Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

How much is too much?  When does a stream of information flow over and one more entry, article, news piece or documentary simply becomes redundant, numbing white noise, counterproductive annoyance? Searching online today, the 12th of April of 2013, for the term Ocean Acidification brings up 1.900.000 pages.  Little compared to Climate Change's 73.600.000, that's true, but when it comes down to the repercussion either figure is having in our fight against environmental threats it seems strength does not exactly lie in numbers after all. Could be we just need to reach the 1.420.000.000 behind Oil or the 2.990.000.000 coming with Money.  But we needn't despair yet, Love does still shines above all this with over 7.560.000.000 entries.*

Some of the results of looking for news on Ocean Acidification and the environment the last couple weeks:

≈≈≈≈USA Today video on Ocean Acidification:

And at the bottom of THIS link you can watch a second video on oyster farming at Oyster Bay and the threat of Ocean Acidification.

≈≈≈≈A second video on oyster farming, this one about Kathleen Nisbet and her father, Dave, two farm oysters in Washington's Willapa Bay that recently shifted some of their business to Hawai'i, after ocean acidification started killing baby oysters in local hatcheries.


≈≈≈≈A great PDF file to download HERE, filled with useful information, maps, images and graphics about Ocean Acidification and the US East Coast estuaries.
"What is at risk?
Key numbers for the East Coast Estuaries:
$497 million: The value of shellfish landings in Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern coastal states in 2010
$110 million: The annual value of East Coast shellfish aquaculture sales in 2011
$30 million: The dockside value of shellfish from Virginia's watermen-farmers, whose harvest has been nearly doubling each year

≈≈≈≈"The path to Cape Flattery is a twisty, moss-carpeted tunnel underneath red cedar and Douglas fir trees that crowd Washington state’s rugged coastline. Micah McCarty scrambles down the forest trail to a shoreline below, leaping across tide pools and slippery rocks to a point where waves break on shellfish beds. We’ve reached the northwesternmost point of the U.S. mainland, a craggy tip of the Olympic Peninsula that belongs to the Makah tribe.
This group of Native Americans has been fishing and harvesting here for the past 2,000 years. McCarty, the tribe’s 42-year-old former chairman, pulls out a pocket knife and squats down to scrape a handful of mussels and barnacles into his hand. “We call them slippers and boots,” he says. “I’ll make them into a Makah paella tonight.”

SOURCE (to keep reading)

≈≈≈≈Battery hybrid ships are soon to be a reality thanks to the Low Carbon Shipping project, set up by the Norwegian Research Council to identify the cost-effective GHG reduction potential in the world merchant fleet. Det Norske Veritas (DVN) and Grieg Star have carried out research that shows fuel savings of 30% and less than a year's payback time after installing lithium-ion batteries to assist with operations.

≈≈≈≈"Revolution", a new documentary about "saving the humans" that opens in theaters (in Canada, at least) today:

≈≈≈≈The thawing of Greenland's glaciers is enriching North Atlantic waters with iron, pretty much in the same style as all the geo-engineering proposals discussed or bullishly tested over the last few years:
"A melt of Greenland's ice is washing large amounts of the nutrient iron into the Atlantic Ocean where it might aid marine life in a rare positive side-effect of climate change, a study showed on Sunday.
Greenland's thaw, which is raising world sea levels, is also adding about 300,000 tonnes of iron a year to the North Atlantic, based on projections from the muddy melt water of three glaciers in the southwest, it said.
[…]Photo: Iceberg in Greenland
"We suggest that glacial runoff serves as a significant source of bio-available iron to surrounding coastal oceans," the scientists, mainly at the U.S. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience.
"We would expect this glacial contribution of iron to the North Atlantic Ocean to continue to increase under future warming scenarios," they added.
The findings show that "as glaciers and ice sheets melt there may be other effects than just increased sea level," said Maya Bhatia, who was leader of the study at WHOI and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

≈≈≈≈A new study from the University of Washington reveals that Ocean Acidification will not only affect the shells of mussels, but also weaken the byssal threads that attach them to rocks. "The researchers found that in higher CO2 conditions, the common bay mussel (Mytilus trossulus) could be dislodged by forces 40 percent lower than mussels attached under current conditions. This is because the byssal threads become weaker and lose their ability to stretch as far."

