microfibers released from synthetic fibers could just as chemically hazardous. “Some chemicals are very water soluble, so they wash out [into wastewater during textile manufacturing],” Brigden says. “Others are less soluble so they take time to wash off. If fabrics break down then [microfibers] are another pathway for those [chemicals into the environment].”

Those fighting the use of microbeads in beauty products are finding more traction, Barrows says, because phasing them out is straightforward. Getting rid of synthetic fibers, on the other hand, would be extremely difficult. Not only are synthetic fabrics durable and versatile, but they can have smaller water and energy footprint than natural fabrics.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein