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SCI/TECH: The Pacific's Catastrophic Collapse of Sea and Bird Life

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posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 10:39 AM
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Laz - you seem to be saying that we need to understand the problem and all its dimensions before we can respond properly - and to a point, you are right. I don't think any of us disagree with that.

Our main concern is that the "human-versus-natural cause of climate change" controversy is manipulated to focus on global warming, not the larger picture - and also, to avoid the critical questions listed above.




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posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 11:31 AM
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Well, at least, here are two articles that offer some encouraging news:

Scientists reveal good and bad news on climate

Rocks could ease global warming



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Everybody gets so hung up on C02 as a greenhouse gas, but guess what? Regular H20 vapor is far more effective at increasing earth's albido, and is in the atmosphere in far greater amounts than C02 (they're called couds). /snide remarks off
Seriously though, getting alarmed over these changes doesn't do anyone or anything any good. Also, realize that the phytoplanktons that survive will be the ones who are resistant to the heat. Next cycle, they will be able to propagate faster as they will have less competition from the "non-heat resistant" planktons for their needs. This is how evolution happens.

The more one reads on this subject, the more one realizes that global warming is full of tremendous speculation. How can we predict what the planet will be like in 50 years when we can't tell you if it will rain tomorrow with better than a 25% accuracy?

How many people know that in the early 70s scientists were in a panick about global cooling?

What is so precious about preserving the status quo?

What if tropical rains end up turning the Sahara Desert into a large rainforest within the next 175 years? And it is the result of global weather changes. Is that a good thing? Is it bad? Maybe it will threaten the existing desert wildlife.

We get into trouble when we try to assign moral "rightness" or "wrongness" to climate change, environmental "impacts" and the like. This may sound harsh, but the dinosaurs died off long ago, without any help from man. Would the dodo bird not have gone also?

Just some food for thought.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
[
oh, and one more thing....while i'm still on my soapbox:

the ozone hole over antarctica. it was discovered in 1985. we have been monitoring ozone in the atmosphere for only 40 years. SO HOW IN THE HELL CAN WE SAY THAT IT ISNT PERFECTLY NORMAL BASED ON ONLY 40 YEARS WORTH OF DATA?!?!?!?

just curious.


If I'm not mistaken, the ozone hole over Antartica was first discovered during the very first International Geophysical Year, way back in 1956 or 1957. The analysis at the time indicated it was a natural phenomenon.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 04:15 PM
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As many of you have already pointed out, it matters not whether the current global conditions are changing as a direct result of mankind's pollution, or whether mankind's pollution is simply exacerbating a natural phenomenon. The fact is, changes are happening at a geologically rapid pace. The underlying argument, which is rarely discussed, is whether or not mankind can consciously alter global weather patterns--in a beneficial? way--by changing the manner in which we live.

A more relevant question might be whether or not we can survive our own exploitation and pollution of the Earth. Evidence to date seems to indicate that we will not, if we continue to exploit and pollute at our current rate. Assuming for the moment that the last statement is true, the question then becomes, what level of exploitation and environmental pollution is survivable over the long haul. The answer is we simply don't know yet.

A reasonable and prudent, intelligent species would conclude that change is needed. How much change and how fast such changes should be made, we simply don't know--we can only make reasonable guesses. Considering that the choices we make, or fail to make, now will have potentially vital ramifications downstream, and further considering that whatever choices we make will undoubtedly have serious political and economic consequences the moment we start making and enforcing those changes, do we simply throw up our collective hands and give up because the problem is too hard? Do we wait until we know for sure what the hell we're doing? (You'll find plenty of arguments over those questions.) Or, do we do what humans have always done, namely, fight like hell to make sure its the other guy who has to change?

I personally thing mankind has reached a watershed event in our history. Heretofore we have acted only in our own self interest, but to survive this, we need to grow up and start acting in the interest of our species. Are we up to the task? As much as I personally detest the rampant greed and constant bickering in the United Nations, we may have to ultimately submit to a one world government, with real power, to survive.

[edit on 14-11-2005 by Astronomer68]



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 04:35 PM
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Further to my last post:

Another matter that requires global consensus is the matter of sustainable exploitation of the world's oceans. The collapse of the tremendously bountiful fishing grounds off Cape Cod is but one example of how we are currently over-exploiting our oceans. Things have to change, we all know that. But how? One, or several, nations will argue that limiting the harvesting of fish and marine life will place an undue hardship upon their nations--and they are correct in that argument. Yet the oceans cannot sustain the level of current exploitation. Answers need to be found that the world can collectively live with.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer68
Are we up to the task?


In a word...no

It is both too late to change our habits and, as well, such a sea change as would be needed in applied green technologies would cripple too many multinational corporations. I can't fathom going from an oil based economy to another undefined economy in the immediate future. The effort would have to be gradual and not cause too much harm financially.

