- Ocean pastures in a state of dire collapse as seen in 30 year declines in ocean chlorophyll
- Fisheries & ocean management has failed as species after species forced to near extinction
- Historic CO2 emissions drive ocean acidification with massive ecosystem change predicted by 2050
- Fresh CO2 emissions accelerates the ocean acidification crisis
- What’s behind these ocean disasters lost in most of the general and scientific media
- Can we wait for solutions that are not being sought
- We have the knowledge, the means, and the will to become stewards of ocean pastures today
Read News Below — our reason for being
Dumping iron at sea does sink carbon
Nature 18 July 2012
In the search for methods to limit global warming, it seems that stimulating the growth of algae in the oceans might be an efficient way of removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere after all.
Despite other studies suggesting that this approach was ineffective, a recent analysis of an ocean-fertilization experiment eight years ago in the Southern Ocean indicates that encouraging algal blooms to grow can soak up carbon that is then deposited in the deep ocean as the algae die.
The EIFEX results back up a hypothesis by the late oceanographer John Martin, who first reported in 1988 that iron deficiency limits phytoplankton growth in parts of the subarctic Pacific Ocean2. Martin later proposed that vast quantities of iron-rich dust from dry and sparsely vegetated continental regions may have led to enhanced ocean productivity in the past, thus contributing to the drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide during glacial climates3 — an idea given more weight by the EIFEX findings. Read more at…. http://www.nature.com/news/dumping-iron-at-sea-does-sink-carbon-1.11028
Could dumping iron in the oceans cure climate change?
- Iron stimulates plankton growth
- Plankton bind carbon dioxide and sink it to ocean floor
- Tests in Southern Ocean hailed a success
A ship replenishing iron into the Southern Ocean has shown off a technique that could be the ‘cure’ for climate change.
The iron stimulates plankton growth, which ‘binds’ carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere – getting rid of one of the gases which warms Earth’s atmosphere.
A trial, called Eifex, has been hailed a success, after a bloom of plankton sank 1,000 metres below the ocean, taking with it carbon dioxide.
‘We were able to prove that over 50 per cent of the plankton bloom sank below 1000 metre depth indicating that their carbon content can be stored in the deep ocean and in the underlying seafloor sediments for time scales of well over a century,’ says Prof. Dr. Victor Smetacek from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association.
Global phytoplankton decline 1% per year!
Daniel G. Boyce and B. Worm Nature (29 July 2010)
In the oceans, ubiquitous microscopic phototrophs (phytoplankton) account for approximately half the production of organic matter on Earth. Analyses of satellite-derived phytoplankton concentration (available since 1979) have suggested decadal-scale fluctuations linked to climate forcing, but the length of this record is insufficient to resolve longer-term trends. Here we combine available ocean transparency measurements and in situ chlorophyll observations to estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year.
Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century; this decline will need to be considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling, ocean circulation and fisheries.
Volcanic eruption may have boosted sockeye return.
Vancouver Sun Nov. 19, 2010
A smouldering volcano in Alaska could provide the key to the mystery of this year’s massive sockeye return, a judicial inquiry into the health of the Fraser River sockeye has heard.Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen was appointed last year to determine the cause of 2009′s disastrously small sockeye returns, but the waters were muddied when more than 34 million sockeye returned in 2010, the biggest run in decades.
Simon Fraser University volcanologist Glyn Williams-Jones was asked by the commission to reflect on evidence that the August 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska may have spawned an algae bloom in the North Pacific that dramatically improved the food supply for Fraser River sockeye.”The ash that came from that eruption blew south, southeast and dropped onto the surface of the ocean,” Williams-Jones said. “There are some large-scale studies … that suggest that iron dust in ash or from sandstorms could act like fertilizer.”
Ocean CO2 and Acidification Threatens Shellfish
Globe and Mail 30 Oct. 2011
For more than two decades, Rob Saunders grew his shellfish larvae in ordinary seawater drawn from the pristine natural environment of Baynes Sound, one of the most productive shellfish farming areas on B.C.’s West Coast.
Now the water in Baynes Sound is so acidic, Mr. Saunders’ fragile seed stock will die unless he artificially adjusts the PH level in his hatchery tanks.
“Because of ocean acidification the only way we can grow any larvae – oysters, clams, mussels, geoducks, you name it – is to take the CO2 out of the seawater,” said Mr. Saunders, CEO of Island Scallops, the largest producer of shellfish seed stock on province’s West Coast. read more link
“We would have been out of business this year if we didn’t figure out how to solve the problem.”
UN Agencies Unveil Ten Proposals to Safeguard the Ocean
The Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability was prepared by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNDP, IMO and FAO
Paris (PRWEB) November 01, 2011
The Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability sounds the alarm about the health of the ocean, and explains how it influences our everyday life by regulating the climate, providing highly-nutritious food and by sustaining livelihoods and economies. It recalls that although the ocean accounts for 70 percent of the surface of our planet, only one percent of it is protected.
Presented at UNESCO Headquarters during the 36th session of the General Conference, the Blueprint was prepared for consideration by the UN conference on sustainable development (Rio+20, June 2012).
