Tag Archives: ocean acidification

UN Chief Warns World on ‘Verge of the Abyss’ as WMO Releases Climate Report

The warning came alongside the release of the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate in 2020, which said it was one of the three warmest years on record.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-19-2021

The CZU lightning complex fire burns along Butano Ridge and in Pescadero Creek Park, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California. This fire would later grow to over 85,000 acres and destroy over 900 structures. Photo: Inklein/Wikimedia Commons

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that humanity stands “on the verge of the abyss” as the climate crisis pushes the world “dangerously close” to hitting the 1.5 degree Celsius target limit of warming.

Guterres delivered the ominous remarks at the launch of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) State of the Global Climate report—a publication he said “should alarm us all.” Continue reading

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Humans May Have Passed the ‘Point of No Return’ in Climate Crisis, Says Study—But That Doesn’t Mean All Hope Is Lost

In order to roll back catastrophic carbon emissions, humans must “start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” says one of the study’s lead authors.

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-12-2020

Melting permafrost in Canada’s Northwest Territories sends carbon-rich sediment into the Mackenzie Delta. (Photo: Charles Tarnocai/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Humanity may have passed the “point of no return” in the climate crisis—even if everyone on the planet stopped emitting all greenhouse gases at this very moment, according to a study published Thursday.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed British publication Scientific Journals, alarmingly asserts that “the world is already past a point of no return for global warming” and that the only way to halt the catastrophic damage caused by greenhouse emissions is to extract “enormous amounts of carbon dioxide… from the atmosphere.” Continue reading

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We’re In Really Hot Water

Velella velella on a beach. Photo from Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

Velella velella on a beach. Photo from Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

We have yet to explore 95% of our world oceans.

Researchers continue to gain understanding as technology and improved equipment allows them to boldly go where no one has gone before. This week, a new study was released in Climatewire and reprinted by Scientific American, that revealed astonishing information about how the oceans are absorbing – and hiding – the heat from global warming.

As the oceans absorb heat in the Atlantic and southern oceans, the heat is absorbed in the salt of the water. As the water travels to the arctic, this layer of heated salt sinks when  it meets the cold arctic waters. As a result, our oceans don’t cool, they store heat and expel it over decades of cycles. As global warming increases, these patterns will become more difficult for the earth’s natural cycles to control.

But that’s not all that worries us. We also have recently learned through research off the west coast of the United States that human-ocean acidification has reached a level that now endangers shellfish.

Oysters take three years to grow to a marketable size. As CO2 is absorbed in water at a rate 10 times faster than in any other medium, carbon dioxide is changing the ph balance of the ocean’s water. Shell fish like oysters, scallops and mussels need calcium and carbonate to develop and grow their shells.  Shells can’t form when acidification of the water takes place.

The bulk of the world’s population is located near coastlines. This is because our oceans have always provided humanity with what seems to be an unlimited food source. What will we as a human race do once the oceans are no longer able to support the food chain that provides for the species we consume?

For the last several weeks, west coast adventurers in the US have been photographing Velella velella, or “by-the-wind sailors,” the silver-purple sea creatures that vaguely resemble jellyfish which are typically found well out in the ocean. They are washing up on the beaches from Washington state to southern California. Some experts tell us there is nothing to be concerned about; they blew in with the wind.

If that were true, why have we not seen them every time there is a west wind blowing for any amount of time? Are we to believe there is no connection between ocean acidification, rising temperatures and the dying of species we have not even fully studied yet?

But you can sleep well, knowing there will be no shocking news tomorrow from the Science world in America. Our congress has decided we should not fund any research that supports or studies global warming or climate change. We can save that money and keep our heads buried in the sand on the beach, while dead species wash up around us.

Beach party, any one?

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