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The Disaffected Lib: Truth from the Sea

If there’s one thing climate change deniers steer well clear of, it’s the state of our oceans.

They confine their lies to cherry-picked data about global warming of the atmosphere, a narrative that still has to be bolstered with mighty lies oft repeated, but they know not to mess with oceanic reality.

None of us gets out of school without being taught that our oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface. Terrestrial life has to make do with the 30% of terra firma left over. Yeah, okay, fair enough.

Water doesn’t lie and it really doesn’t provide much cover for liars (Read more…)

reeves report: Ocean Warming and Acidification will Crash Crabs’ Metabolism

Porcelain crab. (Image courtesy of Stillman’s Lab)

BASED ON FUTURE CLIMATE SCENARIOS, researchers believe coastal ecosystems will see increased extremes in low tide temperature fluctuations and drops in pH levels associated with ocean acidification. This particular study looked at what impacts, if any, warmer water and higher acidity levels will have on intertidal zone crustaceans like the test species, porcelain crabs. (The intertidal zone is the area above water at low tide and below water at high tide.)

“The way that I interpret our data is that in the future, [porcelain crabs] are going to have an overall (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: There’s This Story Making the Rounds…

It’s an item from Reuters that has been picked up by a number of newspapers, including The Globe & Mail.  It concerns a study that found one species of algae has managed to adapt fairly quickly to warming and more acidic oceans.

What’s interesting is that the authors of the study went to great lengths to point out the limits of their discovery and to stress that this wasn’t some sort of “all clear” on either the warming or acidification of our oceans.  Having noted that, the reporter went on to simply ignore the cautions and proclaim some sort of (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: What Happens When Earth Says, "I’m Outta Here."

Earth may have had just about enough of us.

One indication that we may be outstaying our planetary welcome is the spike in atmospheric greenhouse gases in 2013.  Part of that reflects our increased use of fossil fuels.  The other part is more worrisome by an order of magnitude.

The Earth, it seems, may have had its fill of absorbing our emissions.

Concentrations of nearly all the major greenhouse gases reached historic highs in 2013, reflecting ever-rising emissions from automobiles and smokestacks but also, scientists believe, a diminishing ability of the world’s oceans and plant life to soak up the (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Those Shellfish Are Talking to You. Can You Hear Them?

The eastern Pacific, from the Bering Sea to northern California, has been one of the world’s last remaining great fisheries.  It’s a band of coastal ocean famous for its abundant salmon, cod, halibut and tuna but it’s also known for its bounty of crab of several varieties plus shellfish including scallops, clams, mussels and oysters.

Now a lot of that resource is at severe risk from our greenhouse gas emissions that are acidifying the ocean habitat.  The acid levels in our waters have increased by 30% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  That’s the kiss of (Read more…)

350 or bust: Send Water Some Love On World Water Day

Tomorrow is World Water Day; the waters that nurture and sustain life on earth need our protection more than ever. * * World Water Day: Global Synchronized Water Ceremony  

The Disaffected Lib: Another Climate Change Calamity. This One is Personal.

Island Scallops is on the ropes.  The company, which produces an astonishingly-good hybrid scallop, has just lost three years’ production to ocean acidification. 

As we’ve pumped ever more CO2 into the atmosphere, our oceans have absorbed increasing amounts of it, in turn acidifying.  The more acidic water attacks the calcium in corals, mollusc shells and so on.  It’s been doing a job on Island  Scallops’ production.

The disaster, which cost the company $10 million and could lead to its closure, is the latest vicious reminder of the submarine impacts of our fossil fuel–heavy energy appetites. As (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Now, When You Put It That Way…

All of us need to get a sense of what the world’s oceans mean to us, the role they play in our daily lives even if we live far inland in a place like Winnipeg, for example.

Here’s one to chew on.  The oxygen in every second breath you take is supplied by the oceans.   There, does that help connect you to our oceans, your oceans?   Your life literally depends on them.  That sure works for me.

We’ve tipped nature’s balance enough that we have caused the oceans to acidify at rates not seen in 300-million (Read more…)

350 or bust: Signs Of Change

I’ve been blogging about climate change since my conversion from being a climate change avoider to a climate activist/fossil fuel abolitionist in the fall of 2009. As a climate change avoider, I never watched An Inconvenient Truth; after all, it might be inconvenient to have to face my fear or be prodded into taking action. […]

350 or bust: Roz Savage: Stop Drifting, Start Rowing

Roz Savage has an amazing story to tell, about how she left the life that was expected of her, to become an ocean adventurer. Is she crazy? You decide: * Roz Savage, Ocean Rower

350 or bust: Protecting The Ocean We Love

Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 13 2012: Cancer in the workplace and the crisis of ocean acidification

Download: earthgauge-podcast-dec13-20122.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about environmental health and ocean acidification. I have two interviews on the program today:

Dr. James Brophy, co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants Dr. Robert Rangeley of the World Wildlife Fund of Canada who will explain why the rapid acidification of the word’s oceans threatens many forms of marine life and may even endanger the oceanic food chain

Click the audio player above to stream the show or

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 13 2012: Cancer in the workplace and the crisis of ocean acidification

Earthgauge Radio: On Earthgauge Radio tomorrow: Getting cancer at work and the ticking timebomb of ocean acidification

Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio, I am pleased to present a feature interview with Dr. James Brophy, who is the co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Their research found that women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group. The research results have created quite a stir in the cancer research community and our discussion tomorrow is not to be missed!

We’ll also have an interview from

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: On Earthgauge Radio tomorrow: Getting cancer at work and the ticking timebomb of ocean acidification

Drive-by Planet: Ocean acidification: global warming’s ‘evil twin’

Anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide is responsible for adding to global warming and triggering a host of attendant environmental problems. CO2 has also contributed to a dramatic spike in the acid levels of the oceans – an effect that has been cast as the ‘evil twin’ of climate change – and for good reason.

Roughly a quarter of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ends up in the oceans where it forms carbonic acid. When carbon dioxide dissolves it alters the water chemistry – lowering the pH and increasing acid levels.

Bärbel Hönisch – a paleooceanographer at Columbia U’s Lamont-Doherty Earth

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Ocean acidification: global warming’s ‘evil twin’