Friday, September 12, 2014

The oceans are dying

Red tide at Bondi.
Our entire atmosphere is based on the oceans. When they change it is impossible that there will be no effect on life on Earth.This will start with a post that has been circulating the Net. It is legitimate as you can tell from the hyperlinks. At the end I give evidence to what is causing it, but also present some other worrying facts.

Millions of fish are suddenly dying all over the planet.  In fact, there have been dozens of mass fish death events reported in the past month alone.  So why is this happening?  Why are fish dying in unprecedented numbers all over the world?  When more than six tons of fish died in Marina Del Ray over the weekend, it made headlines all over the United States.  But the truth is that what just happened off the southern California coast is just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2014, mass fish die-offs have pretty much become a daily event globally.  Individually, each event could perhaps be dismissed as an anomaly, but as you will see below when they are all put together into one list it truly is rather stunning.  So is there a reason why so many fish are dying?  Is there something that connects these mass fish death events?  Has something about our environment changed?  The following are just a few examples of the mass fish death reports that have been coming in day after day from all over the globe. Scroll to the end for my take on it…
*In April, 500,000 carp were found “floating belly-up in Kentucky’s Cumberland River“.
*Over the weekend, thousands upon thousands of fish died just off the southern California coastline
California Fish and Wildlife workers are still scooping dead sea life from the surface of the harbor Monday after thousands of dead anchovies, stingrays and even an octopus died and floated up over the weekend.
So far officials have cleaned up 6 tons of dead fish, and they still have a long way to go.
*The death of approximately 35,000 fish up in Minnesota is being blamed on a “lack of oxygen“.
*The recent die off of thousands of fish in the Shark River near Belmar, New Jersey is also being blamed on “oxygen depletion“.
*Officials in Menifee, California are still trying to figure out what caused the death of thousands of fish in Menifee Lake a few weeks ago…
Authorities continued testing the water in Menifee Lake Friday after thousands of dead fish have been seen floating since last weekend.
Menifee city officials first heard reports Saturday of floating fish at the lake, which is located on private property about a half-mile east of the 215 Freeway.
*In the Gulf of Mexico, dolphins and sea turtles are dying “in record numbers“.
*Maryland officials are still puzzled by the death of 7,000 Atlantic menhaden last month…
State environmental scientists are investigating the cause of a fish kill that left about 7,000 dead Atlantic menhaden in waters that include the Inner Harbor and Fells Point.
Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said that biologists went by boat on Tuesday to the area of Monday’s fish kill. He says the area extended from the mouth of the Patapsco River, up the Baltimore Harbor to Fells Point and Fort McHenry.
*Mass fish die-offs in Lake Champlain up in Vermont are being called “the new normal” by government officials.
*Along the coast of northern California, seals and young sea lions are dying “in record numbers“.
*Three months ago, farmers in Singapore lost 160 tons of fish to a mass die-off event.
*Back in September, approximately 40 kilometers of the Fuhe River in China “was covered with dead fish“.
*Also during last September, close to ten tons of dead fish were found floating on a lake near the town of Komotini, Greece.
The following are some more examples of mass fish death events from just the past several weeks that come from a list compiled on another website
17th May 2014 – Masses of fish turn up dead in a marina in Pultneyville, New York, AmericaLink
16th May 2014 – Mass die off of fish in a river in Aragatsotn, ArmeniaLink
15th May 2014 – Hundreds of fish dying off ‘due to pollution’ in the wetlands of Rewalsar, IndiaLink
14th May 2014 – Thousands of dead fish washing ashore in Cootes Paradise, Hamilton, CanadaLink
13th May 2014 – Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up along coast of Tasmania, AustraliaLink
12th May 2014 – Mass death of fish in the river Eden ‘is a mystery’ in Cumbria,EnglandLink
11th May 2014 – Thousands of dead Puffer Fish, also dead turtles washing up on various beaches in Colombia and Costa RicaLink and here
11th May 2014 – Hundreds of dead fish found in a pond is ‘a mystery’ in Southborough, EnglandLink
10th May 2014 – Thousands of fish dead due to pollution in spring in Sikkim,IndiaLink
9th May 2014 – Die off of Fish ’causes panic’ in the Luda Yana River in Bulgaria.Link
8th May 2014 – Thousands of dead fish appear in a lake ‘shock residents’ in Mangalore, IndiaLink
8th May 2014 – 12 TONS of dead fish removed from lakes in Chisago County, Minnesota, AmericaLink
7th May 2014 – Massive die off of fish in reservoirs in Quanzhou, ChinaLink
7th May 2014 – Thousands of fish found dead on the shores of Roatan,HondurasLink
5th May 2014 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up on a beach ‘a mystery’ in San Antonio Oeste, ArgentinaLink
5th May 2014 – Mass death of fish found in lakes in Almindingen, DenmarkLink
4th May 2014 – Mass die off of fish in a river in Fujian, ChinaLink
3rd May 2014 – 1,000+ dead fish wash ashore along a lake in Ontario, Canada.Link
2nd May 2014 – 40,000 fish die suddenly in a dam in Piaui, BrazilLink
30th April 2014 – Mass fish kill ‘worst I’ve seen in 26 years of working here’ in Iowa, AmericaLink
30th April 2014 – Large amount of dead fish found floating along a river in Xiasha District, ChinaLink
29th April 2014 – Dozens of sea turtles are washing up dead in South Mississippi,AmericaLink
29th April 2014 – Thousands of dead fish washing up along the shores of Lakes in Wisconsin, AmericaLink
28th April 2014 – Turtles and other marine life continue to wash up dead in Bari,ItalyLink
28th April 2014 – Large fish kill found in the Mogi River in BrazilLink
25th April 2014 – Large fish kill found in a reservoir in Nanchong, ChinaLink
24th April 2014 – Large amount of fish wash up dead along a river in La Chorrera, PanamaLink
23rd April 2014 – 2 Million fish found dead in a dam in Tehran, IranLink
23rd April 2014 – Mass die off of fish in Island lake in Ontario, CanadaLink
23rd April 2014 – Thousands of dead fish appear in a lake in Mudanjiang, China.Link
22nd April 2014 – 1,000 fish found dead in Oona River, County Tyrone,Northern IrelandLink
21st April 2014 – Large amounts of fish washing up dead along the Panchganga River in IndiaLink
19th April 2014 – MILLIONS of dead fish found floating in Thondamanaru Lagoon, Sri LankaLink
And remember, this list represents events that have happened in just a little over the past month.
So what is causing all of these mass fish death events? There might be multiple causes, such as pollution or oxygen level depletion in frozen lakes. There are plenty of obvious culprits for river systems you only have to look at the following image to realize that it would take a very special fish to be able to live in the Indian Yamuna river.

