A new paper about ocean acidification makes a typically cautious scientific observation that I have been wondering about for some time but had seen no corroboration in research - which is that coral bleaching, long attributed solely to warming waters, is actually taking place in the context of acidification:
"Based on a boron isotope (11B/10B) analysis of corals, Wei et al.54 report on a significant acidification trend associated with a pH value decrease on the order of 0.2 to 0.4 from 1940 to the present for the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Hence, the major widespread coral-bleaching events observed during the years 1998 and 2002, which have been presumably caused by temperature fluctuations, could have been exacerbated by ocean acidification.
Langdon et al... have provided strong experimental evidence that the growth of coral reefs predominantly depends on the ion concentration product [Ca2+] [CO2] of the ambient seawater, suggesting that its saturation state with respect to aragonite has direct impact on the biogenic calcification of the species involved, confirming earlier results by Gattuso et al..."
|Compare them to the riot of color they should be!|
|The same diminishment so obvious in the ocean is replicated in the forests.|
|This is a maple on a Massachusetts farm from an October in the past...compare this glorious glow to the drab maples this year!|
"It is now the responsibility of the humanity to avoid a dangerous interference with the climate system and start to reduce anthropogenic emissions of CO2, immediately."I expect this will be confirmed in future research. Maybe similarly, some day, all those experts who blindly and stubbornly assume trees are dying exclusively from insects, disease, fungus, drought and warming will understand that the poisonous composition of the atmosphere from toxic greenhouse gases is the fundamental condition which underlies the process. If that is true then there is actually some vestige of hope that the mass extinction of vegetation and the consequent collapse of the biosphere can be averted - or at least, significantly delayed.
|The yellowing of needles is a symptom of exposure to ozone, and inevitably a prelude to completely bare branches.|
|A little bit of everything - the Black-eyed Susans have shriveled, yellowed leaves with symptoms of chlorosis, the earth is abnormally bare, the mum blossoms are a fraction of the size they should be, and the tree trunk is covered with lurid lichens.|
"Living in extreme conditions about two miles above sea level, they have become the oldest trees on the planet. The oldest living bristlecone, named Methuselah, has lived more than 4,800 years.
Now, however, scientists say these ancient trees may soon meet their match in the form of a one-two punch, from white pine blister rust, an Asian fungus that came to the United States from Asia, via Europe, a century ago, and the native pine bark beetle, which is in the midst of a virulent outbreak bolstered by warming in the high-elevation West."