So I’m writing an essay about drivers of coral reef bleaching, and reading about acidification and its effects on marine mammals that secrete calcium carbonate, and this new research pops up. Interesting immediate adaptation to cope with lower pH levels in marine environments; although I’m not sure how long-term (and effective) an adaptation it might be. Similarly, some coral species and their symbionts are more tolerant of some drivers of bleaching than others. Again, in the short-term that helps those species, but it’s not clear how far beyond their normal thresholds for CO2, irradiance, thermal stress and acidification they can survive. And then there’s coral diseases… We are pushing the limits, changing environments and testing tolerance thresholds for so much of the world’s wildlife, and not in a good way.
Born in 1769, Humboldt observed deforestation and its effects in the Amazon rainforests 200 years ago and wrote about them; he was possibly the first person to express concern for the negative effects of anthropogenic activity on the natural environment. He wrote of nature as a “living whole” and a web or tapestry – all life as connected – a new concept at that time.
Humboldt wrote about soil erosion as a result of deforestation, and of climate change. He describes concern for human destruction of the entire planet – even suggesting we would take that destruction to other, distant planets – and of human greed and violence.
Humboldt evidently influenced Charles Darwin himself. Was he the first ecologist? A fascinating listen.
Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change: NOAA and AMS Issue Annual Report | PLOS Ecology Community
“Without exception, all the heat-related events studied in this year’s report were found to have been made more intense or likely due to human-induced climate change, and this was discernible even for those events strongly influenced by the 2015 El Niño.” — from Explaining Extreme Events From A Climate Perspective 2015″
“The most ambitious of these scenarios proposed reducing animal-based protein consumption in all parts of the world where consumption (from any food source) exceeded 60 grams of protein and 2,500 calories daily — targeting 1.9 billion people worldwide in total. The proposed shift would bring these populations’ protein consumption down to exactly 60 grams daily by reducing only animal-based protein in the diet.”
“Amazon fire seasons don’t just happen — the rain forest doesn’t just burn in a massive way on its own. But logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and other human-induced changes have altered the landscape. Thinning out the forest also dries it out — the forest canopy then cannot block sunlight, and the understory and ground leaf layer become hotter and drier. Then, the trees are more flammable and fires can also spread more easily.”
“In a new report, published by the University of Queensland, researchers say the rat is officially history — the first documented mammal extinction due to climate change.”
Very sad news.
A fascinating piece on the river Ganges in India and the varying ways in which it has become one of the most polluted rivers on the planet. Leather tanneries are a prime cause of carcinogens and rotting animal matter polluting the Ganges, along with human sewage and burnt, rotting human bodies.
Despite all of the vile toxins put into the river, and the horrifying amount of water taken out of the water table, Ganges river dolphins tentatively remain in smaller and smaller numbers in the great river. I truly hope that India can clean up its vital life source. Shutting down its entire leather industry would be a great start. What a disservice we do to animals and the planet in so many perverse ways.
Yana Rusinovich Watson
by Captain Paul Watson
For centuries, the oceans have fed humanity. But in the last century, humans has destroyed oceanic eco-systems with an ecological ignorance that is insane.
The fisherman has now become one of the most ecologically destructive occupations on the planet. It’s time to put aside the outdated image of the hardy, independent, and hard-working fisherman working courageously to feed society and support his family.
No longer does the typical fishermen go to sea in dories with lines and small nets. Today’s industrial fishermen operate multi-million dollar vessels equipped with complex and expensive technological gear designed to hunt down and catch every fish they can find.
One manufacturer of electronic fish locators (Rayethon) even boasts that with their product, “the fish can run but they can’t hide.
And for the fish, there is no safe place as poachers hunt them down mercilessly, even in marine…
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Diet key to feeding the world in 2050 without further deforestation, modelling suggests – Science News – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
I think vegan communities have been saying this for some years now. It’s common sense. It’s absolutely shameful that we are carrying out such horrific levels of deforestation as a result of western obsessions with a meat-based diet. None of this destruction was ever necessary.
Use India as our history lesson – do what is healthy and sustainable. Go vegan!