It proposes a series of concrete measures to:
- Create a global blue carbon market as a means of creating direct economic gain through habitat protection;
- Fill governance gaps in the high seas, by reinforcing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
- Support the development of green economies in small island developing states
- Promote research on ocean acidification -how to adapt to it and mitigate it
- Increase institutional capacity for scientific monitoring of oceans and coastal areas
- Reform and reinforce regional ocean management organisations
- Promote responsible fisheries and aquaculture in a green economy
- Strengthen legal frameworks to address aquatic invasive species
- “Green” the nutrient economy to reduce ocean hypoxia and promote food security
- Enhance coordination, coherence and effectiveness of the UN system on ocean issues
The Blueprint was prepared by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC),
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). read more link
Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide
Royal Society (London) 30 June 2005
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted to the atmosphere by human activities is being absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic (lowering the pH the measure of acidity). Evidence indicates that emissions of carbon dioxide from human activities over the past 200 years have already led to a reduction in the average pH of surface seawater of 0.1 units and could fall by 0.5 units by the year 2100. This pH is probably lower than has been experienced for hundreds of millennia and, critically, at a rate of change probably 100 times greater than at any time over this period.
The report outlines our best understanding of the impacts of these chemical changes on the oceans. The impacts will be greater for some regions and ecosystems, and will be most severe for coral reefs and the Southern Ocean. The impacts of ocean acidification on other marine organisms and ecosystems are much less certain. We recommend a major international research effort be launched into this relatively new area of research.
Ocean pH dropping much more rapidly than predicted!
Wooton et al. Proc Natl Academy of Science USA Dec. 2008
Increasing global concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are predicted to decrease ocean pH, with potentially severe impacts on marine food webs, but empirical data documenting ocean pH over time are limited. In a high-resolution dataset spanning 8 years, pH at a north-temperate coastal site declined with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and varied substantially in response to biological processes and physical conditions that fluctuate over multiple time scales. Applying a method to link environmental change to species dynamics via multispecies Markov chain models reveals strong links between in situ benthic species dynamics and variation in ocean pH, with calcareous species generally performing more poorly than noncalcareous species in years with low pH. The models project the long-term consequences of these dynamic changes, which predict substantial shifts in the species dominating the habitat as a consequence of both direct effects of reduced calcification and indirect effects arising from the web of species interactions. Our results indicate that pH decline is proceeding at a more rapid rate than previously predicted in some areas, and that this decline has ecological consequences for near shore benthic ecosystems.
by John Laumer, Philadelphia on 01.24.10
Carbon bomb is something of a cold-war metaphor. Like a neutron bomb detonated in the atmosphere, it leaves earthly infrastructure and objects outwardly as they were, wiping out only the living things below.
Carbon bomb effects could potentially be more immediately dangerous than the separate and longer term impacts of climate change. (Clue to news reporters: ocean acidification and climate change are separate problems sharing a root cause, the CO2 portion of all greenhouse gases. Specifically, ocean acidification is not affected by hydro-fluorocarbons or methane, for example, whereas climate is affected by them. There now…that’s not so hard is it?)
Here’s the thing. Even if all CO2 emissions were immediately brought to zero, ocean acidification would proceed apace for centuries. The ocean’s buffer is inadequate to the carbon bomb fragments being rained upon it from decades old emissions.
China is irrelevant. The financial stimulus is irrelevant. Political ideology and climate bills are irrelevant. Bush, Limbaugh, Luntz, Obama, Pelosi, Boxer, and the rest of the cheese mountain gang are irrelevant.
Making like a volcano and spewing sulfates into the atmosphere won’t help. A flock of space mirrors won’t help. Nor will dumping limestone powder into the seas: can’t be done to scale without massive investment of energy and treasure..
There are other things, things not mentioned here, which may help shelter us from carbon bomb effects. But, what we’re hearing from Think Tanks, NGO’s, and treaty officials is mostly about denial and ethical hyperbole.
At a minimum, more research like the work cited is needed, as is more work on potential biotic effects. That’s not a scare tactic; it’s common sense.
by John Laumer, Philadelphia on 06.18.09
Oceanic carbon dioxide flux. Image credit: NOAA,
“The oceanic sink for carbon dioxide:”
Sabine and Feely, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.
I try to keep my posting on the sunny side of life. Climate change, as fearful as it seems at times, is still a distant risk and one that it is definitely not too late to mitigate. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the world’s oceans have variously absorbed more than one-third of the last 150 years worth – roughly 130 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions – becoming, as IPS points out, “30 percent more acidic as the extra CO2 combines with carbonate ions in seawater, forming carbonic acid“.
Eruption Gives Fish Big Boost – Alaska Magazine Feb. 2011
The eruption of Kasatochi Volcano in the Aleutian Chain in 2008 may have helped produce the largest red salmon run since 1913 in British Columbia.
The 2009 run in the Fraser River was about 1.5 million salmon, but more than 34 million salmon were counted there in 2010.
Those fish were adolescents in the Gulf of Alaska when the volcano erupted, raining ash down on the ocean. The ash, which was spread over a 1,000-mile stretch of water by a storm, acted as a fertilizer, leading to a massive bloom of special phytoplankton called diatoms—a rich source of food for the growing salmon, according to CBC News.
Scientists monitored the plankton bloom after the eruption using satellite imaging, and declared it was one of the largest such blooms observed in the subarctic North Pacific.
The 2008 eruption also helped test and disprove a theory about how to slow or stop global warming. Climate-change researchers had been wondering whether artificially seeding plankton blooms would help absorb excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. The answer now appears to be no, because the massive natural phytoplankton bloom in 2008 had only a modest impact on carbon dioxide levels.
Kasatochi resulted in a massive bloom of plankton, called diatoms,
which helped produce one of the largest salmon runs British Columbia has ever had.