Posts Tagged ‘Coral’

Mediterranean Coral Reef

August 6, 2014

Even Doom & Gloom has a romantic, esthetic angle, as the Rolling Stones reminded us (once again), in the song by that title. Coral reef in the Mediterranean will be pretty. Until July 2014, I thought that would take another 50 years. To my amazement, I found otherwise.

I was swimming in an area I know well. I don’t swim on the surface, that’s too bourgeois and destructive of what one is trying to achieve when visiting the sea. I was baffled by the sea floor. I could not recognize it. It was weird: it was full of arches (!), mushrooms, grottos… Some structures a meter high, or across. I could not figure out what that meant. Did the rising sea erode the rocks?

But the rocks in the area are made a solid orange granite. And how could the sea erode rocks ten meters below the surface?

Plage De L’Escalet Crushed By Rising Sea

Plage De L’Escalet Crushed By Rising Sea

Because, yes, the sea is rising. This beach above was 60 meters across, 50 years ago. Now, in some parts, it’s only 5 meters. Waves are crashing into tree roots. As I said, this is a rocky shore, it has no telluric activity, it is not subsiding. So, when rocks get submerged, it’s because the sea rose.

In their gilded palaces, our great leaders, basking into their oligarchic medium, receive the news from scientists who know their careers depend upon telling their masters what they want to hear. And scientists are way down on the totem pole, as the collapse of American research under University of Chicago Law professor Obama shows (the University of Chicago, fief of Milton Freidman, always taught that things human are best left to private enterprise… meaning the destruction of non-immediately financially profitable research; plutocratic law has been evolved accordingly).

American research is collapsing (affecting research worldwide, as it used to be a third of it, or so), meanwhile American banking is thriving, applauded by consciously liberal Paul Krugman. But of this, another day.

Scientist speak of a reassuring sea rise of only 4 millimeters a year. Average. But in Bangla Desh, precise measurements of high tides just showed the rise is now 17 millimeters, a year.

(OK, the scientists have to say, it’s probably the fault of levees, precisely erected to compensate for sea rise, etc. They have to say that, or their masters would be too unhappy. One does not want the masters too unhappy: they can cut entire fields of study, to satisfy the great god of “Fiscal Responsibility”, aka Austerity.)

On the beach pictured above, the sea level has gone up at least 30 centimeters. Maybe two feet. The old beach is still there, with all its wonderful fine white sand, three feet below.

It’s eerie.

So here I was, contemplating small, but spectacular arches, holes and mushrooms of stones below, as if I were flying over a submarine version of Arches National Park. I grabbed the yellow rock, full of holes. It was sharp. As a climber I recognized immediately limestone. Coral limestone, on which I climbed many times, while religiously communing with my apish roots.

Except this coral was not fossil, lifted out of a Jurassic sea, thousands of meters in the sky by immense tectonic forces. It was alive, covered with mini flowers. It reminded me of diving off Kailua, Hawai’i. It was coral, coral reef!

In some places, one could see patches up to a meter or more of coral clinging to the solid granite below. Off that French coast, apparently unbeknownst to all, in a few years, thousands of tons of coral appeared.

One unique specimen, hidden below an overhang, was 50 centimeter across, and looked a bit like a gorgon (sea fan), except it was not a sea fan, but something solid that I have seen in the tropical seas (I am looking for its name).

There you have it.

Some changes from global warming affecting the Mediterranean are official (barracudas, invading tropical algae). Up to this month, if someone had presented me with the possibility of coral reef on the French Riviera, I would have laughed cynically, and pointed out that, when it appears, 50 years from now, it may convince climate deniers.

Well, as far as the Mediterranean sea is concerned, the 50 years are over in a flash. Coral reef is now growing, in Southern France.

Where exactly? Well, on the same peninsula where Sea Turtles started to reproduce again recently.

Dire warnings about the biosphere do not just serve probable truth, but also may well mitigate catastrophe. Canadian, Russian, and even American leaders, reading this, may well scoff: after all they own giant real estate up north, and seeing it melt may serve them, or their successors, well.

Indeed there are positive aspects to the incoming Jurassic climate: agriculture in Siberia, Greenland and Antarctica. The biosphere is by far the largest system upon which human beings have an impact.

The Human Effect led to mass extinctions in the last million years. Homo made the Earth into a pleasant garden for himself. Homo destroyed his closest competitors first, a million years ago or so, most other Hominidae and primates, such as giant apes and giant baboons. Those who, like Rousseau the philosopher, accused civilization, were rather stupid. The Douanier Rousseau had it more right.

Now the biosphere is in full mass extinction mode. Thus it is adapting with tremendous speed.

I am not a trained marine biologist, a specialist of coral. But I dove around, and kept manipulating and contemplating. It seemed that several species of different coral had appeared. Some yellow, some pink, some white, all with different textures. I even found one starting to grow like hard white little trees, just as proverbial Polynesian coral. (The precious indigenous Mediterranean coral is pink or red, and has been exploited to near extinction; it used to color the sand pink in the area.)

The force exerted by humanity on the biosphere keeps on augmenting. But the biosphere has enormous inertia. This means that the changes we see now are little relative to those which are already coming… those which are already baked in. For example, West Antarctica will melt. It’s just a matter of time.

So some changes will be positive, and they will come with more force than people expect.

Not to lose sight of the essential. From a hill above the sea, hundreds of pleasure boats can be observed, some of them, gigantic yachts for multibillionaires.

A sort of armada appears: maybe 50 boats, some large yachts, others fast “cigars”, all together, with fifty long white wakes. Two huge yachts dominate the armada. One can see their helicopter decks. Several helicopters are accompanying the fleet. Suddenly the two gigantic pleasure ships turn around, as if the lesser boats did not exist.