≈≈≈≈Trailer for the documentary The Whale, a film about a young lost orca off the Alaskan shore:

≈≈≈≈In the story of losers, adapters and winners due to lowering pH levels in the oceans purple sea urchins could be amongst the lucky ones. According to Melissa Pespeni, evolutionary biologist at the University of Indiana, sea urchin larvae studied in her lab under a high CO2 environment showed few visible changes in growth and development, but some noticeable alterations in the abundance of certain genes.  The changed genes are involved in promoting growth, producing minerals and keeping pH within a range that's tolerable to them.
"If any organism were able to adapt and evolve, it would be the sea urchins, because they live in an environment where they're experiencing daily changes in pH," says Pepsini.
The urchins are very long-lived and have more genetic variability than any other species — including humans, she added. Consequently, the urchins have a broad arsenal for responding to changes in their environment.

≈≈≈≈Crabs, crabs, crabs. For some reason three studies about crabs and Ocean Acidification showed up in the news over the last few days:
The first one is about the "effects of Ocean Acidification on Juvenile Red King Crab and Tanner Crab Growth, Condition, Calcification and Survival".
"At the end of the experiment, calcium concentration was measured in each crab and the dry mass and condition index of each crab were determined. Ocean acidification did not affect the calcium content of red king crab but did decrease the condition index, while it had the opposite effect on Tanner crabs, decreasing calcium content but leaving the condition index unchanged. This suggests that red king crab may be able to maintain calcification rates, but at a high energetic cost. The decrease in survival and growth of each species is likely to have a serious negative effect on their populations in the absence of evolutionary adaptation or acclimatization over the coming decades."
The second study by San Francisco State University indicates that Ocean Acidification may be harmful to porcelain crabs. Read MORE HEREPhoto: Porcelain Crab
Finally, the third one is about research published back in 2009 in the journal Geology by Justin Baker Ries (marine geologist at the University of North Carolina's Aquarium Research Center) and coauthored with Anne Cohen and Daniel McCorkle indicates that "higher levels of carbon in the ocean are causing oysters to grow slower, and their predators -such as blue crabs- to grow faster".  The article points out that "Over the next 75 to 100 years, ocean acidification could supersize blue crabs, which may then eat more oysters and other organisms and possibly throw the food chain of the nation’s largest estuary [Chesapeake Bay] out of whack." Read MORE HERE.

*Sex: 1.600.000.000Corruption: 105.000.000War: 1.330.000.000People:  5.370.000.000God: 884.000.000Facebook: 10.600.000.000 (!)
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After the Storm
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

The storm passed and so did the election, strangely intertwining both in a way that made hard to distinguish one from the other.  In a world steamrolling to global weirding certain people call a late October hurricane in Manhattan "the new normal".  For some absurd reason such a catchphrase has also become political, either tabu, denied, or embraced and yelled with sad predictability.  
I do not have the answers, cannot recite the facts, numbers, figures, correlations or graphics and wont pretend I do.  If the whole issue is tabu to you chances are you stumbled upon this post and are shaking your head in disgust.  If you believe, worry and despair you probably find the futile comfort and warmth of this small reflection of your credo.  I simply and desperately wish we could all quietly agree the storm showed once again how mighty strong nature is, how easily it turns a cargo boat into a sinking toy and it blows the million dollar homes like dandelion seeds in July.  Maybe then being humble, respectful, watchful and preventive will also become the new normal.
Some news to keep afloat in the current surge of information; we do not want the blog to flood too.  November feels the longest month of the year:

≈≈≈≈"Fish on Fridays: Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change, and the Future of Fish", a Center for American Progress article by Michael Conathan.
"As our last wild capture industry, fishing businesses are arguably more reliant on natural forces than any other profession. It’s a centuries-old vocation, inherently dependent on knowledge passed down from one generation to the next, so when species distribution patterns evolve, even subtle change becomes readily apparent."

≈≈≈≈A BBC World Service audio piece on the Anthropocene, "the age we made".  "Millions of years from now, scientists will be able to read the rock forming now and see that something profound and unprecedentedly rapid…" LISTEN to it HERE

≈≈≈≈Talkingfish.org recently interviewed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Research Associate Sarah Cooley about the impacts of Ocean Acidification on the shellfish industry and the future of the New England waters.
Read it HERE

≈≈≈≈For once, a bi-partisan move trying to save the Washington State's shellfish took place last month:  Gov. Chris Gregoire formed a 28-member panel to work on a 43-item list of projects and 20 top priority measures on Ocean Acidification the state could tackle prior to the upcoming state legislature session in January.
"Potential top priorities include:
1 Reducing air emissions that can be linked to local ocean water acidity.
2 Reducing amounts of nutrients flowing into local sea water. These measures could involve overhauling sewage treatment plants and other sewage system to meet standards that still need to be set..
3 Exploring using salt-water vegetation to combat the impact of ocean acidification.
4 Improving and expanding monitoring of ocean acidification."


