News24

Scientists worried about ocean health

2011-12-01 18:22

Durban - Scientists have called for ocean warming to be taken seriously during climate change talks.

"We as scientists are not happy that the issue of ocean warming is ignored during climate talks here in Durban," said Carol Turley of United Kingdom’s Ocean Acidification Research Programme.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention centre.

Turley said there was a need to address ocean warming, as over the coming decades ocean health would become increasingly stressed as a result of greenhouse emissions.

Ocean warming is said to be caused by increasing atmospheric temperature as a result of greenhouse gas emissions.

It affects the exchange of gases between the ocean surface and the atmosphere, causing substantial changes in the marine physics, chemistry and biology.

Turley said it was important for policy-makers to understand the role the ocean played in sustaining life on earth. It covered nearly three quarters of the earth’s surface and provided around half of the oxygen people breathed.

If ocean stresses were not addressed, it could affect about 500 million people who depend directly on fisheries for their livelihood.

"The ocean is very important and I don’t understand why we are not focusing on dealing with its stresses. We need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," she said.

Comments
  • GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 18:44

    Yes we do but don't expect the situation to stabilize, global warming is cyclic and inevitable. With or without humans. And stop stealing our money through carbon taxes.

      Ryan Holland - 2011-12-01 19:42

      It was through studying the natural cycles that scientists realised something was wrong. Do you really think nobody has thought of that? Question: how did snowball earth break out of it's ice age. Answer: CO2 build up from volcanos. A natural event that we can learn from like how much CO2 is too much. Human activities produce vast amount of the stuff. Why should that not have an effect but natural CO2 does. It's not a logical argument to just say "the climate changes naturally therfore all future change must be natural" that's like saying "tree growth is natural so dumping fertiliser on it can not effect it's growth". Potholer54 on YouTube does an excellent series that spoonfeeds the laymen the ABCs of ACC. Worth watching in my opinion and a good place to start.

      GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 20:02

      There is no dispute from my part as to the effects of CO2 on our climate, but conveniently some of the natural contributors is deliberately ignored. I'm all for action against ACC, yes but I'm also concerned at the way it is managed. Carbon trading, emission trading etc. smacks of syndication, there is no transparency and it is my opinion that most of the funds raised from public moneys will be lost in the great void called the global markets. There is undisputed seismic and volcanic activity releasing massive amounts of methane and CO2 below the ocean, huge active volcanoes are being discovered under the arctic, and denying the effects of these natural activity is just plain foolish. At 389 parts per million, current CO2 in our atmosphere constitutes 0.000388 percent of the atmosphere. At this level you simply cannot attribute the rise in ocean temperatures to CO2 heat retention, it is impossible if you do the maths. That heat is coming from somewhere else. Now my point is this, we have to do something to protect our planet, but not by hysterical people and greedy corporations. Why is there no incentive to plant trees, stop deforestation, stop trawlers from screwing up the ocean's ecosystems. I would gladly contribute to any fund that would directly benefit our planet, not some ponzi scheme as is the global economy. Follow the money.

      Ryan Holland - 2011-12-01 21:12

      Remember how easy the Y2K bug was to fix. Really simple reprogramming of the two digit date system. I loaded this on the FNB system in about two hours. Remember the hysteria this issue caused and the scams that arose. Every global event follows the same pattern but that does not mean we should do nothing. It's the price we pay for being stupid apes. I agree we should try to avoid the ridiculous scams but the science points to a large human influence and it's up to us to do something about it. Please publish your findings and then we can discuss them. There are too many crackpots quoting figures over the net for me to take you seriously. Especially when they contradict the current findings as found it journals like Nature Geoscience, popular science mags like Scientific American, New Scientist, institutions like NASA and The Royal Society etc. In fact every National scientific body in the world. If it is a scam then I have to admit that I am completely fooled and have no real mechanism to prove them wrong ( and this coming from a natural sceptic). I've spent a lot of time on this issue and I think the idea that ACC is a scam is more ridiculous than the idea that we are affecting our climate with all our going ons.

      Ryan Holland - 2011-12-01 21:29

      I read a paper where they identify the different carbon isotopes from air samples and can establish where the carbon comes from. It's not all from volcanos, much of it comes from burning fossil fuels (this has a specific signature) and this is reflected in the equations.

      Mike - 2011-12-01 22:08

      Excellent Ryan refreshing to see someone who reads the real science and not conspiracy theories. Reading and understanding science is much harder and time consuming that simply reading your favorite climate denialist blog.

      GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 23:04

      Ryan -> http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

      GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 23:08

      This link is a very interesting read -> http://www.john-daly.com/barker/index.htm

      GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 23:11

      Ryan, not even NASA has consensus, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast21jul_1m/

      GAMMAT - 2011-12-01 23:20

      Ryan, I do not dispute the rise in human contribution of CO2, I dispute the mechanics behind the heating. With other words, human contribution is alarmingly high, and we should do something about it, but I'm not convinced. We did an experiment in a hyperbaric chamber. The chamber was in a controlled environment and we first purged the chamber and filled it with synthetic air. We dosed the tank with 300 ppm CO2, and heated the chamber through infrared light onto heat plates with thermal sensors and a data logger. We measured the drop in temperature over 12 hours after removal of the heat source. We kept the humidity at 70. Then we repeated the experiment with 10 ppm increments, until we reached 400 ppm. There was no difference in the rate of heat loss.

