Highwater Marks

The looming problem of the continued acidification of our oceans is compounded by the fact that oceanographers don't even understand much about it. That is why the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are proposing increased monitoring of our oceans in order to understand better the implications of the rapid increase in ocean acidity being witnessed recently. It appears there may be a "perfect storm" taking place that does not bode well for our aquatic creatures. Coral reefs, mollusks, crustaceans, sea grasses and even clown fish are being directly threatened right now. We all learned in school how the food chain works. The extinction of these species can have devastating effects on many, many other species. This is not the first time it's happened, either. 55 million years ago, the oceans were this acidic and mass extinction took place. But scientists seem especially alarmed at how quickly the oceans are acidifying today. What is the cause and what can be done about it? Scientists say that the oceans have increased acidity by 30% since the Industrial Revolution. Acidification is caused by a chemical change when sea water absorbs CO2. The same stuff that many scientists believe contribute to our changing climate. Ocean acidification is now being tagged with the name "Climate Change's Evil Twin." This is not good folks. Will aquatic life adapt to the changing acidity in our oceans? That doesn't seem likely. One scientist explained that there is a "saturation point" that when reached could trigger a catastrophic series of events that will change our oceans forever as we know it. What scientists suggest needs to be done is to reduce CO2 emissions. There may not be any other solution. It's going to be a tough pill to swallow. It may simply be too big to be possible to get down our gullets. Drastic reduction of CO2 emissions is possible. It will take a concerted effort of people all around the globe but especially in the US and Canada. We use more than twice the energy per capita that others in the world consume. We have lots of room for saving. And saving life is what this is all about. Read more here: NOAA Research Plan Highlights, AP article: US scientist: Ocean acidity major threat to reefs, Climate Watch, PressRelease from Center for Biological Diversity Thanks for reading!        
  I have to say that I'm torn. I heard the news about the study that was released by the International Programme on the State of the Oceans (IPSO) today and I don't really know how to react. No matter how you look at it, the news is gloomy. The situation in our oceans is way worse than scientists had thought. A combination of pollution, increasing global temperatures, over-fishing, acidification, and hypoxia are causing irreversible damage and ultimate mass extinction unless something drastic is done. Scientists warn us that the 3 main conditions that have led to mass extinction of life on Earth in the past are present now: Low oxygen (hypoxia), warming, and acidification. Oysters are essentially already extinct. There are growing dead zones in our oceans. We've played poker with our waterways and the deal done gone down bad. Situation critical. As someone who has been aware of the delicate balancing act we all play on this Earth, and as someone who learned a long time ago about feedback systems and inter-connectivity of all life, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to me. I've been concerned for years. I've been debating for years. I've been warning others for years. Now that the reality of what I feared is breathing down our necks, I'm not sure how to react. I hate to be the bearer of bad new. I don't want to believe this news is true. I want to be in denial. So for now, I will just go on trying to make a difference each and every day and hope that this news is just a bad dream. What else is there really to do? Read more here: State Of The Ocean: 'Shocking' Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress I blogged about the condition of oysters and the spread of Oyster Herpes a while back. I found the photo I used, but can't find where it originated. I am posting it here because it is such a striking photo. My apologies to the photographer and I will try to find the source. Funny, when I googled "oyster herpes" I couldn't find the photo but half way down the first page of images I saw my kindergarten picture. lol Try it. I'm the little pixie with the uneven bangs. :) I did find out the photo credit goes to Getty Images.