≈≈≈≈It has been a while since we put a Youtube video on Ocean Acidification.  This one is for children and was created by ATMO's Atmospheric Sciences Outreach group.

≈≈≈≈Seminar day on Ocean Acidification in Gothenburg, Sweden for the 30th of November.  It is organized by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and you can register by sending an email to Kerstin Cote HERE or download a PDF with details HERE

≈≈≈≈A six week laboratory experiment by the University of Otago on algal communities and their response to Ocean Acidification.
"This project has shown that greater CO2 concentrations could positively influence photosynthesis in some species of fleshy macroalgae by reducing carbon limitation, however, calcifying algae are vulnerable to the oceanic chemistry changes caused by ocean acidification. These varying responses among species and the variability of communities under different levels of water motion is likely to lead to communities responding to ocean acidification at a local scale."
Read more from the SOURCE

≈≈≈≈A controversial but nevertheless interesting text by Bernard David for the Huffingtonpost: Climate Change and its Influence On Investing: A New Perspective

≈≈≈≈PhD project opportunity to study carbon dioxide uptake and carbonate chemistry in UK shelf waters.  The deadline to apply is the 17th of May 2013 and you can read more about it on the University of East Anglia's website.
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Free Popcorn and Lemonade Screening
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

The Duke Chapel Congregation has scheduled a free outdoor screening of A Sea Change this Friday, July 20th (at dusk, around 8:30PM). Moviegoers "are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Free popcorn and lemonade will be provided. A discussion will follow the film. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside."

"Ocean advocate Céline Cousteau and cartoonist Jim Toomey (creator of Sherman's Lagoon) teamed up with the World Resources Institute to bring you Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril. This short animated film tells the story of coral reefs with humor and admiration for these wondrous ecosystems.  Learn about the unique biology of coral reefs and their importance to people around the world, as well as the serious threats that they face due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change.  But don't let that get you down!  The film also explores what individuals can do to help save coral reefs, including supporting sustainable seafood and tourism providers, reducing your CO2 footprint, and promoting coral reef conservation. "

Job offers: "The GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre of Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany  and the Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany seek highly motivated and excellent candidates owning a Master’s or Diplom degree for the following 2 PhD positions in Marine Ecology and Marine Microbiology starting September 1st, 2012 (provided funding is granted).
The 2 PhD projects are part of the Bioacid II benthic consortium which will investigate in joint and interdisciplinary mesocosm experiments the biogeochemical, genetic, physiological, evolutionary and ecological impacts of multifactorial climate change on benthic communities[…]. Candidates should have a good knowledge in written and spoken English is expected.

Dr. Francisco Chávez, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research institute, talks about Ocean Acidification and research done in Peru.


The following video, shown this past July at RIO+20, shows Jason Hall-Spencer talking about Ocean Acidification. Mr. Hall-Spencer is a researcher for the Save Our Seas Foundation:

We mentioned the recent International Coral Reef Symposyum held in Cairns, Australia, in our last blog post.  This is a Reuters video about it:


A heart-warming story about people, the ocean and saving whales:
"Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net. Gershon Cohen and he have founded The Great Whale Conservancy to protect whales. ‪http://www.greatwhaleconservancy.org‬, is their website, or go to gwc's facebook page, and join them in helping to save these magnificent beings."

Upwell.com has posted a few simple guidelines concerning how to talk about Ocean Acidification in Public.  Read them HERE.
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Not Only Ocean Acidification
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

Marine researchers from around the world are in Cairns, Australia, this week for the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (July 9-13):
"From Cairns, 2,600 scientists have signed a Consensus Statement on Climate Change and Coral Reefs.
The consensus statement calls for a worldwide effort to overcome growing threats to coral ecosystems and to the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on them. It is urging immediate action to stave off what the scientists are calling "escalating damage" to coral reefs, as a result of rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, overfishing and pollution from the land.
The World Resources Institute has also just published a new report called Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle. The report, a map-based analysis of threats to coral reefs around the world, particularly hones in on the countries of the Coral Triangle - Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.
According to the report, more than 85% of reefs within the Coral Triangle region are threatened by local stressors, such as overfishing, pollution, and coastal development.

Speaking from Cairns at the ICRS2012, Jeremy Jackson, a senior scientist from the Smithsonian Institution, said reefs globally have seen severe declines in coral cover over several decades. 

In the Caribbean, for instance, he said 75-85% of the coral cover has been lost in the past 35 years. 

Jackson, the 2012 recipient of the Darwin Medal, said that even Australia's Great Barrier Reef, one of the best-protected reef ecosystems on the planet, has experienced a 50% decline in coral cover in the past 50 years.

