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Our Oceans Are Dying
By Ernest Stewart
"Given the projections of further warming over the rest of the century, the world can expect to see continued, widespread change in the Arctic." ~~~ Kit Kovacs
After decades of rising temperatures, Arctic conditions have reached new heights again this year, signaling a dramatic changes for the Arctic and its inhabitants under relentless global warming. Walrus populations in the Pacific Arctic have plunged as dwindling sea ice forces them to haul out onto land in crushing crowds, and the Arctic's small native fish may stand little chance against large competitors moving northward as polar waters warm up.
These conclusions come from the new 2015 Arctic Report Card, released Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The report is a peer-reviewed, multinational research collaboration involving 72 researchers from 11 countries that has been produced by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annually since 2006.
Kit Kovacs, a biodiversity researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said, "The impacts of the persistent warming trend over 30 years are clearly evident.
A number of new climate records were set this year. Winter air temperatures over Arctic lands were the warmest since measurements began in 1900. Between October 2014 and September 2015, temperatures were 1.3C (2.3F) above average, amounting to a 3C (5.4F) gain since the beginning of the 20th century, primarily due to human-driven climate change."The Arctic Ocean's sea ice also reached new lows this year. Winter ice began receding more than two weeks earlier than usual, and coverage was the most scant since record keeping began in 1979. The 2015 summer ice shrank to the fourth lowest area on record. These new numbers indicate that summer sea ice is now dwindling at more than 13 percent a decade. Furthermore, 70 percent of the March ice pack contained thin, fragile first-year ice, jeopardizing Arctic mammals that hunt, shelter and bear their young on the frozen seas.
Particularly hard hit are Pacific walruses. Their population has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past decade and vanishing ice is at least partly to blame. In recent years, "thousands upon thousands" of these huge animals hauled out onto shore because there was no ice for them to rest on after swimming hundreds of miles to feed, scientists said. The crowded quarters are sparking food shortages and young calves often get crushed in the resulting stampedes.
"The land herds that we're seeing in the North Pacific have not been seen before in the numbers in which they're occurring. Not in the lifetime of living people have these things happened. And they're happening now," Kit Kovacs said.
And, if that isn't bad enough, here's the kicker. Everyone protests the burning of the forests down in South America, saying without them we'll have no oxygen to breath; but consider this: in a paper published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, they explain that 70% of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere comes from phytoplankton, photosynthesizing microscopic organisms that inhabit the sunlit, topmost layer of nearly all our oceans and bodies of fresh water; and Global Warming is starting to kill them off too. Not only no oxygen, but phytoplankton are at the bottom of the food chain; and without them, there'll be no life in the oceans or lakes.
So, for all the Sheeple who think that electing Hillary or Trump is the most important thing in the world, think again!
07-21-1938 ~ 12-20-2015
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04-22-1963 ~ 12-22-2015
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07-10-1929 ~ 12-22-2015
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(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.