Oceans Are In A Pickle, Dissolving Shellfish: Only Trees, Grass, & Plankton Can Save Them
Sydney rock oysters. Image credit:Wikipedia
Grand Dad built the carbon bomb. We lit the fuse and the blast is pickling the world's oceans. Larval forms of marine life are dissolving. The science is firm: ocean acidity can be measured directly (no modeling needed - thank you very much). Two bad news items. No amount of carbon trading, offsetting, capping, or cutting back tomorrow's emissions will halt ocean acidification and reverse it Regardless of what the Military Industrial Complex proposes - rocket launched sky mirrors or volcano-mimicking sulfur blockades of the sun for example - their geo-engineering ideas will do nothing to mitigate the ocean pickle we have gotten ourselves into.
Good news. What can rescue our oceans are three simple things which mimic or enhance nature: Planting and conserving forests; enriching and preventing erosion of agricultural soils; and nurturing marine plankton growth. The latest news on the ocean acidification front is presented below.To get your arms around the 'carbon bomb' concept please read "Carbon Bomb" Detonating Megatons Per Day, Acidifying The World's Oceans.
To see the latest scientific evidence confirming the steady march of ocean acidification read the post: Worsening Marine Carbon Bomb Effects Confirmed In 15-Year Study Of Northern Pacific Ocean.
The US National Academy of Sciences has published Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean Although the Academies offer a free pdf download of thier strategy paper, I admit to not having read it. Mainly because researchers tend to be long on identifying causality mechanisms and short on practicality for solving large scale problems. Anyhow, the headline of this post cuts to the finish. Only living systems can save living systems. There isn't enough lime in the commodity chemical market to slake the world's ocean acidity. If we made enough it it would be processed by burning fossil fuel. Dumb idea.
Why should you care?
Like oysters? Too bad then. See Early larval development of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata under near-future predictions of CO2-driven ocean acidification for details.
Also, National Science Foundation points out that On 'Earth Week,' World Is No Longer Our Oyster. The problem is actually much worse than your grand kids not ever eating oysters. Laval forms of many other organism - some of which fish depend upon - are similarly dissolving.
Like them scallops? Too bad. Check out this story from the Southhampton News: CO2 is tagged as culprit; Shellfish may be latest victims
"We're seeing a dramatic decrease in survival rates as CO2 levels rise, even to today's levels," Ms. Talmage said during an interview at the laboratories at the Stony Brook Marine Sciences Center in Southampton. "Geologically, we've never seen the levels of CO2 we're seeing today, in 25 million years. Throw in a little brown tide and some over-fishing, and of course populations are going to be declining. This could be one of those large explanations for what's been going on."