Global Warming Threatens Marine Food Chain

phytoplanktonA new report shows that overall ocean productivity decreases when the climate warms. Global warming is devastating the foundations of the Earth's marine food chain [more | more2] throughout huge swaths of tropical and sub-tropical seas. Microscopic plants known as phytoplankton [search] respond to rising ocean temperatures by scaling down their productivity by 30% or more – severely reducing overall marine biological productivity. “Phytoplankton are the microscopic plant life that zooplankton and other marine animals eat, essentially the grain crop of the world's oceans.” Phytoplankton generate about half the world's biological productivity, removing some 100 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each day. This is but one potentially deadly positive feedback whereby global warming leads to intensified heating – others including rainforest die-back [search], melting permafrost [search] and release of ocean methane hydrates [search]. Global heating is further devastating oceans through acidification, creation of dead zones and species extinctions. This is at least the third recent major peer reviewed scientific journal article showing anticipated global warming biological side effects are already happening. Global heating is weakening and breaking down the global ecological system – Gaia if you will. We are witnessing the dismantling of human habitat and end of being.

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6 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    Repeating analogies used by others repeatedly,but nevertheless apt : Our fossil fuel,techno civilisation is driven by the biological imperative to procreate and survive and the astronomical,almost inconceivable-except by physicists-release of ancient stored solar energy in the form of oil,married to our procreative need has caused immense overpopulation and over consumption.
    Two concepts here: Momentum,the impetus of a moving body afforded by mass(Population and consumption)and velocity(afforded by oil and machines and I.T. too)and Inertia,The tendency of matter to keep moving in the same direction.
    So ! We're like the Titanic: we can see the
    iceberg,and that it may sink us, But the momentum and Inertia of our once only ship of global civilisation based on oil cannot change our direction in sufficient time.If we were martial artists: we have lost the match by massively overreaching,and falling to the ground:because we have not kept our balance.
    Again just repeating what others have said,I think our best approach is to adapt and reduce as rapidly and painlessly as possible our immense burden on the earth.

  2. Leyla says:

    We have had an increase in sharks coming closer to shore. The poor creatures probably do not have enough to eat in the open ocean.
    It is a shame what humans have done to the planet, either directly, or indirectly.
    And we call ourselves intelligent beings *hmph*
    My foot.

  3. Daharja says:

    Rather than saying “it's a shame” and getting morose, we need to get active.
    If there is anyone reading this blog who *still* eats fish, I am amazed and appalled. We must let our fisheries recover. Stop eating fish now and encourage all your friends and workmates to do the same. Going organic, local-foods vegan is the best option – certainly beef and dairy should be off the menu immediately.
    Move to a green tarriff electricity plan, if you're not on one already. Install a dual flush or composting toilet, and a rainwater tank. A solar hot water service is another great step.
    We all know about energy-saver light globes. If you haven't switched over all your globes, do it today. And stop accepting plastic bags.
    Get a small notebook and log your car miles. Get them down – choose public transport, walk or bike for every journey possible, ad when you can't, car-pool instead. Contact your neighbours and see if you can share the journey to work every day, and share the car for regular shopping trips, picking the kids up from school etc.
    Stop buying so much – do you really need to keep up with fashion? Do you really need new things all the time? How many clothes/CDs/DVDs/books/shoes/cosmetics/gadgets do you really need? Join libraries, recycle, borrow, and buy secondhand instead.
    None of these changes are hard to do (we've done them). All make a huge difference. The biggest and hardest change is simply being willing to change in the first place, and having the belief that we can and will ride this thing out and learn sustainability.
    We have to believe it can be done – and be willing to make all the changes necessary to see it done. Our childrens' lives are at stake, and this is a matter of our survival.

  4. Peter says:

    AFTER THE WARMING (circa 1991)was a 2 hr. documentary and presentation by James Burke of Scientific American fame.
    He described the DEEP ERROR being forced into the world ecosystem. Nobody is addressing this primary issue!
    Ice is melting, thus dumping a tremendous new flow of fresh water into our oceans. Fresh water is heavier than salt, thus it sinks and joins the existing ocean floor current that circumambulates the globe.
    The new fresh water will slow down, then stop the subsurface current over time. This subsurface current is the regulator of weather patterns everywhere. I do know that the Atlantic side/half of the S. American Continet is suffering as natural systems are collapsing.
    WHY ISN'T THIS MAJOR ISSUE NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT? I sense that everyone is looking UP and not looking DOWN for their understanding of the multiplexed problem that we are facing.
    Please comment.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i think its disgusting

  6. Jim Lupino says:

    Global warming may also have another impact: the release into the ecosystem of organisms previously held to be extinct.
    It has already been noted that in Greenland, in the absence of the glaciation that has held the land in it's grip for eons, vegetation of types associated with the Pleistocene have re-appeared. It is not a great leap from there to suspect that within the great chunks of the Ross Ice Shelf, etc., there could be 'riders' – long-frozen embyros of the Carcharadon/Megalodon families.
    It is also known that some percentage of even modern sharks do exhibit an unusual characteristic of a type of naturally occurring 'anti-freeze' within the egg cases, which if I am correct here will withstand temperatures as far down as 14 deg F and remain viable.
    If this happens, and we remain merely reactionary, waiting until we have so clear an indication that it is incontrovertible, we may very well be too late to affect remedy, and this could become a world we won't even want to visit. Our first clues will be disappearance of fisheries like the Anchoveta and the Herring, followed by rumblings in the low island countries of 'bad Ju-Ju' in the waters.
    These Proto-sharks are prehistoric by Saurian standards, and I tend to think that they will also prove to be dull even compared to modern types. Land one in your boat, and you can behead the thing and it will take several minutes for it to realize it, and where it's processing is interrupted by a hand, it will likely remove it and push it out the cut end. My guess is that we will remain locked into Standard Modus Operandi Humanus and only start to try to do something once little brown fishermen in little wooden boats start going missing. I exhort all concerned to look into this with an attitude of being pro-active on this potential disaster. The basic premise is three orders of magnitude more likely that the Cray/Gene splicing scenario of Jurassic Park and there are not only no safeguards but indeed the ocean will not contain the problem so much as it will conceal it. If we remain lazy and unintelligent, we almost certainly will be sorry.

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