Really sucky environmental news

Plankton, base of ocean food web, in big decline

Worldwide phytoplankton levels are down 40 percent since the 1950s, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The likely cause is global warming, which makes it hard for the plant plankton to get vital nutrients, researchers say.


Hottest Decade on Record

The past decade was the hottest recorded, part of an unequivocal pattern of warming dating back 50 years, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report declared on Wednesday.

The annual “State of the Climate” report drew on the findings more than 300 climate scientists in 48 countries who measured 10 separate planetwide features, including air and sea temperatures, humidity, Arctic sea ice, glaciers, and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.

Unleashing river to fight oil causes massive oyster kills

In May, a few weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and began leaking as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered the opening of many of the state’s massive Mississippi River diversions, hoping that the torrent of fresh water would drive the oil back into the sea.

And, the fresh water killed the oysters in the estuary. Nice going, moran.

Comments

  1. #1 D. C. Sessions
    July 31, 2010

    Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered the opening of many of the state’s massive Mississippi River diversions, hoping that the torrent of fresh water would drive the oil back into the sea.

    And within hours, builders were taking advantage of the newly dry former bayou land. A political action committee has been formed to ensure that this precious land is protected from flooding hereafter.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 31, 2010

    LOL

  3. #3 MadScientist
    July 31, 2010

    Hmm … I wonder if the oxygen-producing algae are suffering a similar decline.

    Bobby Jindal is an imbecile. He obviously hasn’t got a clue about the power of the tides. I vote we throw him into an erupting volcano to plug the vent.

    But … it *can’t* be the hottest decade on record – that “watts” website says so! We’re entering a new Ice Age! The Wooly Mammoths will return! Well, maybe after Jesus does … that way humans and dinosaurs can live together once more just like in The Flintstones and PZ can ride a *real* triceratops.

  4. #4 Jack Jackson
    August 1, 2010

    There is no evidence that phytoplankton level went down because of global warming. I guess the reason is huge amounts of pollution we produce and all the sewage we send into the sea.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    August 1, 2010

    Jack, actually, the statment “There is no evidence that phytoplankton level went down because of global warming” is unconscionably inaccurate.

  6. #6 co2hound
    August 1, 2010

    The working hypothesis that explains the phytoplankton die off is the little guys are starving to death. Hotter water layers over cold and the mixing feeds them, but with less mixing they have less food.

    Phytoplankton are the ultimate ‘keystone’ species in the ocean. We have lost 40% so far and are currently at a loss rate of 1% a year. Ocean heating is the issue.

    We currently have enough CO2 in the atmosphere to get us another 1 to 2 degrees C over today’s global average. So we have enough heating in the pipeline to starve these critters down to almost nothing even if we stop our CO2 emissions today.

    If they go … we go. That’s the brutal fact.

    Even more really sucky enviro news!