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."

SOURCE

≈≈≈≈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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One Victory for our Oceans: The EPA will Focus on Ocean Acidification
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Check out this new article from the Christian Science Monitor about the EPA's decision to help states study and address the increasing acidity of their waters.  This will be another use of the powerful Clean Water Act, and possibly a landmark event in bringing attention to ocean acidification.  This important step has been brought to us by the hard-working folks at the Center for Biological Diversity including Miyoko Sakashita, one of the activists featured in A Sea Change.  Yippeee!
You can read more by clicking here.
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Republicans block U.S. Senate's global warming bill
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Last night Democrats failed to break the Republican filibuster of major global warming legislation. The bill would have capped carbon dioxide coming from power plants,refineries and factories, with a target of cutting greenhouse gasemissions by 71 percent by the middle of this century.

Notably crossing the aisle was John Warner (R-VA), arguing that the bill would enhance U.S. security. Most of his fellow Republicans appeared unmoved by that argument, citing major tax increases among their reasons for not backing the bill.

I guess it's not surprising. But it's certainlydisheartening. How is this a partisan issue? Last time I looked, wewere all breathing the same air and swimming in the same water.


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Devil (fish) in the details
Saturday, June 10, 2017

This week the European Union's initiative for studying ocean acidification kicks off in Nice, France.

The name's a bit unwieldy—the European Project of Ocean Acidification (EPOCA)—but we're just glad a governmental entity's paying serious attention and putting some resources and publicity behind the effort.

It's truly an international effort focused on filling in "the numerous gaps in our understanding of the effects and implications of ocean acidification." Nine different countries are part of the intitative and 29 labs, among other entities.

NOAA's involved, too, in a supporting role, as well as the National Science Foundation.

Good luck to it.


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Twenty years later
Saturday, June 10, 2017

An eloquent statement from the man who first announced global warming in the U.S. Congress, James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, published in The Guardian. An excerpt:

". . . we have used up all slack in the schedule for actions needed todefuse the global warming time bomb. The next president and Congressmust define a course next year in which the United States exertsleadership commensurate with our responsibility for the presentdangerous situation.

Otherwise it will become impractical toconstrain atmospheric carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas produced inburning fossil fuels, to a level that prevents the climate system frompassing tipping points that lead to disastrous climate changes thatspiral dynamically out of humanity's control."


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Another sea change
Saturday, June 10, 2017

This courtesy of economist Mark Thomas' blog Economist's View:

"Americans consider global warming an urgent threat, according to poll,EurekAlert: A growing number of Americans consider global warming animportant threat that calls for drastic action, and 40% say that a presidentialcandidate's position on the issue will strongly influence how they vote,according to a national survey conducted by Yale University, Gallup and theClearVision Institute.

'One of the most surprising findings was the growing sense of urgency," saidAnthonyLeiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change and the study'sprincipal investigator. "Nearly half of Americans now believe that globalwarming is either already having dangerous impacts on people around the world orwill in the next 10 years - a 20-percentage-point increase since 2004. Theseresults indicate a sea change in public opinion.'" [emphasis ours]


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Al Gore
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We found this originally on EcoGeek but went back to the source, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), an organization devoted to bringing together "the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)." Al Gore was invited to deliver one of those talks this past March and unveiled his brand-new slide show.

Mr. Gore says it all with an adroit mix of facts, proverbs, animation, photos, wit, and urgency.

Shake and apply liberally.


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House passes ocean acidification bill
Saturday, June 10, 2017

The US House of Representatives passed H.R.4174today, ocean acidification-related legislation. Details:

Title: To establish an interagency committee to develop an oceanacidification research and monitoring plan and to establish an oceanacidification program within the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration.

Sponsor: Rep Allen, Thomas H. [ME-1](introduced 11/14/2007)     Cosponsors (17)   
Related Bills:S.1581
Latest Major Action: 7/9/2008Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
  House Reports: 110-749

    
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More about the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA)
Saturday, June 10, 2017

More about EPOCA, from gattuso's website:

"The EU FP7 Integrated Project EPOCA (European Project on OCeanAcidification) was launched in June 2008 with the overall goal toadvance our understanding of the biological, ecological,biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification (Fig.1). The EPOCA consortium brings together more than 100 researchers from27 institutes1 and 9 European countries. The budget of this 4 year longproject is 15.9 M€, including 6.5 M€ from the European Commission.

The research efforts of EPOCA are divided into four themes.

Theme 1 will focus on past and present spatiotemporal changes inocean chemistry and biogeography of key marine organisms.Paleo-reconstruction methods will be used on several archives,including foraminifera and deep-sea corals, to determine pastvariability in ocean chemistry (carbonate, nutrients, and trace metals)and to tie this variability to present-day chemical and biologicalobservations.

Theme 2 will quantify impacts of ocean acidification on marineorganisms and ecosystems. Molecular, physiological and ecologicalapproaches will be used to study climate-relevant biogeochemicalprocesses, including calcification, primary production and nitrogenfixation. Laboratory and field perturbation experiments will focus onkey organisms in terms of their ecological, biogeochemical, orsocioeconomic importance. The potential for adaptation and acclimation will be assessed.

Theme 3 will improve biogeochemical, sediment, and coupledocean-climate models to better account for how ocean acidification willaffect ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems. Special attention will bepaid to feedbacks of physiological changes on the carbon, nitrogen,iron, and sulfur cycles and how these changes will affect and beaffected by future climate change.

Theme 4 will synthesize results obtained in Themes 1, 2 and 3 for business leaders, policy-makers and the general public.
It willevaluate uncertainties, risks and thresholds (“tipping points”) relatedto ocean acidification at molecular, cellular and organismal levels andfrom local to global scales. It will also assess the decrease in CO2emissions required to avoid these thresholds and describe the change tothe marine environment and Earth system, should these emissions beexceeded."

Visit gattuso's website to continue reading. (Bolding added by us for easier reading.)


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The Gore 10-Year Challenge
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Al Gore threw down the gauntlet yesterday, challenging the U.S. to go completely carbon-free in its energy sources within ten years. We have the technology to do it, he claimed, speaking in DC to an enthusiastic crowd. The 50-year goals politicians have been setting, eg, at the recent G8 meetings, just don't cut it: they're not real. The politicians setting them won't be held accountable, 50 years from now. Gore argued that, if President Kennedy's initiative could put Americans on the moon within a ten-year period, we can go carbon-free within the same time frame.

Imagine if our next president accepts the challenge. Certainly it's not possible under the current administration, which renewed its push for offshore drilling. But might the new president actually be willing to act like a visionary and take the bold measures needed to change the U.S. economy so completely?

Here he briefly addresses his talking points (note the use of "sea change"!). The complete speech and text are available here. Andrew Revkin has annotated the speech on Dot Earth, his excellent environmental blog for the NY Times.


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