Saturday, June 11, 2005

Coral Reef - High CO2 World

Chemical and biological effects on corals in a high-CO2 world - extract from UNESCO document in CO2 Max blog entry

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St Lucia, 4067, QLD, Australia E-mail:

  • The consequences of a changing atmosphere for coral reefs are serious and are already occurring. With periods of abnormally warm seas and carbon dioxide concentrations above any seen for the last 400,000 years, corals are facing conditions that greatly exceed the environmental envelope to which they are adapted. Evidence that this is occurring is seen in the increasing frequency and severity of mass bleaching events, in which corals loose their brown symbionts and turn white. Increasingly, these events are resulting in large-scale mortalities, a consequence of longer and more intense warming during the summer months. The impact of increasing sea temperatures is being compounded by the changing aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ω−arag). Oceanic Ω−arag will continue to decrease over the next 50 years as CO2 builds up the atmosphere. Decreased Ω−arag directly reduces the calcifying ability of organisms such as corals, eventually making their skeletons fragile. While corals and coral reefs are unlikely to undergo complete extinction in geological time, the prognosis for reefs and the people that depend on them is not bright in the shorter term (tens to hundreds of years). Analysis using projected sea temperatures and the current sensitivity of corals to elevated sea temperatures indicates that conditions will soon greatly exceed the thermal thresholds of corals and their symbionts, with the consequence that major mortalities will be commonplace by 2030 and thermal stress events will rise above any experienced by corals in the past 50 years if not several thousand years. Given the importance of coral reefs to billion dollar economies and an estimated 100 million people worldwide, action must be taken to reduce these impacts.

Monday, June 06, 2005

EU Marine Waste legislation

Currently researching legislation, rules and law into marine sewage discharge - tank-flushing in local sea ports and from shore from small boats, yachts etc.

What I need to know is:

What are the rules for discharge?
What is the safe distance in port, or from shore
What legislation exists, or will exist to restrict tank-flushing in ports, or near shore

Sunday, June 05, 2005

CO2 Max

June seems awfully cold for this time of year and if the North Atlantic Conveyor is the culprit, then we're all in for some hard yards over the next couple of years.

Having watched The Day After Tomorrow flick and examined the science behind the film, you have to begin to wonder if there's any point in trying to help out the environment by easing up the throttle and cutting down your journeys to all but the essential, i.e. game over guys, the ice man commeth.

The stats look stark. If you read a couple of these links then you'll start to get a better understanding of where we're heading. Where you choose to live in the next few years could have a direct impact on your prosperity and hopefully not, your survival chances.

Britain faces big chill as ocean current slows,,2087-1602579,00.html

Ocean Forces Threaten Our Climate
Powerful forces beneath the ocean waves may wreak havoc on our climate, driven by global warming
John Gribbin

Add to that the CO2 max situation in the sea, whereby shellfish are unable to grow shells due to carbonic acid and are migrating to southern seas, you start to get the big picture. If you take a mollusk from a southern ocean and transplant it to the north, its shell begins to dissolve (sic). Frankly we're environmentally bankrupt and even if we do put the break pedals on now, the next world war is going to be fairly and squarely targeted at us. Wars against nations for oil will pale by comparison to the environmental war scaled against wee humans. I believe a new age of cooperation and collaboration will be needed on a grand scale to salvage what (environmentally) is left and begin to recover the damage done.

Ocean CO2 may 'harm marine life

Nearly 50% of the carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere over the last 200 years has been absorbed by the sea, scientists say.

The above is based on last years UNESCO International Science Symposium, Paris

As a footnote, I picked up on BHP Billiton, the worlds biggest diversified mining company taking up 55.4% of WMC Resources, now owning up to a third of the worlds uranium reserves. If fossil fuels become largely restricted especially for heating, then sadly uranium may be only CO2 friendly alternative..

Euro collapse

Man, who'd have thought it, France giving up the ghost on the European constitution and causing the pack to slide! Only thing is I'm getting paid in Euros at present, so although being a Brit, the thought of my pay packet being hit, kinda leaves me wondering why we bothered supporting a unified Europe in the first place. Ideals aside, the people running Brussels have done themselves no favours by rank-and-file corruption scandals and silly rules on the shapes and sizes of fruit and veg. As the press have quite rightly said, they should have started out with statement of purpose on what Europe might become and not start fiddling with each countries own sovereignty and laws.

Sad, because with some much environmental destruction going on a unified Europe needs to exist to pull us all together..