The plutocrat in command had changed his mind, catching his minions by surprise. Probably part of his power trip. Confusion ensued among the lesser kind. All scrambled to follow the master. Wakes crisscrossed, collisions barely avoided. The magnificent power parade reforms in minutes, and headed back to Cannes and Nice, there to impress fellow satanic entities, heads of states, and other servants.

Such are the creatures molding world public opinion, by their control of generalized media. All politicians and other members of the world’s oligarchy are anxious to please them, so that they can get financial crumbs.

All are to conclude the CO2 crisis is in full control. Just a matter of extracting more fossil fuels, and everything will be OK. So frack and burn, baby, frack and burn. No more gloom and doom. Or we will shoot the messenger, and burn the message.

What is sure out of control are the magnificent forests of the Southern Alps. The combination of higher CO2, and massive precipitation makes for very green, fat trees.

What a funky little universe.

Patrice Ayme’

Note: a) This is not deep sea coral reef (discovered in the Mediterranean by Pola in 1891, Le Danois in 1948; see also). Clearly the shallow sea coral species I discovered need the temperature is high. It was not found in places where the water is clearly colder. Even if that was only 100 meters away (because of cold sweet water springs). The part where the coral deposition was most massive is a uniquely warm stretch, only 500 meters long. And it definitively was not there last time I patrolled it, three years ago.

b) Red Coral (Corrallium Rubrium) experienced mass mortality in 1999, apparently caused by high temperatures in North West Mediterranean. That happened above 30 meter depth. So the apparition of the corals I saw is inversely related to Red Coral.

c) The definition of coral is not strict. What’s sure is that there were giant coral reefs in the Mediterranean 60 million years ago (when it was part of the Tethys Sea). And that if it builds a reef, that’s it.

Earth Out Of Oxygen: GLOBAL HYPOXIA

May 30, 2014

Move over, “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”! You meek, obsolete euphemisms have been paid by your fossil fuel masters to occupy the front stage, in a masquerade of objectivity.

Let me instead introduce the radical notion of GLOBAL HYPOXIA“. Yes, no less. That, is the real danger in the enfolding man-made CO2 crisis.

I have explained that I do not believe in the Impact theory of previous mass extinctions. Instead I believe in what I call (Earth) Core Volcanism. Core Volcanism would have erupted with huge quantities of CO2, hence would have devastated the seas. Hint: at the time when the dinosaurs died, mammals and birds (a type of dinosaur) survived handsomely. Yet the devastation in the ocean was total.

Kill Seas With Acid,  Kill Oxygen Production

Kill Seas With Acid, Kill Oxygen Production

Krugman wrote an editorial “Cutting Back On Carbon“, that explained the obvious, namely that switching to a non carbon economy would not cost much, if at all:

“Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy…

You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party.”

I sent an approving comment. However, it was censored. On my angle on this particular subject, it’s systematic. It seems that the censors at the New York Times are either very well paid by very clever supervisors, or so stupid that they believe that who believes in GLOBAL HYPOXIA are genuinely mad.

Out of charity, I decided to operate under the later hypothesis, and to make even more efforts to educate those ignorant little Wall Street proximity tyrants.

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

This is a (boosted) version of what I sent (and was censored):

Agreed to all, well analyzed. Now to add a few points
Cutting carbon burning to zero is not just a question of cost, but a matter of survival. The present Green House Gases concentrations already guarantee that the planet’s climate will be brought back to the Jurassic. That guarantees flooding where billions of people are presently living: the Jurassic was characterized by shallow seas.

But that’s not all. Because this is the most violent eruption of CO2 in at least 65 million years, at least a third of the CO2 created by man’s folly goes straight in the ocean. It does so at a rate at least one hundred times faster than at any times in the last tens of millions of years (as ice core studies for the last 650,000 years have confirmed).

Once in the ocean, the carbon dioxide chemically reacts with water to create carbonic acid. The acidity has already climbed by 30%, globally. However, it concentrates mostly in some surface layers… Where sea life is also the most concentrated.

Not Just Global Warming: GLOBAL ACID too.

Not Just Global Warming: GLOBAL ACID too.

If the acidity rises too much, the phytoplankton will die and half of the oxygen supply will be lost.

So the Green House Gases pollution is not just a question of changing climate. What we have now is a programmed destruction of the biosphere.

The fact Congress wants to prevent the Pentagon to be well armed for climate change (in particular having as much carbon free fuel as needed), it shows indeed that all what the Congress of the USA cares about is preserving the existing power structure. Well, it may be paid for that, but that’s a fatal disposition.

Patrice Aymé

Notes:

Hypoxia Censored: The preceding comment of the Krugman editorial was censored by the New York Times, as all previous comments of mine alluding to Global Hypoxia have also been.

Scientific Background, From Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 : “The surface ocean is everywhere saturated with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Yet increasing atmospheric CO2 reduces ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of saturation. Reduced saturation states
are expected to affect marine calcifiers even though it has been estimated that all
surface waters will remain saturated for centuries.

Here we show, however, that some surface waters will become undersaturated within decades. When atmospheric CO2 reaches 550 ppmv, in year 2050 under the business-as-
usual scenario, Southern Ocean surface waters begin to become undersaturated
with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of CaCO3.

By 2100… undersaturation extends throughout the entire Southern Ocean and… Pacific. These changes will threaten high-latitude aragonite secreting organisms including cold-water corals, which provide essential fish habitat, and shelled pteropods, an abundant food source for marine predators.”

That was published ten years ago, in 2004. Ever since the CO2 injections from human industry have accelerated considerably.