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Ocean Changes

June 26, 2011

Today we have 3 Articles on things happening to our Oceans.

Sea Level Rise:

Full Article at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620183242.htm

Fastest Sea-Level Rise in 2,000 Years Linked to Increasing Global Temperatures

The rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years — and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level.

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The team found that sea level was relatively stable from 200 BC to 1,000 AD.

Then in the 11th century, sea level rose by about half a millimeter each year for 400 years, linked with a warm climate period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly.

Then there was a second period of stable sea level during a cooler period called the Little Ice Age. It persisted until the late 19th century.

Since the late 19th century, sea level has risen by more than 2 millimeters per year on average, the steepest rate for more than 2,100 years.

“Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change,” says Horton, “as rising temperatures melt land-based ice, and warm ocean waters.”

Full Article at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620183242.htm

Fishing and Ocean ecosystem:

Full Article at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/25-5

If the Sea Is in Trouble, We Are All in Trouble

by  Sylvia Earle

The report that the ocean is in trouble is no surprise. What is shocking is that it has taken so long for us to make the connection between the state of the ocean and everything we care about – the economy, health, security – and the existence of life itself.

If the ocean is in trouble – and it is – we are in trouble. Charles Clover pointed this out in The End of the Line, and Callum Roberts provided detailed documentation of the collapse of ocean wildlife – and the consequences – in The Unnatural History of the Sea.

Since the middle of the 20th century, more has been learned about the ocean than during all preceding human history; at the same time, more has been lost. Some 90 per cent of many fish, large and small, have been extracted. Some face extinction owing to the ocean’s most voracious predator – us.

We are now appearing to wage war on life in the sea with sonars, spotter aircraft, advanced communications, factory trawlers, thousands of miles of long lines, and global marketing of creatures no one had heard of until recent years. Nothing has prepared sharks, squid, krill and other sea creatures for industrial-scale extraction that destroys entire ecosystems while targeting a few species.

Full Article at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/25-5

Marine Species Migrations:

Full Article at http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/06/26-4

Warming Oceans Cause Largest Movement of Marine Species in Two Million Years

  by Richard Gray

Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists.

In the Arctic, melting sea ice during recent summers has allowed a passage to open up from the Pacific ocean into the North Atlantic, allowing plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific.

The discovery has sparked fears delicate marine food webs could be unbalanced and lead to some species becoming extinct as competition for food between the native species and the invaders stretches resources.

Rising ocean temperatures are also allowing species normally found in warmer sub-tropical regions to into the northeast Atlantic.

A venomous warm-water species Pelagia noctiluca has forced the closure of beaches and is now becoming increasingly common in the waters around Britain.

Full Article at http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/06/26-4

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