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Topics - bligh8

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Consequences / Ecological Consequences of Freshwater Acidification
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:44:26 PM »
Ecological Consequences of Freshwater Acidification

Rising pCO2 in Freshwater Ecosystems Has the Potential to Negatively Affect Predator-Induced Defenses in Daphnia

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35-year monitoring data showed steady pCO2 increase and pH decrease in four reservoirs
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Freshwater acidification affects inducible defenses in the keystone speciesDaphnia
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pCO2 hampers neuronal kairomone transmission, preventing full defense expression
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Increased pCO2, rather than reduced pH, impairs predator perception in Daphnia

“pCO2-dependent freshwater acidification has been found to impair physiology of larval development in pink salmon with CO2 dose-dependent reductions in growth, yolk-to-tissue conversion, and maximal O2-uptake capacity. Moreover, changes of behavioral responses showing significant alterations in olfactory abilities with mal-adaptive anti-predator strategies and increased anxiety were observed [12, 27, 28,29]. In this context, field experiments have shown that juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salamo salar) experiences greater predation rates [30]. Also, invertebrate taxa have recently been found to be susceptible to elevated pCO2, which affected valve movement in three North American freshwater mussels [31].”

The rest / The health of the worlds Oceans
« on: November 12, 2013, 06:57:10 AM »
In the past environmental groups suggested, “nothing should go into the Oceans that did not come out of it.” In other words discharge pipes around the globe should filter down to 100%.

 Every out-fall pipe in the developed world does little or nothing the filter these tiny particles of plastic, although discussions about reverse osmosis filtering have been engaged, the expense of such an undertaking quickly removed this discussion to the “unreasonable bin”.  Waste treatment plants dotting the coast lines will reduce volume’s of sneakers, toys & dis-guarded plastic into tiny bits in seconds.

Within the Oceans there is no such thing as a reasonable amount of pollution.

 ‘There is six times as much plastic’s or polymers at or near Ocean surface water than there are krill. One study directly correlated ingested plastics with PCBs in the fat tissue of Puffins. The astonishing part was the amount. It was found that the plastic pellets eaten by the birds concentrated poisons to levels as high as 1 million times their normal occurrence in seawater.” Reduced to their smallest size even zoo-plankton may ingest this toxic garbage.

To illustrate the potential scale of the impact: in the North Pacific: at least 10% of lantern fish feeding on plankton in the upper water layers has plastic in their stomach.  This group of animals represents millions of tons of biomass. It cannot be excluded that this affects the role of vertically migrating fish in the biological carbon pump with unknown consequences for carbon dioxide transports and global climate.

The Ocean acidification problem will fix itself or not. Plastics are relativity new in the scheme of things it’s only the last 50 yrs, well into the Industrial revolution that plastics were introduced into the equation.  I can still recall the BASF public relations advertising…”Solutions for a better life using plastic”  or something to that effect.


The fish are our sentinels, as they go, we go.

Antarctica / Some Recent History of the destruction of the WAIS
« on: November 01, 2013, 04:04:37 AM »

In 1968 John Mercer, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, pointed out a problem with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet the WAIS, this is a smaller, but still enormous, mass of ice, separated by a mountain range from the bulk of the continent. Adventures who had traversed the ice during the International Geophysical Year 1957-58 had shown that much of the base of this mass was below sea level. Mercer argued that it was held back from flowing into the ocean, in a delicate balance, only by the shelves of ice floating at its rim. These shelves might disintegrate under a slight warming. The much larger mass of ice corked up by the shelves would then be released to slide into the ocean and disintegrate into icebergs. Just so, Mercer suggested, a collapse of ice sheets into the Arctic Ocean might have caused the more local, but remarkably sudden, cooling of the North Atlantic around 11,000 years ago that other scientists had identified. A West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse could be very rapid, Mercer said. The sea level would not rise as far as it would rise if all of Antarctica surged, but it would be bad enough — up to five meters, he estimated (16 feet; calculations decades later pinned down the number at
around 11 feet). Much of the world's population lives near the shore. Such a rise would displace more than a billion people and force the abandonment of many great cities. Mercer thought it could happen within the next 40 years

Mercer published his worries in an obscure conference report, and although he wrote forcefully, he did not push his views on colleagues in the personal encounters that are crucial in a small community of specialists. The few specialists who heard of his ideas were not impressed. The problem, one of them complained, "could be argued indefinitely if it is not quantified.”

Glaciologists had been working for decades on ways to calculate numbers for the flow of ice masses. In the 1970s they made rapid progress in formulating abstract mathematical models and putting the powerful new computers to work. The calculations, with many approximations, suggested that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was indeed unstable. Apparently the floating ice shelf that held it back could break up with surprising ease, and the whole mass might begin sliding forward. One scientist who made a landmark calculation, Johannes Weertman, concluded that it was "entirely possible" that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was already now starting its surge

I was a little surprised when I found this report, as I had never, over the years heard of such a thing.

It appears Mercer’s prediction of forty years may be off a decade or two, but at this point, seems unstoppable.

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