Satellite image of part of the Great Barrier Reef adjacent to the Queensland coastal areas of Airlie Beach and Mackay. Image by Wikimedia Commons

Jackson said climate change is making this already rapid decline of coral reefs worse. He also touched on how climate change is causing increased droughts, agricultural failure and sea level rises at much faster rates.

"That means what's good for reefs is also critically important for people and we should wake up to that fact," Jackson said. "The future of coral reefs isn't a marine version of tree-hugging but a central problem for humanity."

According to the marine experts, coral reefs provide food and livelihood for many tens of millions of coastal inhabitants globally, as well as having tourism spin-offs. The scientists estimate that reefs provide upwards of US$170bn to US$375bn in goods and services globally each year."
You can read the report HERE
SOURCE (www.siliconrepublic.com)

The Higgs Boson spent the last few days being the center of media coverage, but must confess that neither had I ever heard about it before nor did I understand much more after watching the news and doing some online reading.  The following video has proven most helpful for me so far, so I include it in our blog as public service to all those in my situation:

Considering most of the research has been carried out at CERN's Large Hadron Collider you might also want to watch and dance to this popular rap-music video clip about the 27k subterranean facility:

The University of São Paulo in Brazil has organized a short three-day course between December 4-6, 2012 titled "Studying Ocean Acidification and its Effects on Marine Ecosystems".  Speakers include Andrew Dickson, from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Chris Langdon, University of Miami, Joanie Kleypas, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Lisa Robbins of the US Geological Survey and Sarah Cooley, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
More info HERE

Www.barelyimaginedbeings.com hosts the blog for an upcoming book titled "The Book of Barely Imagined Beings", by Caspar Henderson.
"Most real creatures that we think we know embody wonders we have hardly dreamt of. And there are other beings, equally real, which for most of human experience have been beyond imagining. As the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi wrote about 2,300 years ago, “all the creatures in this world have dimensions that cannot be calculated.”"

"Planktonic forams floating in the upper levels of the oceans sequester about one quarter of all carbonate produced in the oceans each year."

Whole Living proposes "five easy (and scientifically proven) ways to cut carbon and save money":
1. Drive a more fuel-efficient car can translate in $18,000 savings over the car's lifespan.
2. Using LED bulbs instead of conventional ones. You get the same light for 15% of the electricity (saving $100 annually).
3. Washing clothes in cold instead of hot water (another $100).
4. Power strips curb "phantom loads" and reduce the electricity bill (just a strip for the printer can save $130 a year).
5. Sealing and insulating the house properly. Air leaks can be responsible for 15 to 25% of your heating and cooling.

How long can you hold your breath for underwater? A minute? Two? And what do you think the world record in static apnea might be? 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 minutes?
In early June German free diver Tom Sietas, 35, set the new world record competing with former world record holder, Brazilian Ricardo Bahía, by holding his breath for 22 minutes and 22 seconds (no typo). People can also accomplish incredible things underwater.
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Chile, From Santiago to Valparaíso
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

After Puerto Montt, the second half of the series of screenings in Chile unfolded at universities in Santiago and Valparaíso.  Although they shared the name, "Universidad Católica", there was no connection between the two.  We were in Santiago thanks to an invitation by Professor José M. Farina, showing the film in their downtown campus, a few minutes away from sadly famous since 1973 Palacio de la Moneda.  Had a most interesting conversation with Professor Farina where he let me know that Ocean Acidification is not one of the top priorities or concerns amongst the small oceanography and marine biology community in Chile and that, needless to say, the phenomenon is completely unknown by the general public. Things like climate change, pollution from salmon farms, green tides, the niño/niña phenomenon or water hypoxia rank much higher in the agenda.  I knew nothing about water hypoxia and was fascinated and terrified by the description.  It seems that along the Chilean coast there is a not too deep layer of water depleted of oxygen, a dead zone for marine fauna. Sometimes, for reasons they are studying, it slowly raises up to the surface like an silky vail of death and kills all life it touches.  
At the screening the attending students had organized an informal pre-screening informal gathering with coffee and pastries, so we got to meet and chat for a few minutes before, which was a great idea because I felt it broke the ice for later.  We had a small technical problem that turned images rather green (green tide!), but they all watched with great interest nonetheless and our conversation and q&a afterwards lasted longer than the film itself.  There were members of the Ecology, Biology, Oceanography and Environmental Sciences Departments and I learned a lot from them while also trying to emphasize the need society has of their work and our desire to bring changes to the world. Enthusiasm run high and I was promised screenings at schools around Santiago to educate kids about Ocean Acidification and the beginning by one of the students of a small college newspaper about marine science. I do not really know if any of it will actually happen, these were promises made in the heat of the moment, but their feelings and passion were so sincere that they alone would have made completely worth our efforts to fly to Chile this month.