      Ernst - 2011-12-02 11:57

      GAMMAT, please stop perpetuating the same debunked denialist myths. "Yes we do but don't expect the situation to stabilize, global warming is cyclic and inevitable. With or without humans. And stop stealing our money through carbon taxes." It is obviously true that past climate change was caused by natural forcings. However, to argue that this means we can’t cause climate change is like arguing that humans can’t start bushfires because in the past they’ve happened naturally. Greenhouse gas increases have caused climate change many times in Earth’s history, and we are now adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at a increasingly rapid rate.

      Ryan - 2011-12-02 12:39

      OK, now you are just messing with me and I don't like that so I'll just leave you with this and move on. "This link is a very interesting read -> http://www.john-daly.com/barker/index.htm" (strange how it's most prominent position on the web is on http://junksciencearchive.com/july02.html . You make the grave error of bypassing the scientific method which includes peer review. Do you think scientists just do it for a laugh.) "Ryan, not even NASA has consensus, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast21jul_1m/ " (you really dug deep for that one, July 2000, really, that was eleven years ago and all that was in dispute was by how much the temp will change in the future. This is to be expected in such complex modelling. The subtitle: "Scientists are working to understand why the lower atmosphere isn't heating up as fast as some global warming models predict." Have you bother to check if the have found anything in the last eleven years? Try their current webpage http://climate.nasa.gov/ It's quite clear what they think so stop trying to deceive people)

      Ryan - 2011-12-02 12:41

      "Ryan, I do not dispute the rise in human contribution of CO2, I dispute the mechanics behind the heating. With other words, human contribution is alarmingly high, and we should do something about it, but I'm not convinced."(if you are not convinced of the mechanism then why did you just write " There is no dispute from my part as to the effects of CO2 on our climate" unless you were referring to effect other than what is stated in the scientific literature. Also, I don't know what you want me to take away from the "experiment" you carried out. You have no detail, which is expected on a forum like this, but once again you have bypassed the scientific method 'provide a link if I'm wrong'. Do you know how many things can go wrong in such a sensitive experiment like that. What were your projection based on current thinking. Do you dispute that CO2 absorbs heat? That would really put you on the crackpot list. Even hardened denialists don't dispute this.You need to publish and peer review first, then convince later. Example: how did you regulate the outside air temp in the room, what wavelength of infrared was used, how did you determine concentration levels of different particles, at that sensitivity you would find a difference in heat loss even if you made no changes which would then need to be filtered out by compensating for external influence. The fact that you found not difference is quite surprising, or rather unbelievable. In your own words, sorry "but I'm not convinced"

      Gammat - 2011-12-02 13:16

      "OK, now you are just messing with me and I don't like that" ?? What happened about open debate? Its clear that your mind is made up, so be it. You post links, have you followed mine? Debunk http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html for me please.

      Ernst - 2011-12-02 14:52

      @GAMMAT: "http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html" Who compiled this infromation. If it is Fred Singer then I dont have much faith in him. The guy lied about taking money from oil companies. Also See, http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2008/01/20/202297/unstoppable-disinformation-every-15-minutes-from-fred-singer/ http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1 If it was Wallace Broecker well then I suggest you see: http://thinkprogress.org/green/2010/08/04/174763/warming-wally-world/

      Ryan - 2011-12-02 14:56

      "What happened about open debate?" I'm a handyman not a scientist. I have made it clear before that as a non-scientist I have to rely on work that has been through the scientific method. I can not look over the shoulder of every scientist to check their work so, that for me, is the best compromise I can make. Then you go any post a paper that is, well, not a paper but something typed up by some data clerk. Also, I think you were being dishonest with the NASA Link for the reasons I have stated. "You post links, have you followed mine?" - I even quote for one of them. That should be evidence enough. What part of the Geocraft link do you want me to address? Their argument seems to be, "nature produces much more greenhouse gas then man therefore we don't have an influence". But they don't show why they think that. Sorry, but you strike me as a person that has never read any of the arguments against your position ever. Naturally produced CO2 has been balanced by natural carbon sinks like oceans and forests. We are cutting down forests, destroying natural sinks and the extra CO2 is now acidifying the ocean.Then, enter the addition of man-made CO2, even if thirty times less than natural carbon, is building up to a point where positive feedback kicks in. The roughly 500 billion metric tons of carbon we have produced is enough to have raised the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to nearly 500 ppm but so far most of that has been absorbed into the ocean but for how much longer?

  • bishop.bishop35 - 2011-12-02 09:45

    remove humans for 50 years

  • bishop.bishop35 - 2011-12-02 09:45

    remove people for 50 years

  • Gammat - 2011-12-02 10:25

    Ryan you asked me "Question: how did snowball earth break out of it's ice age. " Now as I see it, there was no ACC then, but lots of volcanic/seismic events. Does that not make you wonder?

      Ryan - 2011-12-02 14:47

      Ryan you asked me "Question: how did snowball earth break out of it's ice age. " Now as I see it, there was no ACC then, but lots of volcanic/seismic events. Does that not make you wonder? Not really, slow CO2 built up from volcanos over thousands of years as there was no open ocean or plant life to absorb or regulate it. It's quite simple really. Here is an example of the type of evidence and man power used to work these things out.http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/rob_dunbar.html

      Gammat - 2011-12-02 17:04

      Did you read the long list of comments there? One thing is for certain, mass has the potential to store heat energy, the rest is science.

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