There is one glimmer of hope, though, in all the most dire of predictions. If only 1% of humanity survived whatever catastrophic effects happen, it would mean that up to 60 millions would survive. If they could somehow retain the momentum of the scientific research, then they will be the inheritors of the stars. If not, we'd better hope some know how to knap flint.

I don't see global warming as an end of the world scenario...just the end of an era much like that prophesied by the Maya, Hopi and Anishinabeg. What's happening in the ocean off the Pacific west coast is identical to what is happening in the Grand Banks. The fish are disappearing and that will have an effect on us all on its own.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 05:57 PM
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Masqua I don't see the global climate changes currently happening as something that will effect the survivability of mankind. Changes may spark conflicts between nations over resources, but unless warming somehow releases vast quantities of methane and CO2 into the environment along with the huge increases already expected in water vapor, I don't see a real species threathening change.

My primary concern is over the world's oceans. We have already caused the creation of tens of thousands of square kilometers of sterile, dead seas around the edges of our continents--where coincidentally are located the world's richest collections of marine life--and if we continue such pollution induced changes (i.e., if those sterile areas continue to grow at their current rate), it won't be long before we begin to threaten the very air that we breathe. The simple fact is that if the oceans go then we go.

Looking back at the geological record of history, the abundance of oxygen in our atmosphere is what allowed mammals to come to dominate the world's land masses. When the atmosphere contained less oxygen (about 15 percent during the age of the dinosaurs), mammals were small furtive creatures. When blue-green algae took hold in the oceans and raised that level to around 22 percent, the world saw very large mammals predominate. It is not at all improbable that changes induced by mankind will cause the current oxygen ratio (around 21 percent) to drop lower. I wonder what the outcome of a 2 or 3 percent decrease would be?

[edit on 14-11-2005 by Astronomer68]



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer68
Masqua I don't see the global climate changes currently happening as something that will effect the survivability of mankind. Changes may spark conflicts between nations over resources, but unless warming somehow releases vast quantities of methane and CO2 into the environment along with the huge increases already expected in water vapor, I don't see a real species threathening change.


I agree with you...especially the bit about conflicts between nations over resources. It is those conflicts which can indeed cause the catastrophic loss of human life (in the short term), particularly if nuclear weapons are used to their full potential. Also, the scenario of large methane release from the ocean beds and/or tundras can equally affect life. There is also a further threat to humans due to a warming climate and that is the spread of diseases on a much larger scale.
We are, imo, fast approaching the point where the world human populations are overabundant and nature's inherent checks and balances will have their way.



My primary concern is over the world's oceans. We have already caused the creation of tens of thousands of square kilometers of sterile, dead seas around the edges of our continents--where coincidentally are located the world's richest collections of marine life--and if we continue such pollution induced changes (i.e., if those sterile areas continue to grow at their current rate), it won't be long before we begin to threaten the very air that we breathe. The simple fact is that if the oceans go then we go.


And, again, we agree. The oceans are what determines our future...no argument there. As currents change (for example), as it has in the Atlantic, so changes the climates on the lands surrounding it. As the warm currents no longer reach Europe, the mean temperatures there will drop dramatically, bringing to the British Isles and as far south as Spain, what Canadians have had endured for thousands of years.

Canada, on the other hand, has been experiencing rapid increase in mean temperatures because of the warming Pacific, bringing with it a melting Arctic and drought in the central prairies. Areas east of the Rocky mountains seem to be getting as wet as British Columbia traditionally has been. Prairie drought in what is commonly considered a 'breadbasket' is on the minds of many Saskachewan and Manitoba farmers.

I know it seems tawdry at best, but I liken life on Earth as being connected, each facet dependant on the other. When the plankton dies, so does basically all other life in the ocean, because of this interdependancy.

As there is a balance between sea creatures and dry land creatures such as birds, otter, humans, bear, eagles etc... these would then also be affected. As life in the oceans is decimated, it is a sign that the rest of life will shortly follow in a similar manner until a new balance has been established. We cannot exist without life in the oceans...as you already pointed out.



[edit on 14-11-2005 by masqua]



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:02 AM
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Great discussion guys. Thanks.

IMO - climate change is only one factor in the systemic shift we face - and it involves first warming, then rapid cooling - trend identified in the 70's. Direct effects of climate change include coastal flooding, desertification, food shortages, and the appearance of new diseases. Other factors contributing to the systemic shift are geophysical change, and fresh water depletion. What we need to prepare for, IMO, is survival through the shift - by identifying and dealing with the various factors.

Someone mentioned that a major reduction in the earth's population might be better for the species, and increase our chances of survival. IMO - the criteria for survival already have been established, survivors already have been selected - and the selection criteria are political and economic. Nature's selective capacities have been neutralized, and removed from the dynamic.

The human species has numerous unique characteristics and strengths - I find the political and economic criteria to be short-sighted in the extreme, and suspect it will lead to species extinction, not prevent it.


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