Saturday, June 04, 2016
The Warming Oceans and the Cloud of Death
About a year ago people fishing off the coast of Oregon began to notice a disturbing phenomenon.
Crabs and baby octopuses climbing up their anchor ropes in a desperate attempt to escape something on the bottom of the sea.
And the explanation couldn't be more ominous.
They were suffocating to death because global warming is starting to starve the oceans of oxygen.
It should come as no surprise that human activity is causing the world’s oceans to warm, rise and acidify. But an equally troubling impact of climate change is that it is beginning to rob the oceans of oxygen.
Ultimately, Long told The Huffington Post, oxygen-deprived oceans may have “significant impacts on marine ecosystems” and leave some areas of ocean all but uninhabitable for certain species.
And while that is disturbing enough, there also another reason we should be concerned.
For as oxygen levels decrease, bacteria that live in the lower depths of some oceans can multiply exponentially and produce large quantities of deadly hydrogen sulphide.
Which has been blamed by some for the deadliest mass extinction ever, the so-called Permian extinction.
When a combination of volcanic activity and a warming ocean caused huge clouds of hydrogen sulphide to sweep across the land and kill 95 per cent of life on earth.
Including for the first time even insects, who had escaped other mass extinctions.
Whether that could happen again remains to be determined, but since we know less about our oceans than we know about the moon, I thought you might find this article really interesting.
The world’s oceans, according to recent research, are rapidly becoming more stratified and less oxygen-rich. The result is that mixing between various layers of the ocean is beginning to shut down reducing oxygen content in the deep ocean and spurring the expansion of numerous oceanic dead zones.
When combined with the jarring effects of rapid ocean warming and expanding acidification, it becomes plainly obvious to almost any ocean ecologist that the world’s ocean system is suffering the heavy bombardment of a new mass extinction event.
And then if suffocating sea creatures, and the threat that we might be suffocated one day isn't enough, then there's this.
Part of the Antarctic's ice has shrunk by about 1,000 square kilometres over the last 40 years, according to a new study.
The ice loss along the Bellingshausen Sea's coast is thought to be due to warm ocean water.
Which could drown coastal communities, and even entire countries.
You know it should be obvious that if we scorch the land on our beautiful little planet, we might get away with it for a while.
Maybe we could survive drought, mass starvation, and water wars.
But the day the oceans turn against us we won't have a chance.
Will that be how humankind ends? With deadly clouds bubbling out of the sea and billions dying with the burning smell of rotten eggs in our nostrils.
And how can we stop it? When so many must share the blame for living for today and ignoring all those who will come after us.
And no, governments can't solve the problem alone, even if they wanted to, which many still don't.
Climate change is the deadliest threat to the future of our planet.
And we must ALL do more to fight it...
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