Weather-wise as opposed to the DC comedy-of-errors, the climate continues to weird-out, now close to home — the US Pacific shoreline under attack (via Climate Central last Tuesday):
A new study of a 600-mile span of coastline found some of the lowest pH levels ever measured on the ocean surface, showing that significant acidification can be found in waters right along the shore.
“Ocean acidification has made landfall” across the entire area, co-author Francis Chan, an Oregon State University marine ecologist, said.
Our oceans cover a lot of ground. Water covers 71-percent of the earth, and although all that water is connected, there’s four named oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic, but about everybody nowadays also recognize a fifth, the Southern (Antarctic). So if all that water going bad due to climate change, major shit-stink in the air.
What’s eating the seawater is ocean acidification, a near-silent partner to global warming, and which is also driven by human-caused CO2 emissions, with oceans absorbing excess carbon dioxide — thus, the pH of the ocean water declines, meaning it becomes more acidic.
Bigly impacts, first with shellfish, algae and seagrasses, coral: ‘When shelled organisms are at risk, the entire food web may also be at risk. Today, more than a billion people worldwide rely on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. Many jobs and economies in the U.S. and around the world depend on the fish and shellfish in our oceans.’
As the asshole, distracting horror-tale with the T-Rump unfolds, our environment is going-to-shit in a wire-basket. People on the front-line of this shit are crying a loud warning. One the Prime minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama, speaking this week at a first-ever UN conference on the ocean in New York: ‘“Climate change poses the biggest threat the world has ever known…And the quality of our oceans and seas is also deteriorating at an alarming rate. They are interlinked, because rising sea levels, as well as ocean acidity and warmer waters, have a direct effect on our reefs and fish stocks and the prosperity of our coastal communities.”‘
Further on that new study on the West Coast from Climate Central:
Offshore acidification had been studied before, but with the new study, “we literally took that picture and we moved it all the way to the surf zone,” Chan said.
Multiple institutions joined to install sensors in the coastal waters from Monterey Bay to just north of Newport, Ore.
The sensors monitored conditions for the three years from 2011 to 2013 and found clear evidence of intense acidification.
Waters fell well below the global average ocean pH of 8.1, with the worst-hit areas measuring 7.4, among the lowest values ever recorded in surface waters.
“The bad news is that we have acidified, compromised water,” Chan said.
But, crucially, “it’s not the same everywhere,” he said.
The sensors showed distinct spatial patterns of hotspots and areas where levels were more moderate, and, particularly striking, those areas stayed as hotspots, or relative refuges, “year after year after year.”
Meanwhile, back to the white noise…
(Illustration above found here).