80% of animals rely on groundwater and rivers for survival. "30 out of the 47 largest rivers around the world record at least medium threat levels at the mouth" Read more. The threats for river systems are huge and have been covered extensively elsewhere. What will be targeted here is what is occurring in the oceans.

The concern is 2 fold. The first is dissolved oxygen in the oceans. That allows fish to breathe. The second is acidification. That restricts the ability of crustaceans to form shells. 

The oceans dissolved oxygen levels are decreasing. Basically as temperatures increase, the ability of water to hold dissolved oxygen decreases.

Here is a chart that shows the dissolved oxygen ocean levels.
The affects of that can be shown from anecdotal evidence;

We know jellyfish populations are increasing. That is consistent with oxygen depletion.

Toxic Algal blooms are increasing, again consistent with oxygen depletion.

Shark sightings and attacks are increasing . That seems consistent with oxygen depletion at depth. It would force fish to shallower depths, and the predators would follow. In addition, larger fish such as sharks suffer first under oxygen depletion so they are forced up.
Despite booming populations of adult lobsters, marine biologists and fisheries along the northern Atlantic coast of the United States are concerned about a dramatic population decline for young larval lobsters. Scientists searching for the cause of this drop see signs that ocean currents and warmer ocean waters are possible culprits.
Dr. Rick Wahle, research professor for the School of Marine Science at the University of Maine and founder of the American Lobster Settlement Index, has been tracking lobster populations since 1989. The scope of his study today tracks the waters in New England and Atlantic Canada.
Wahle and his crew of divers are tasked with counting the larval populations of American lobster. He told that the last few years have seen some downturn, but that recently the decrease was more drastic.
“In 2013 we saw one of the most widespread downturns in the history of [this study] for sure,” Wahle said.

Then I came across this. Apparently large numbers of fish are congregating around methane hydrates (sea floor vents) without an obvious food source. What are they doing there? There is a lack of obvious prey. Could it also be related to the oxygen levels in the ocean? Again, large fish suffer first when dissolved oxygen decreases. If oxygen depletion causes them to suffocate what would attract them to the hydrates?
I started doing some research, and in turns out there is a type II methanotroph called Methylomirabilis oxyfera, that generates its own oxygen – without light. It uses that oxygen to eat methane. As a byproduct it produces H2O. There are a lot of these methanotrophs around the methane hydrates. So, is it possible that there is an abundance of marine life around these methane hydrates because the fish are actually suffocating? Despite the risks of predation, the methane hydrates are a breath of fresh oxygen for the fish.

Many of these issues are consistent with oxygen depletion, and it has been proven to be happening. There are areas of the ocean known as Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZ). Unfortunately, these are expanding with the consequence "Reduced oxygen levels may have dramatic consequences for ecosystems and coastal economies"

So why aren't these effects being noticed more? The reason is the fish are being forced up from the depths in order to breathe, so there is ample fishing and the statistics look good. "What you end up with is overly optimistic data because the animals are squeezed in density in that part of the world, which is higher than in others. What you need to do is correct for that.Eric Prince, a research fisheries biologist. 

There will come a time, and probably has already been reached, where humanity will massacre what remains of the fish populations as they are easy pickings. If that doesn't do it, a global warming increase of 2.5C (we are at 0.8C) would cause the OMZ to expand significantly "The oxygen minimum zone in the Atlantic is going to start in North Africa and go all the way down to the tip of South Africa. It’s going to cover every single part of the eastern South American coast." from this interview.