The next morning I was on a bus to Valparaíso for our final showing in the country.  While in Santiago I had stayed a block away from Pablo Neruda's house "La Chascona", the one ransacked by Pinochet's hyenas, and upon my arrival into "Valpo" I discovered my accommodation was also five minutes from "La Sebastiana", his home sitting on a hill. Fresco detail in La Chascona
Neruda loved the oceans, he obsessed with ships and anything smelling of salt and iodine, evoking sea travel.  In the houses he built he always tried to replicate the interior of sailboats: the dining rooms are long, narrow, with low ceilings, the wooden floors crack, gently rocking below your feet, certain windows are portholes and most of furniture came from sea vessels, like the gorgeous bar where he entertained and prepared cocktails for friends, the office desk on the last floor that had once belonged to the captain of a merchant ship or the nightstands by the large bed. He amassed a vast collection of shells and several majestic figureheads.  Like a beachcomber, he was a collector of everything and anything, constantly thirsty for beauty and uniqueness.  The house in Valparaíso is in the perfect location to encompass the whole bay.  Beside one of its ample windows he placed his favorite armchair; it is there he wrote many of his poems, always using green ink, perching over the harbor, getting up every now and then to look into his spyglass at distant ships.  But, surprisingly, Pablo Neruda was also utterly terrified of being aboard a ship and in the few occasions he did he became terribly seasick.  A perfect epitome of the Chilean man, enveloped in the unequivocal presence of the Pacific Ocean, swirling in a game of love, fascination, dependence and fear, but a distant stranger to it all the same.

The pretty theater at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso was full on both floors with kids and young adults, most in school uniforms. The screening went well, colors looked the way they should and our conversation at the end was extremely lengthy once again.  I might talk too much.  Professors complained about the lack of interest from Chilean students in science, marine science more in particular, and those young men and women asked some very good questions.  Several got carried away like in Santiago and offered to spread the word on Ocean Acidification in schools and amongst friends.  All that time we were less than a hundred meters from the water, but a road and a fence separated the bay from us, making it invisible.  Maybe that is why most of the attendants had never even seen Valparaíso and the seals living in the harbor from the water.  Ms. Marina Vivar, from the local Natural History Museum purchased a copy of the film and asked if it would be ok to have it loop-playing in their newly renovated facilities. Another lady, the head of science college programs in the region, purchased one as well and proposed further screenings at the university and to leave the documentary also available in the video library.  I was invited to lunch (fish soup, finally) by organizing Professor Sergio Palma, and walked from there to the harbor, where old fishing boats are now used to take tourists around the huge dock cranes, through the shipyard, the harems of seals around the blubbery male and the frightening gray muscle of the chilean navy, to the open view of tutti frutti Valparaíso, the city that draws itself on walls and doors, always facing the sea, seldom in it.

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The Crossing Of The Andes
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

