Friday, May 23, 2008

Acid Red Flags

Eight years ago, I heard oceanographer Sylvia Earle keynote an international GIS conference. Her talk deepened my understanding of the importance of the oceans, which I pretty much got anyway, and of their fragility. They don't look fragile. I grew up in sailing family and they often felt vast, beautiful, awe-inspiring, moody, etc. But I wouldn't have used the word fragile until I heard Sylvia talk.
This morning, the Seattle Times reports that ocean acidification is happening faster than climate change models predicted (remember - one of my predictions for 2008 was that many indicators would, unfortunately, come faster than predicted). Apparently our coastlines are plagued by water that is hard for marine life to live in. As our might be soon (is? In some places, for sure, because of the same things we're doing that cause climate change).
Here is a short quote from the article, "All along the coast, the scientists found regions where the water was acidic enough to dissolve the shells and skeletons of clams, corals and many of the tiny creatures at the base of the marine food chain. Acidified water also can kill fish eggs and a wide range of marine larvae."

No comments: