Letters

Reports of ocean acidification 'alarming'

Dear editor,

Recent media reports of alarming rates in scallop mortality experienced by a Vancouver Island scallop farmer who cited ocean acidification, prompted me to do some research.

The ocean has been steadily absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Currently, it is 30 per cent more acidic than it was 55 million years ago, adversely affecting shellfish, fish and coral reefs in their development and ability to survive and thrive.

Every second breath we take is produced by plankton. When the chemistry of the ocean goes wonky, it affects everything else on the planet.

The ocean is a vast system that covers more than 70 per cent of the planet and, because of its depth, makes up 99 per cent of all living space.

Ocean acidification is one of, what science writer Alanna Mitchell, who spent three years studying the health of our oceans, calls "the Evil Troika."

Oxygen depletion is the second "evil." There are currently 407 (and counting) dead zones, primarily the result of dissolved chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers, which eventually end up in the ocean.

Third is ocean warming. When the ocean warms, it alters the jet stream (and ocean currents), affecting our weather.

This winter, we experienced record high temperatures in Alaska, a polar vortex in the Midwest, drought in California and coastal B.C. (as in no snow for months on Mount Washington) and flooding in Great Britain.

Not convinced?

Check out the oceans vital signs for yourself at www.youtube.com/watch?v=stKdMPOgicQ.

The fossil fuel industry will have to be heavily regulated to keep our planet habitable or we face global temperature increases past 3.5 degrees Celsius in 20 to 40 years. Hello Venus, goodbye Earth!

Sources:The Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research suggests a 4C temperature increase by 2060. The Global Carbon Project, which monitors the global carbon cycle, and the Copenhagen Diagnosis, a climate science report, predict 6C and 7C temperature increases, respectively, by 2100. The UN Environment Program predicts up to a 5C increase by 2050.

Susanna Kaljur,

Courtenay

 

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