Environment Forum

Crustaceans rule!

August 3, 2010

Mex_00-hrEver wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world’s seas and oceans? Now there’s an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It’s not fish. It’s not mammals. It’s crustaceans!

Voyage around the Americas sees acidification off Alaska

January 8, 2010

boat

Scientists aboard the Ocean Watch, a 64-foot yacht on a year-long voyage circling the Americas, are testing the waters as they go. Instruments on the vessel have picked up evidence of ocean acidification, another result of the spewing of carbon dioxide from tailpipes and smokestacks, they say.
 
Much of  CO2 pollution ends up in the atmosphere, but some is absorbed in the ocean, where it is converted into carbonic acid. The average pH of the word’s oceans is about 8.1 and the lower the reading, the greater the acidity. 
 
Scientists are concerned that if pH levels keep falling ocean waters could eat away the shells of organisms large and small. That would put the web of ocean life at risk, not to mention be a potential disaster for land-loving seafood lovers
   
Ocean Watch has picked up readings of 7.88 in the Gulf of Alaska. Michael Reynolds, the scientist taking the measurements, said the preliminary data may show that the Gulf of Alaska is a primary “sink” for atmospheric carbon.
 
The good news is that readings have returned to normal as the voyage continues off the coast of South America.    

Coral erodes off Taiwan as divers take it home

November 9, 2009

Taiwan tourists are destroying a piece of exactly what they travel to see on an outlying mid-Pacific islet known — at least at one time — for its abundant coral reefs.

Panic at 2 a.m. — the search for multiyear Arctic ice

October 30, 2009

    When you’re looking for shrinking packs of multiyear ice in the Arctic Ocean, bizarre things tend to happen. Top Canadian scientist David Barber knows this first hand, as he explained in a presentation in Parliament on Wednesday. Barber said that to all extents and purposes the multiyear ice in the Arctic had already vanished, which could open up the region to shipping and mineral exploitation.

Oceans away! U.S. makes federal stab at ocean policy

September 17, 2009

The seven seas get a single U.S. approach in a draft federal plan for oceans released on Thursday (and dated Sept. 10, when it was given to the prez). The report is a response to President Obama’s request for a plan and says a new National Ocean Council should use ecosystem management to take on the task. Previous efforts have been focused on solving individual problems — saving fisheries, stopping water pollution — which did not always match.

Good news for South American penguins

December 30, 2008

Half a million Magellanic penguins are among the critters to get protection in a new coastal marine park just established by Argentina.

Smoke and mirrors to slow global warming?

October 27, 2008

With worries about recession in many countries, does it make sense to try out some more radical ideas for fighting global warming, like placing mirrors in the sky to block the sun or fertilising the oceans to soak up greenhouse gases?

Good news on the Texas turtle front

June 19, 2008

turtle.jpg 

There are two turtle tales brewing on the coast of Texas at the moment and they’re both good.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

April 29, 2008

A giant squid weighing 250 pounds and measuring 25 feet in length is prepared for exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in this undated photo. The squid, which was netted off the coast of New Zealand in 1997, goes on display on October 12. PM/TBIt’s almost creepy watching this video of a colossal squid slowly thawing out in a giant tub at the Museum of New Zealand. If this were a horror movie, after all, it would suddenly start flailing around with its monstrous tentacles.