Algae is killing the ocean and causing heat, anthropogenic global warming and climate change. Initial evidence can be found in basic science.
Take 6 equal size containers, 3 full of distilled water and 3 full of nutrient laden water, place alternately side by side in a similar warm and sometimes sunny position and measure heat in each container daily for a month.
For every action there is reaction, sewage nutrient pollution is being dumped and is feeding and proliferating algae that is inundating ocean waters but not everywhere at the same time. There are various reasons for ocean heat difference.
N & P rich raw sewage and washing effluent from a world population of over 7.3 billion people living on rivers and estuaries and coastline is being dumped in unprecedented and uncontrolled and unmanaged quantity into the world ocean environment. Dissolved nutrients become bonded to fresh water in the human body and within sewage collection systems and catchment water tables, all running or seeping into near shore food web ecosystem currents. Near shore currents involved are different from open ocean currents.
Different types of algae are feeding in the different water current regimes, blooms of algae sometimes covering entire reefs, suffocating coral, resulting in so called 'coral bleaching'. Unprecedented nutrient loads transported in coastal alongshore warmer surface current are usually drawn by tide or pressed by wind into bays and estuaries, the nutrients feeding algae and epiphyte growth that smothers and devastates rare but vital seagrass food web nursery. Algae is consuming available oxygen and causing 'dead zones', dead alga sometimes causing nitrification creating and storing more heat. Proliferation and impact of algae is unrealized in present AGW science.
Farmers are being blamed for nutrient pollution runoff without sewage nutrient pollution being even identified or measured to determine sources of the TOTAL nutrient load causing damage. Wrong diagnosis is occurring and therefore solutions are not being implemented. There is need for complete science.
As at June 2009 the Australian government Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) does not know the biology of the eastern Australia longshore current that empirical evidence indicates is transporting southern city and town sewage nutrient pollution northwards to Cape York, into the Arafura Sea and seasonally eastward into Solomon Islands waters.
Science barely knows the basic biology of life in the ocean yet despite a lack of data, a 50 year lifetime of experience and observation reveals empirical evidence, including change of colour of many rivers and coastal ocean waters.
Evidence indicates increased nutrient loads in waterways near livestock and towns and cities. Water in some rivers has changed from natural muddy dull red to a grey blackish colour. Crystal clear water of some lagoons has become greenish with decreased visibility underwater. Some inland river waterholes are turning a brighter green for a longer period. Some natural and manmade lakes have been so inundated with toxic algae they have been closed to fishing and swimming. All rivers transport suspended live and dead algae and other solid and dissolved nutrient matter into the ocean, causing impact. Major city raw sewage is literally pouring into coastal food web currents that transport nutrients like a pipeline. A wind-chill type factor is surely occurring with heat streaming underwater.
In some areas of ocean the underwater visibility has decreased, at least one underwater photographer noticing need to more frequently open lens aperture half a stop more to gain previously available good exposure on film. Alga reduces underwater visibility and sunlight penetration and is taking up and storing solar heat.
The extent of nutrient-fed algae can be observed. Water sometimes trapped in ocean beach holes is now often tinged green with algae not previously noticed in more recently pristine Australia. Downstream from sewage outfalls there is now sometimes a grease trap type stench from salty water at ocean beach lagoon entrances. The colour of near shore ocean water now appears greener with algae, not as blue as it used to be.
Alga is plant vegetable matter that produces and retains heat while growing, dying and decaying. Alga is inundating coastal rock surfaces to extent that unusual numbers of people are slipping and falling into the sea. Algae blooms sometimes litter the Gulf of Mexico. Alga categorically creates and stores heat. Ocean current heat is linked to increase in storm and hurricane and cyclone intensity that kills people, crop's, gardens, and destroys property.
Heat from algae is not filling the whole ocean or necessarily showing up in IPCC global warming science measurement because nutrient pollution proliferating algae is concentrated where warmth and nutrient food supply is available, where conditions are suitable, currents then sometimes streaming and transporting live and dead algae from one ocean into another.
Algae appears thick in current streaming seasonally from the Asia Pacific region into the Arctic Ocean where sea ice is melting at an increased rate that coincides with increased sewage and nutrient supply. Arctic Ocean seabed appears thick with dead algae. Heat from algae inundated water must be melting polar ice that reduces the heat.
Scientific data or not, empirical evidence must be assessed and acted on to prevent environment damage compounding together with social and economic consequences. Present damage must not be wrongly attributed to CO2 AGW predicted damage. Wellbeing of seafood dependent people should be of priority concern now, immediately, including displaced professional fisherfolk.
Algae is already killing the ocean food web. Millions of seabirds are already dead in unprecedented mass starvation. An increasing number of whale calves are already being abandoned similar to how cattle and other mammals abandon their young due to starvation. Whale beaching already occurring is probably due to one or more hungry and weakened whales instinctively seeking shallow water to prevent drowning, then becoming frightened, sound of fear drawing others that become stranded.
In Solomon Islands ocean and local nutrient pollution and algae is causing seagrass and coral devastation and available fish resource depletion, civil unrest, human malnutrition, anaemia, and there is a coinciding 69% increase in maternal mortality. Peace in the Pacific and elsewhere is already breaking down following fish-based barter trade collapse and chronic poverty, food affordability is worsening, all presently unchecked and not duly mitigated.
There is no management of the world ocean environment yet there are numerous critically serious reasons of substance why there should be.
Empirical evidence provides insight to reality. Evidence indicates solutions to AGW will not be found in CO2 emission trading economics. Understanding of reality of total impact of nutrient pollution and need for mitigation is vital, including to reduce laundry powder use, and for alternative disposal of food scraps in washing-up effluent draining to the ocean.
Local and national governments need to make their marine environment incident and reporting systems functional. The UN must become informed.
The United Nations, World Bank, IMF and G8 nations would do well to understand need for new business and employment generating industry to develop and manage sanitation and proper sewage treatment worldwide, in order to sustain the world ocean environment and available food resources essential to peace and prosperity.
Consequences of world ocean ecosystem devastation is very considerable.
For further information see:
John C Fairfax.
Algae Killing and Heating Ocean
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of John C Fairfax and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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