As bad as that is, in addition, the ocean is acidifying as a byproduct of absorbing C02. The acidification rate is occurring at a rate 10 times that of any geological time period in history. Acidification is destroying the organisms at the bottom of the oceanic food chain. 
From this study "
 “Our study showed that all animal groups we considered are affected negatively by higher carbon dioxide concentrations. Corals, echinoderms and molluscs above all react very sensitively to a decline in the pH value ... the sensitivity of the animals to a declining pH value may increase if the sea temperature rises simultaneously." We have both rising temperatures and declining pH. As a result the food chain will re-arrange itself. 
Benign phytoplankton, the good, as against toxic algae, the bad, are decreasing. Along with the declines are also decreasing Zooplankton populations. Benign phytoplankton and the Zooplankton are the basis of the ocean food chain, CO2 absorbtion, and up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe.

Impact of phytoplankton community on food web structure Conceptual diagram illustrating the impact of the phytoplankton community on the aquatic ecosystem.  Diagram from "Tropical Connections: South Florida's marine environment" (pg. 125) - diagram,phytoplankton,primary producers,planktonic,food web,microzooplankton,mesozooplankton,protozoans,diatoms,cyanobacteria,bacterioplankton,fish,detritus,diversity,ameboids,ciliates,flagellates,gammaproteobacteria,alphaproteobacteria

From the above diagram, the first we will become aware of it affecting phytoplankton is in the small fish. This is not some future event;
"What’s worse, the collapse of sea life in the Pacific Ocean isn’t something that will affect us several decades into the future. The implications are being seen right now, as evidenced by an emergency closure of fisheries along the West coast this week.
On Wednesday federal regulators announced the early closure of sardine fisheries in California, Oregon and Washington. According to the most recent data, the sardine populations has been wiped out with populations seeing a decline of 91% in just the last eight years."

The future is now. As the food chain re-arranges, the winners will be jellyfish, toxic algae and bacteria  (such as what has happened in the Baltic sea). The losers will be numerous species, among them the whales, and us.

Some people don't realize that the temperature of the Earth is increasing at a faster rate than what we feel. The temperature increases are being stored in the ocean. Water is a much more effective thermal mass than is dirt. If the temperature was in the atmosphere it would have more of a chance of escaping into space. However, as greenhouse gases increase so the ability of heat to escape declines. Heat does not just disappear.
"Heat is a form of energy (thermal energy) derived from the temperature difference between a body and its surrounding system. Accordingly, the principle of the conservation of heat is implied by the conservation of energy contained in the first law of thermodynamics that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely transformed from one form to another." here
That heat releases from the Pacific ocean into the atmosphere during an El Nino event, which almost looks certain to occur now (latest June prediction).

To show the current sea temperature situation, the image I am using is the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for 3rd June 2014 from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. When scientists talk about temperature anomalies they are talking about temperature departures from the base. The base is the average temperatures established from 1880 when reliable records began. 
Global Daily Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly

It is important to realize that these are only surface temperatures. But considerable parts of the ocean are displaying 1-2C already. There is considerable temperature stored deeper which is a concern in its own right, but not one that will be covered here (Google "seabed methane melt" or "Sea Glacial melt"). On a separate note is the temperatures in the Indian ocean in the image. That is where the methane hydrates, discussed previously, were located. The water there is unusually warm, which would result in reduced dissolved oxygen.

So currently there is an increasing rate of CO2 in the atmosphere and increasing air and water temperatures. How far will the temperatures go? Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN centralized body that is monitoring climate change. The IPCC has been forced by governments to become more and more conservative in their predictions. The predictions are based on various atmospheric states called Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The highest RCP is 8.5. For anyone wanting the full scientific details of an estimated RCP8.5 scenario (that is warming 4C by 2100) then here is the article. Keep in mind, 4C is at the high end of the  IPCC predictions. Realistically, it is looking very likely that we will blow past that prediction. 4C by 2060 is more realistic. 4C doesn't sound like much, but that would actually be a horrendous outcome and threaten our species ability to live in many regions of the planet for many reasons beyond simply what is discussed here (Google heat stress).

Finally, nuclear pollution of the oceans is inevitable.

There seems no other way to view it, our oceans are dying. The implications of this for our food chain is immense. Somewhere between 400 to 800 million people rely on the ocean as a primary source of protein. There seems no way to fix it. Given the continuing buildup of CO2, it is very unlikely to be stopped, and accelerating atmospheric methane is going to ensure that temperatures continue to rise. The effect on the oceans will remain for thousands of years (about 70 actually). Eventually, people may regret their ocean front properties. The byproducts of algal blooms will be that parts of the sea will turn red as blood and stink, and that stench is actually harmful to humans to breathe
I can't avoid a connection to Revelations 16:3-4 in the bible. It seems the Angel of death is us. What a legacy we will leave, our grandchildren will curse the water we once swam in.

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