Precambrian oceans on the horizon

NYT: A World Without Coral Reefs:

It's past time to tell the truth about the state of the world's coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world's poor — will cease to be. […]

But by persisting in the false belief that coral reefs have a future, we grossly misallocate the funds needed to cope with the fallout from their collapse. Money isn't spent to study what to do after the reefs are gone — on what sort of ecosystems will replace coral reefs and what opportunities there will be to nudge these into providing people with food and other useful ecosystem products and services. Nor is money spent to preserve some of the genetic resources of coral reefs by transferring them into systems that are not coral reefs. And money isn't spent to make the economic structural adjustment that communities and industries that depend on coral reefs urgently need. We have focused too much on the state of the reefs rather than the rate of the processes killing them. […]

What we will be left with is an algal-dominated hard ocean bottom, as the remains of the limestone reefs slowly break up, with lots of microbial life soaking up the sun's energy by photosynthesis, few fish but lots of jellyfish grazing on the microbes. It will be slimy and look a lot like the ecosystems of the Precambrian era, which ended more than 500 million years ago and well before fish evolved.

it was easy to do

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Melting glaciers show climate change speeding up: UN, scientists. “New data released Monday shows that the melting of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating, a clear sign that climate change is also picking up, the UN environmental agency and scientists said.”

Global warming causes species shift. “U.S. scientists say as global warming increases, many plants and animals will begin migrating northward to locations with more suitable temperatures.”

Where have all the birds gone? “…this year the annual Big Garden Birdwatch has revealed how the predicted devastating impact of global warming on Britain’s bird species is taking effect… early indications appear to confirm the worst fears of bird lovers.”

Climate change hitting developing countries worst: UN. “Climate change is having an increasing impact around the world, with developing countries the worst hit and least capable of defending themselves, a top UN climate change official said Monday.”

Rising sea levels doom beaches, geologist warns. “Most of Hawaii’s sandy beaches are eroding, and the rising sea level will only make things worse.”

146 US levees may fail in flood. “The Army Corps of Engineers has identified 146 levees nationwide that it says pose an unacceptable risk of failing in a major flood.”

Weather satellite fleet at risk. “Scientists soon will lose access to crucial information that helps them better understand and predict everything from hurricanes and earthquakes to global warming and environmental decay…”

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

The Great Barrier Reef ‘facing extinction’. “The Great Barrier Reef will become ‘functionally extinct’ within decades at the current rate of global warming, while wilder weather is set to affect property values and drive up insurance bills in many Australian coastal communities.”

Britain could go back to rationing. “Britain may need to go back to Second World War-style rationing if climate change runs out of control, environment minister Ben Bradshaw has warned.”

Survey shows 13% of Americans have never heard of global warming.

Climate change means hunger and thirst for billions: report.

Indonesia may lose 2000 islands to climate change. “Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, the country’s environment minister said on Monday.”

Future flood of ‘climate refugees’ ahead? “Global climate change could pose serious challenges for police in B.C. — from public disorder during natural disasters to climate refugees fleeing flooded countries, according to an internal RCMP report obtained by The Vancouver Sun.”

Africa must prepare for climate change. “Africa must be prepared for more droughts, floods and cyclones because of climate change caused by industrial pollution, which has already damaged rural economies on the continent, experts said on Tuesday.”

Zimbabwe: quality water supplies fast deteriorating.

Water meters introduced in face of global warming. “All Londoners face using compulsory water meters after the Government gave the go-ahead to tough plans to deal with the consequences of climate change.”

Queensland to drink waste water. “Mr Beattie said that falling water levels had left his state administration with no option but to introduce recycled water in south-eastern Queensland, starting from next year. ‘We’re not getting rain; we’ve got no choice,’ he told ABC radio. ‘These are ugly decisions, but you either drink water or you die. There’s no choice. It’s liquid gold, it’s a matter of life and death,’ he said.”

Water crisis plan sinks in red tape. “A strategy to save billions of litres of water has become so mired in bureaucracy that the State Government has approved only 15 per cent of the plans to slash usage that it demanded from Sydney’s biggest guzzlers – industry, councils and its own agencies. Almost a year after most of the plans were supposed to be delivered, only six of the 37 government sites have even lodged their proposals.”

Chairman: Bush officials misled public on global warming. “The Democratic chairman of a House panel examining the government’s response to climate change said Tuesday there is evidence that senior Bush administration officials sought repeatedly “to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming.””

found out I’m two degrees from the guy who made this lovely bit of Canadiana

“The future is bleak, scientists said.” Scientists to offer an “explosion of new data” on Global Warming.

Shane stayed over last week, a day or so after his show. We watched Pan’s Labyrinth and stayed up all night showing each other treasures we’d found on-line. It was a treat, it’s been years since we’ve managed to steal so much time together. There’s always meetings and day-jobs and a hundred other things that require priority. (I hooked him up with Uminthecoil Andrew for his next album cover. I want it to work out.)

He called Monday at midnight to remind me why I miss him. He told me that he’s put my portrait up in his Grandmother’s house. I hope she likes it.

Speaking of poets, apparently a poet did a successful background check on Kyle by knowing someone that knew me, so now he has a dessert date on Thursday. I’m not sure how that works, but the general gist I got from it was that being my friend is now a litmus test of poet date-ability. A wee bit ludicrous, but not an opinion I’m in any hurry to get rid of. It’s too classic. He accuses me of placing him within two degrees of everyone interesting in Vancouver.

Breathing Earth: a real-time simulation displaying the carbon dioxide emission levels of every country in the world, as well as their birth and death rates.

Country Mouse: Rent during reading break is a bottle of Caramel Baileys as Victoria is the closest city with any left in stock.