You can fool and distract yourself in the days leading to a trip, go through the motions of packing, closing doors and taking cabs in hypnotic discipline, behave in such a drowsy way during the flight that the experience nears teletransportation, but when the captain's voice comes in the speaker commanding everyone to buckle up in preparation for crossing the Andes you immediately wake up with the strength of a pound of caffeine and Chile surfaces in your mind, solid and unequivocal.
I had never buckled up to go over mountains.  But then again, these were the Andes, daisy chaining in time everything from the Incas to "Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors"and encompassing in space over 7,000 kilometers of mountains, high plateaus and volcanoes; the true backbone of the South American continent.  Sure, the Himalayas are the Himalayas, with all the 7000 and 8000 meter summits in the world, but when it comes to names nothing resonates higher or sounds steeper than the Andes.
The Chile I saw and walked on below was at times not what I expected.  Downtown Santiago could be in Madrid or even Paris and Southern Chile is at times a slightly poorer and much wilder mirror image of Germany and Switzerland.  City streets nationwide are taken by literally thousands of stray dogs.  They are so many and so large only after some time you come to accept none of them lives in a home.  Maybe as consequence, there are very few dog owners. Any city street corner in Chile
But reaching closer to our documentary and its subject, when looking at a map one would think that Chile and Chileans face the Pacific Ocean for over 4,500 kilometers of straight coastline, but the truth is that the country has its back to it and what they face are the wine valleys, fruit farms and mineral-rich soil before and into the striking Andean peaks.  Sure, you will find in its waters some of the best fishing grounds in the world, and they are the second producers of salmon worldwide, but culturally, historically, gastronomically and economically the Pacific is mostly ignored and taken as a frontier.  After arriving in Puerto Montt for our three scheduled screenings at the Diego Rivera theater I walked into a 30 aisle supermarket and found a plethora of kuchen and wurst, many of the smells from my Bavarian grandmother's kitchen, Argentinian veal steaks (some fed with Chilean fish meal!), but no fish section at all.  Nothing, not even salmon.  Ten steps away from waters filled with barnacles the size of your fist, "shoe mussels" (deservedly called so by locals) and fish farms that export worldwide, buying any of it fresh was not an option.
The two school screenings went very well, drawing kids from towns within a two hour radius.  Some had to even cross lakes on ferry boats to get to the theater those two mornings.  The students from a Puerto Varas school, a beautiful town sitting at the foot of lake Llanquihue, had been doing these past few months some lab experiments on Ocean Acidification, so they were the most knowledgeable and interested (measured by the number of questions raised at least) of all.  These events with students are not just about the specific problem of acidification, they are about nature, preservation, the environment, the threats to life and about having that become part of the school curriculum.  Living in such beautiful, almost unspoiled surroundings I felt I had to explain that in fact most of the world does not look that way and is not in such condition, that no matter how accustomed they might be they should not take any of it for granted. They are very fortunate to wake up every morning with wilderness at the doorstep, surrounded by clean water, fertile land, and glacier mountains tops. Idyllic, and it is very good to hear a foreigner praise and envy it.The youngest kids walking into the Diego Rivera Theater
The evening screening for adults usually shows where there is friction in the region, the cracks on the wall that go unnoticed to the mere visitor, so I am very lucky because this way of traveling puts me in a very privileged position. In the case of Puerto Montt the not so sunny side was primarily the environmental damage caused by the salmon industry.  There is a long, repeated history of pollution and abuse by salmon farms in the area, and also much resentment because the economic benefits have not stayed in the area either.  And the fishing fleet had not done things any better.  It seems to have historically been in the hands of Spanish and Japanese companies with little scruples and immense greed (those two, always going hand in hand).  Since I am a Spaniard, a local fisherman and a young historian both spoke about the atrocities my ancestors had done since the XVI Century and about the ones my fellow countrymen are still doing, obliterating the ocean bottoms, trawler fishing the waters empty.  It is hard to know what to say in these cases, when one becomes a forced representative of his country of origin or of the first world in general and I am told I have no right to defend preservation, to deprive their country's economy of developing and preach the opposite of what my nation has done and still does. No matter how much I despise flag waving and tribal chest pounding, it is not hard to also see how it can itch to have an "outsider" deliver certain messages, so my hope, I guess, is that soon the young audience from the morning screenings will be the one speaking and demanding changes everywhere.  Also in beautiful Southern Chile. View from Puerto Varas of Lake Llanquihue and the Osorno Volcano
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All Sorts Of News
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

»When the media loves something it just takes over the internet.  News came out yesterday about the new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute titled "Valuing the Ocean" where marine experts analyzed the most severe threats facing the world's marine environment and estimated the cost of damage a year coming from Ocean Acidification, sea level rise, global warming, pollution, species migration and increased intensity in tropical cyclones.  The Swedish institution believes that by the year 2100 it could reach $2 trillion a year.  Amongst all the possible links I could give you to this same news, HERE is one that appropriately comes from the business section of the Chicago Tribune.
Oh, those figures do not take into account the possibility of small island states disappearing by rising seas or the impact of warming on the ocean's basic processes, such as nutrient recycling.

»If you have never seen it before, this is your chance to watch an Ocean Acidification buoy deployment (in Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary, Massachusetts, last year):

»Today is World Water Day, next week it will be Earth Hour. All these initiatives have such a bittersweet aftertaste, like some art of frustrating encouragement.

»Lecture on Climate Change and Ocean Acidification this Sunday, March 25th, at Joyce Beers Community Center, in San Diego, California.  Daniel Richter, PhD candidate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography will deliver the lecture, which is this month's meeting of the SD Association for Rational Inquiry.

»Today, March 22nd, from 6 to 8PM, there will be an Ocean Acidification Seminar at the Padilla Bay Reserve - 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd.  Mt Vernon, WA 98273 
I read on their website: "Are you curious about the effects of carbon pollution on our oceans?  Join two of Washington state's leading science and policy experts to learn about this issue and new research in Washington state. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Northwest Straits Commission, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and the Whatcom and Skagit Marine Resources Committees."

