SOARCE ARCHIVE

In Our View: Oceans Threatened

Rising acid levels are addressed in panel's new recommendations, The Columbian

One of the first and most frequent rebuttals to environmental concerns is based on finances: Can we afford the solutions? Therefore, we'll begin this discussion of ocean acidification — admittedly a complex and still murky issue — by focusing on the financial aspects. 

Washington state leads the nation in production of farmed shellfish, providing 85 percent of sales on the west coast, including Alaska. The shellfish industry contributes $270 million annually to our state's economy and supports 3,200 jobs. It also contributes to tourism, as you know if you've ever dug razor clams on the coast. The impact of rising levels of acid in the ocean was dramatically illustrated between 2005 and 2009 with massive loss of oyster larvae in Northwest hatcheries, including the 2005 failure of larvae at Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchers on Netarts Bay near Tillamook, Ore. 

The good news is that Washington state also leads the nation in research and advocacy on this issue, evidenced by Tuesday's report from a panel of experts and stakeholders appointed 10 months ago by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The first of its kind at such a high level of state governance, the report includes 42 wide-ranging recommendations. Those include specifics such as increasing seaweed farming to remove carbon dioxide from ocean waters, and generalities such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Friday, November 30, 2012
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Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise

Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise

BY: GEOFFREY LEAN, Science

It is the little mentioned flip side of global warming – the acidification of the world’s oceans. Now new research shows that, as predicted, it is harming sea life.

Even if climate change were not taking place, the process provides compelling cause for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, for they are powering what scientists believe to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans in millions of years. And its effects cannot be reversed in less than tens of millennia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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CO2 dangerously acidifying world's oceans

CO2 dangerously acidifying world's oceans

Oceans are sucking up increased carbon emissions, raising fears acidification could lead to marine life extinctions BY: JILLIAN KESTLER DAMOURS, Aljazeera

As the effects of global climate change continue to be felt throughout the world's ecosystems, scientists say greenhouse gases are causing rapid changes that may irreversibly alter the composition of the Earth's oceans. It is estimated oceans absorb up to 30 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, helping to offset the overall warming of the planet. But the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution has skyrocketed, saturating oceans and boosting acidification. Burgeoning ocean acidification raises the spectre of extinctions of coral, algae and shellfish - key cogs in the global food chain - with far reaching consequences for the planet's inhabitants.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Ocean Acidification: It's Time to Act

Ocean Acidification: It's Time to Act

BY: GEORGE LEONARD, National Geographic

Consensus is hard. Any time you bring together a range of interests, it’s rare the group can speak in a unified voice and recommend a clear path forward. But that’s exactly what happened yesterday in Washington by its Governor and the state’s Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) on Ocean Acidification. The panel made clear that options exist for tackling ocean acidification. Coastal states and businesses that are dependent upon a healthy ocean now have a road map for action, thanks to Washington’s leadership – and oyster growers in Oregon first sounding the alarm. Ocean acidification is happening now, and we can and should take action.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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The Impact- Environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry

a video, TVW

Host Anita Kissee visits a shellfish farm to see the environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the industry. Plus, an update on the whooping cough epidemic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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