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Oceans; the news is not good (under statement)

Southern Ocean sucks up more carbon dioxide than was thought

Remote ocean has doubled its intake of the greenhouse gas since 2000, reversing an earlier decline.  (Nature Sept 2015 Link)

“Gruber notes that increasing CO2 absorption may also be causing the ocean’s water to become more acidic, which could interfere with the formation of the calcium-carbonate-based shells of some marine organisms that live there. And, he adds, climate scientists cannot rely on the Southern Ocean to remain a strong carbon sink: “At the moment it’s very strong, it’s very good, but I don’t think we can automatically assume it will stay that way.”

(McC Comment – Atmospheric carbon sink = CO2 absorbed by oceans from the atmosphere = more in the oceans = greater acidity. Add to rising acidity;  over fishing + damage to marine habitats + warming + pollution + eutrophication + rising ocean levels affecting light levels on reefs etc+ jelly fish = unprecedented likely irreversible change to the oceans a key environmental moderator and asset about which we know relatively little)

Threat to oceans from climate change must be key to Paris talks, say scientists

(Guardian Link)

“Above 90% of the plankton we found were new [to science] and we don’t yet know what they are.”

Oceans Will Rise Much More Than Predicted, NASA Says

(National Geographic Link)

“Predictions from a few years ago already are outdated. “Sea levels are rising faster than they were 50 years ago, and it’s very likely to get worse,” one scientist says.”

“Even if greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized and global warming is limited to no more than  2° C, the oceans could reach levels that would transform the world’s coasts in the centuries ahead, NASA scientists say.”

“We have a different picture than we had in 2012 when the last IPCC assessment came out,” says Steve Nerem, an aerospace engineer at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “Sea levels are rising faster than they were 50 years ago, and it’s very likely to get worse in the future. The biggest uncertainty in predicting future sea level rises is determining how quickly the polar ice sheets will melt in response to warming.”

“Of the world’s ten largest cities, eight are located on coasts. Over the next century and beyond, rising seas will threaten Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Mumbai, and other megacities.”

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