Thursday, February 03, 2005

Global Gloom

I am feeling a little sad today. A series of sad news.

A study out of university of Jerusalem paints a bleak picture for the future of coral reefs. Oceans are becoming increasingly acidic as they soak up manmade emissions of carbon dioxide. This is making it difficult for many coral organisms to produce skeletal and other hard parts. It appears that in another 30 - 70 years coral reefs might cease to exist. As an ecosystem our grandchildren will not see coral reefs any more!

The acidification of the ocean not just affects the coral reefs, it even harms the planktons at the bottom of the fisheries food chain. Did you know planktons produce dimethyl sulphide when they bloom? It helps the formation of clouds which reflect back heat from the Sun!

Maldives, the country is portrayed as a tropical paradise with sun-kissed paradise islands and pale, white sands. Unfortunately it is cursed with mounting evidence of an environmental catastrophe. With sea levels rising at 0.9cm a year, the island paradise would become uninhabitable within 100 years.

Scientists are afraid that global warming might even slow the gulf stream. The Woods hole Oceanographic Institution warns that too much change in Ocean temperature and salinity could possibly slow the oceanic conveyor belt – causing drastic climate change

Alaska is feeling the heat. Snow and ice reflect a lot of the sunlight. As the snow melts and the ice disappears; less reflective land and water is exposed. Leading to more heat absorption and more melting. All this melting has taken a toll on the poor Adelie penguins. Their precious breeding grounds are melting away.

The list goes on and on. What John Muir said was something profound, "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world ". That is so true.We are indeed setting off a chain reaction.

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." -President Lyndon B. Johnson

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