OYSTERS, LOBSTERS AND MUSSELS FACING EXTINCTION
Rising acidification of the world's oceans - caused by imploding
climate change - will significantly reduce the successful
fertilization of many species this century, according to a report by
Swedish and Australian scientists.
Species facing extinction due to high sea acidity include colonies of
sea urchins, lobsters, mussels and oysters, the study stated.
The study revealed that rising acidity was hindering marine sperm from
swimming to and fertilizing eggs in the ocean.
According to projected rates of acidity by the year 2100 there will be
a 25 percent reduction in fertilization.
Jane Williamson from Macquarie University explained to Daily Planet
Media that the surface of the ocean absorbs up to 30 percent of the
world's yearly emissions of carbon dioxide - the reason behind the
rising acidity of oceans.
Higher than normal acidity levels of 7.7 were already occurring parts
of the ocean off the west coast of the United States.
Meanwhile the "dead zones" in regions of the ocean floor that are
deprived of oxygen were spreading fast, leading scientists wrote in a
study report for the journal Science.
The cause of acute oceanic oxygen depreciation is the nitrogen and
phosphorous from chemical agricultural fertilizers that reach coastal
waters after flowing off farm fields and into streams and rivers.
Nitrogen compounds from burning fossils fuels, particularly from power
plants and cars, are washing into coastal waters, the study report
Already this decade the number of coastal dead zones had risen by
about a third to 405 worldwide. Dead zone clusters on the coasts of
the United States and Europe had taken up a combined area of least
95,000 square miles.
Dead zones began doubling every 10 years in the 1960s and there are
now large areas of sea floor with insufficient oxygen to support most
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
OYSTERS, LOBSTERS AND MUSSELS FACING EXTINCTION
The long stretch of the Mekong River waterway from northern Thailand
to central Cambodia remains higher than in 2000 when the worst floods
in four decades struck southern Vietnam, according to The Mekong River
The Vietnamese government has rescue forces on full alert to move
people from dangerous areas in southern Vietnam where the Mekong River
reaches the South China Sea.
Cambodian disaster management officials have alerted villagers of
rising waters and 4,000 boats are on stand-by in flood prone areas in
the eastern provinces of Kampong Cham and Kratie.
Landslides and flooding killed four people in Laos when the Mekong
River hit its highest level in at least 100 years after several months
of unusually heavy rain.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Chances of a world deal to cut emissions enough to curb any severe
implosion of global warming climate change has widened considerably
following the failure of world trade talks in Geneva.
The World Trade Organization' s gathering of nations was abandoned
after the US and India failed to compromise on a dispute over tariffs
on farm products.
The abrupt ending of the trade talks has put a dark cloud over next
year's climate summit in the Danish capital of Copenhagen when the
international community of developed and developing countries will
discuss an agreement for binding emissions curbs.
While there is no direct link between trade and climate change the
abandonment of the world trade talks is seen a major setback for an
emissions agreement and a carbon trading system that will require the
support of all nations.
Two public polls released this week show that 8 out of 10 Australians
support the government's decision to introduce the world's biggest carbon
trading schemes in 2010.
The Labor Party won power with a strong anti-emissions policy and set up
the first-ever Ministry for Climate Change.
While Australia produces about 1.5 percent of the world's carbon emissions
its dependence on coal for producing electricity makes it the world's biggest
One of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's first actions after winning office was to
sign the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding limits on emissions from
developed countries, and to cut emissions by 60 percent of 2000 levels by
The Arctic sea ice is unlikely to recover from last year's record low,
according to latest figures from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre.
This year's Arctic melt is already showing sea ice to be well below
average as the summer meltdown peaks.
The extent of the current year's ice melt will not be known until
mid-September. "A race has developed between the waning sunlight and
the weakened ice," the US Snow and Ice Data Centre's July report stated.
Many climate scientists now believe that over the next five years the
Arctic will be completely ice-free in the summer.
The Arctic meltdown is so unusual that the US Army's Cold Regions
Research and Engineering Laboratory released a statement citing
historical evidence that shows there has been summer ice in the Arctic
for at least 16 million years.
The Arctic region is warming twice as fast elsewhere on the planet and
the more the ice melts the more the Arctic absorbs sunlight that adds
another spur to global warming.
A Daily Planet Media survey of scientific opinion found there was no
certainty of what the absence of Arctic sea ice would have on the
planet, but many climate scientists on the UN International Panel of
Climate Change forecast more extreme storms, floods and droughts.
What concerns Arctic ice specialist Erin Clark is that the ice at the
entrance of the Northwest Passage this July was mostly young ice
frozen over from last year and prone to much fast melting.
Last year's record melt was a combination of unseasonal weather
patterns and rising temperatures attributed to human-made global warming.
The International Arctic Research Centre in Fairbanks, Alaska, claims
that unpredictable natural cycles and global warming caused by burning
fossil fuels are crucial to understanding the reasons for the
unprecedented Arctic sea ice melt.
Evidence of a fast cooling of Earth's climate almost 13 thousand years
ago has added more evidence to the scientific viewpoint that the
planet is likely to have a swift and severe climate change if the
composition of the atmosphere is rapidly altered.
Climate scientists have discovered that the last ice age occurred
exactly 12,679 years, apparently due to a shift to icy winds over the
A study of built-up layers at the bottom of Lake Meerfelder Maar in
Germany indicates a sudden chill on the planet occurred over just one
And an abrupt increase in storms during the autumn to spring seasons
coincided with drastic climate changes throughout Europe, a report on
the research stated.
Scientists have long known about the sharp chill towards the end of
the last Ice Age but the latest study strongly suggests that a shift
in wind strength represented an abrupt change in the North Atlantic
The wind shift might seems to have been triggered by factors such as a
slight southwards shift of sea ice in the North Atlantic caused by
some other natural factors, researches stated.
The latest research adds more credibility to contemporary climate
science, which blames short-term human made greenhouse gasses for
global warming and an unprecedened melting of both polar ice caps that
have already brought more extreme floods and droughts.
Another day of clear skies over Beijing has given Olympic Games
officials some confidence that air pollution won't spoil the world's
premier athletic event and grand opening.
Meteorologists said recent rain had washed away the city's smog -
alleviating organizer's concerns that contingency backup plans would
be need to be activated if the air quality further deteriorated.
Air conditions were described by visiting athletes last week as poor,
and there is still some anxiety as to how long the clear skies will last.