»On Friday March 30th the "College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will present Dr. Bill Landing, professor of oceanography at Florida State University, who will speak on “Mercury Deposition in the Gulf of Mexico” on Friday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. in the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, conference room 127."

»Playlist of 9 Youtube Videos of panel discussions at the Ocean Acidification Symposium 2011, held at the Univ. Washington Center for Urban Horticulture, Seattle, Washington, sponsored by Washington Sea Grant, HERE

»Hermie, the hermit crab:
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President Obama And The Giant Pteropods
Saturday, June 10, 2017

By Daniel de la Calle


A couple news for the first half of the week:

»US President Barak Obama's weekly address this past Saturday was a remarkable attempt at pushing for a more environmental and alternative energy agenda while making it sound like the opposite.  Speaking from a jet-engine factory Mr. Obama seemed to be talking about aircraft manufacture on American soil, about national oil production being at an 8-year high and about the opening of millions of acres for oil drilling, but all that wrapping was the necessary "spoonful of sugar" to once again try to make the renewable, clean and efficient energy "medicine" go down the reluctant American public.  It is worth watching everywhere, here in Europe as well; we are talking about the place where 20% of the world's oil gets burned:

»Sculptor Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh recently created "The Pteropod Project: Charismatic Microfauna", a series of 12 sculptures enlarged over 3,000 times of our friend and co-protagonist in A Sea Change, the "winged foot" pteropod.  To make it come to life she collaborated with Dr. Gareth Lawson, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Read an essay by Ms. Kubler on The Pteropod Project HERE

If you live in NYC you will also have the chance to see the exhibit at the Blue Mountain Gallery May 22 - June 16 2012.

© 2011 Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh. All Rights Reserved


»A SEA CHANGE screening in Kansas City tonight (Tuesday March 13t) at 7PM, at the Bragg Auditorium (All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church).

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Symposia, Volunteer Work, A Job Offer And A Video
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

»The Georges River Tidewater Association seeks volunteers to monitor acidification in St. George Estuary (Maine).
"GRTA has been developing a monitoring program with assistance from Friends of Casco Bay, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. GRTA is investing in sampling equipment, but needs citizen volunteers to launch the program this spring. To learn how to participate, come to a meeting Saturday, March 10 at 9 a.m. at Watts Hall, 174 Main St.,Thomaston -- starting with refreshments at 8:30 a.m., followed by a presentation by Dr. Curtis Bohlen, Director, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership on The Vital Role for Citizen Scientists in Protecting Our Waters, and an introduction to water monitoring methods and equipment."

For more Information: Sherry Frazer, phone 354-0709, email gsfrazer@myfairpoint.net.

»Starting May 1st 2012, the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity (NCB) Naturalis has a position available for a PhD student (4 years).
PhD project: Evolution in marine planktonic gastropods:
"As a consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2, the world’s oceans are warming and slowly becoming more acidic.  Understanding the implications of these changes for marine organisms and ecosystems is still in its infancy, but recent studies have shown that calcification is one of the physiological processes that is severely impacted.  Euthecosomes (shelled holoplanktonic gastropods) have delicate aragonite shells and have been identified as exceptionally vulnerable to rising CO2.  It is well-known that intraspecific variation is important for a species adaptive potential, but virtually nothing is known about critical intraspecific genetic or phenotypic variation in this group.  For selected species the PhD student will examine intraspecific morphological and molecular variation.  Using naturally occurring gradients in the degree of ocean acidification across spatial and temporal scales, he/she will examine vulnerability to ocean acidification, historical population demography, and molecular signatures of selection."

If interested you must submit your application before April 1st to THIS
email address.

