Year 4, Month 11, Day 27: Dove Beneath My Floating Home

The San Francisco Chronicle offers a grim prognosis on the planet’s oceans:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Greenhouse gases are making the world’s oceans hot, sour and breathless, and the way those changes work together is creating a grimmer outlook for global waters, according to a new report Wednesday from 540 international scientists.

The world’s oceans are getting more acidic at an unprecedented rate, faster than at any time in the past 300 million years, the report said. But it’s how this interacts with other global warming impacts to waters that scientists say is getting them even more worried.

Scientists already had calculated how the oceans had become 26 percent more acidic since the 1880s because of the increased carbon in the water. They also previously had measured how the world’s oceans had warmed because of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas. And they’ve observed that at different depths the oceans were moving less oxygen around because of the increased heat.

But together “they actually amplify each other,” said report co-author Ulf Riebesell, a biochemist at the Geomar Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Germany. He said scientists are increasingly referring to the ocean’s future prospects as “hot, sour and breathless.”

But hey, Al Gore is fat. And Miley Cyrus! November 16:

Industrial civilization’s CO2 emissions are making the oceans which gave us life into deserts. Surely this is more important than the latest scandal du jour? If oceanic acidification was a nubile starlet shaking her fanny on national television, we’d be discussing it full-time, mulling over the implications for our culture, our values, and our civilization. If the accelerating greenhouse effect was a royal baby, we’d be reading about it in every checkout line in the nation. Our celebrity-obsessed mass media has helped us become an ADD nation, distracted from genuine challenges by faux news, factoids, and infotainment.

If humanity is to survive the consequences of our profligacy and wastefulness, we must start by acknowledging the threat’s reality, and the fact that meaningful action on the climate crisis involves us all. And our media must fulfill their responsibilities: to the once-revered ideals of journalism, and to our species’ survival.

Warren Senders

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