Overfishing, eutrophication, acidification, and climate change are leading to what Dr. Jeremy Jackson describes as the rise of slime in the oceans. For some recent evidence, check out this invasive algae in Crystal RIver or this recent story about increase in jellyfish on the Jersey shores. According to the research published last Friday in Science, there are now more than 400 dead zones worldwide, double the number reported by the United Nations just two years ago. Ugh.
A new article by Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Ecological extinction and evolution in a brave new ocean, was published early online last week by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and further details the degradation in the oceans (see the press release for the paper and/or Jeremy Jackson’s interview related to the paper, too). In a table in the paper, Jackson presents an entire scroll of shifting baselines–percent declines in biomass of different marine species many of us haven’t noticed. Scotian shelf Atlantic cod has declined 96% since 1852. Live coral cover in the Caribbean has declined 80-93% in the Caribbean since 1977. And on and on in a litany of eulogies for the world’s oceans.
I also really like Jackson’s assignment/presentation of the status of marine ecosystems given principal symptoms and drivers of degradation:
All this has earned Jackson the particularly high honor of Enviro-Wacko of the week alert at FreeRepublic.com and even landed him a place in Armageddon Online. If only the state of the oceans wasn’t so serious…