»Third Symposium on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World on September 21-24 in Monterey, California.
"Like the first two symposia in this series, the Monterrey symposium is expected to attract many of the world’s leading ocean scientists to discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles, as well as social and economic consequences of ocean acidification.  The first three days of the symposium will feature plenary, parallel, and poster sessions that will provide an opportunity for presentations of the latest scientific results and discussions of the state of research in ocean acidification.  The fourth day will focus on the policy implications of ocean acidification, starting with a summary of the scientific presentations and continuing with panels of eminent policymakers who will comment on how the science of ocean acidification is impacting policy at national and international levels.
The symposium will cover 16 topics.  Ten of the topics will be introduced by plenary presentations and an additional 6 topics will be handled only in parallel sessions.  As of now, each of the 16 topics will have its own parallel session, although some topics eventually may be combined, depending on the number of abstracts submitted for each topic.  Abstracts may be submitted for any of these 16 topics:
Opening: The history of ocean acidification science
Peter Brewer (United States)
1.     Changes in ocean carbonate chemistry since the Industrial Revolution
Richard Zeebe (United States)
2.     Rates of change of ocean acidification: Insights from the paleorecord
Daniela Schmidt (United Kingdom)
3.     Interactions of ocean acidification with physical climate change
Laurent Bopp (France)
4.     Responses of marine organisms and ecosystems to multiple environmental stressors (ocean acidification, hypoxia,     temperature, UV, etc.)
Hans-Otto Poertner (Germany)
5.     Acclimation  and adaption to ocean acidification: Genomics, physiology, and behavior
Gretchen Hofmann (United States)
6.     Ecosystem change and resilience in response to ocean acidification
Steve Widdicombe (United Kingdom)
7.     Biogeochemical consequences of ocean acidification and feedbacks to the Earth system
Richard Matear (Australia)
8.     Understanding the economics of ocean acidification
Luke Brander (Hong Kong, China)
9.     Policy and governance in the context of ocean acidification: Implications, solutions, and barriers
Victor Galaz (Sweden)
10.  Impacts of ocean acidification on food webs and fisheries
Beth Fulton (Australia)
The Third Symposium on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World is convened by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and the International Geosphere – Biosphere Program"


on how to take part in it.

»Between July 9th and July 13th "the brightest minds in coral reef science and management will descend upon Australia for the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2012) at the Convention Centre in Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef."
"Reports from the event will focus on topics including the link between climate change, coral bleaching, and ocean acidification; sustaining coral fisheries that support millions worldwide; the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas; and the social and economic benefits of coral reef management."


»UK's National Science and Engineering Week is taking place until tomorrow, Saturday March 10th, in Bristol.  University of Bristol researchers and PhD students have created some interesting tables on the world's climate and Ocean Acidification:
"Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is not only causing climate change but also making the oceans more acidic.
Race against your friends to make your water more acidic by blowing through a straw!
Try making sea shells bend and fizz with vinegar.
See how burning candles makes the surface of our “ocean” more acidic."



»Earlier this week we posted about the Global Partnership for Oceans initiative led by the World Bank.  This is a video with words from people like Silvia Earle, Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla or UNESCO's Wendy Watson-Wright, community leaders and marine ecologists that puts images and words to the ideas behind the partnership.

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Reconsider Your Shrimp
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

» Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass. is hosting an Oceans Symposium and next Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker, will lead a discussion following a showing of A Sea Change, Imagine a World Without Fish.

» Beautiful new documentary on the oceans is out this year: The Last Reef, Cities Beneath The Sea. Go to their website (www.thelastreef.co.uk) and read how this project, that started out as a 3D "macro movie based in Palau", turned into an alarm call on the biggest threat to coral reefs worldwide: Ocean Acidification.

» Reconsider your shrimp.  A one pound bag of frozen shrimp raised on a typical Asian fish farm produces an astounding one ton of CO2.  At a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science biologist J. Boone Kauffman (Oregon State University) developed the comparison to help the public understand the environmental impact of land use decisions.  "The carbon footprint of the shrimp from this land use is about 10-fold greater than the land use carbon footprint of an equivalent amount of beef produced from a pasture formed from a tropical rainforest."
Mr. Kauffman said 50 to 60 percent of shrimp farms are located in tidal zones in Asian countries, mostly on cleared mangrove forests.  The farms are inefficient, producing just one kilogram of shrimp for 13.4 square meters of mangrove, while the ponds created are abandoned in just three to nine years because disease, soil acidification and contamination destroy them.  After abandonment, the soil takes 35 to 40 years to recover.
LINK to the original article, from Agence France Presse.

» Lecture on Ocean Acidification and the Future of Native Oysters in California Estuaries taking place tomorrow, February 24, at noon at Stanford University. It is sponsored by Hopkins Marine Station. More info HERE.

» And from the other side of the Atlantic, "Analyses of the effects of Ocean Acidification on the larval development of Crassostrea gigas", AKA Pacific oyster on Ms. Patrícia Barros Masters Theses. Info HERE.

» New video filled with European flair on Ocean Acidification, the EPOCA program and the public's awareness on the issue.

» Post Doctoral position at IMR.  The Institute of Marine Research has a 3 year position as postdoctoral researcher on the effects of Ocean Acidification on marine zoooplankton, with special emphasis on krill. The position is located in Bergen, Norway. Find out about qualifications and further details HERE.

» The Second UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme annual science meeting will take place at the University of Exeter from Monday, April 16th to Wednesday, April 18th.  If you are a UKOARP particiant you can register online HERE.  For further reading, click HERE.
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