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Old 30-07-2010, 14:57   #31
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Dave,

While I would love to debate you I would like to keep the thread open and thus related to sailing and cruising.

So I won't answer you - here. We can take it outside if you wish.

The point of the thread is that at least some reputable folks think that the oceans plankton are decreasing at an alarming rate. Sailing and cruising would be far less enjoyable if the oceans are not healthy. At least for me I enjoy the wildlife off shore, the seafood, etc.

I can't tell from your posts if you think it is a real threat or not. If you have some reputable sources that offer counter information please post them. I could use some good news.
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Old 30-07-2010, 15:36   #32
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Originally Posted by anjou View Post
Ask yourself, whos behind the data, how they recorded it, who paid them to do it and what is the objective?
Who's behind the data? Easy question to answer. The three scientists who authored the paper are members of the faculty of Dalhousie University, which is in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Two are members of the Biology Department, the other is a member of the Department of Oceanography. One of the authors is affiliated with the Earth Research Institute and the Department of Geography of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Another is affiliated with the Ocean Biology Processing Group of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The data used for this study is publicly available, and was drawn primarily from two sources: the National Oceanographic Data Center National Oceanographic Data Center Home Page and the Worldwide Oceans Optics Database Worldwide Ocean Optics Database.

As far as the question of who paid them to do it and what was the objective, the simple answer is that research of this nature is part of the job description for most university faculty. The objective is simply to expand the horizon of knowledge, in this case regarding the health of ocean systems. What they were doing here was meta-analysis of existing data, which is a fairly inexpensive way to conduct research. No frightening funding sources need to be involved.

I was able to read the study through the university library where I work. It's quite disconcerting. For those who don't have access to a university library, you can read the editor's summary here: Phytoplankton in retreat : Nature
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Old 30-07-2010, 15:49   #33
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Bash, its only natural for anyone in these enlightened days to accertain the spin or vested interest in ANYTHING humans do.
I dont believe anyone is truely altruistic or impartial anymore. Everyone has an agenda.

As for figures and data, its possible to tell any story any number of ways depending on who wants to hear what.
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:12   #34
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I dont believe anyone is truely altruistic or impartial anymore. Everyone has an agenda.
So much cynicism here! [Not just you Anjou, though I'm surprised to find you expressing such views.] As a scientist I am particularly distressed that so few people understand what we do. Most scientits I have every met or read really do strive to be objectibve. And are punished by their peers if they are not.

Where things go wrong is when the press reports the findings, and then politicians, or others with a political agenda, quote news reports out of context or without understanding the actual data. It's even worse when those quotes are creatively edited to make a point.

These arguments are happening at the wrong level. The data is there, and data ipsa loquitur. It's how to respond to the problem the data highlights where the societal discussion should be happening.

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Old 30-07-2010, 17:34   #35
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I love these claims! The earth is 4.54 billiion years old with a human history of a few thousands of years. Not to mention that a thermometer wasn't invented until 1754. Hottest ever....
Right.
And not enought people able to use the old noggin either.
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:38   #36
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One has to have one's head pretty far up one's as* to figure there's no likely problem(s) caused by the population growth.....3 Billion in 1960 to 7 Billion in 2011.
Burning 85Million barrels a day, vs 20 million in 1960
Duh!
Kinda like the folks who insisted that house prices could never go down significantly, and that anyone who suggested it was a wacko.
I'm buggered if I know what can be done....but, lordy lordy, at least let's all acknowledge that the issue is real.
Right.
How to reduce population numbers?
Any ideas?
I have some.

Plus, lets just wonder if the population stayed at 3 billion since 1960. Would we still see some of the same problems?
I bet we would but no one can prove it either way.
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:46   #37
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The point of the thread is that at least some reputable folks think that the oceans plankton are decreasing at an alarming rate. Sailing and cruising would be far less enjoyable if the oceans are not healthy. At least for me I enjoy the wildlife off shore, the seafood, etc.


.
I agree with that but also know that the number of fishes in the oceans are down 90% since the 1850s.

I wanted to go out on the water and see things. Hard to do now. The last few times out we saw nearly nothing. The boys (who know but really don't) asked why we didn't see any "fish".

It is depressing.
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:51   #38
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So much cynicism here!

Where things go wrong is when the press reports the findings, and then politicians, or others with a political agenda, quote news reports out of context or without understanding the actual data. It's even worse when those quotes are creatively edited to make a point.

These arguments are happening at the wrong level. The data is there, and data ipsa loquitur. It's how to respond to the problem the data highlights where the societal discussion should be happening.

Margo
I have it too.

Well said.

It sounds like exactly what happens in every other religion.

Science is the new religion.

I remain depressed but a the same time amused.
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:54   #39
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Plus, lets just wonder if the population stayed at 3 billion since 1960. Would we still see some of the same problems?
I bet we would but no one can prove it either way.
As I understand the climate change info, the answer is a qualified yes. The industrial waste put into the air and water in 1960 may well just be showing it's effects now, as the poisons are cumulative in their effects. I suspect that if we curtailed further emissions today, we wouldn't see a turn in results for decades in the air, but perhaps somewhat faster in an inland water cleanup?

But the ocean? And the base of the oceanic food chain? It is getting quite late and we are no where near stabilizing emissions let alone, decreasing them I think. That is what gives activists on the issue a certain urgency and even shrillness at times I imagine. tick tock
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Old 30-07-2010, 17:57   #40
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Originally Posted by anjou View Post
Bash, its only natural for anyone in these enlightened days to accertain the spin or vested interest in ANYTHING humans do.
I dont believe anyone is truely altruistic or impartial anymore. Everyone has an agenda.
well, I certainly don't share your cynicism. Ask yourself why so many scholars spend seven or eight years of grad school and then maybe a year or two of post-doctoral fellowships to prepare for a career where they make a fraction of the salary of persons in industry with similar levels of education. The fact is, they enjoy the life of the mind and the pursuit of knowledge. Yes, you could call that "an agenda," but it's an agenda that supports the common good.

I just spent two years researching and writing a paper that has been accepted for publication in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal next spring. Know what I'll be paid for that? Not a dime. Know how much grant money I got in support of the research? Not a dime. But no complaints because I consider it part of the job. I'm an educator. My job is to make the world a better place. I do that with my teaching, and I do that with my research.

And I have every reason to believe that my colleagues who just published the paper on plankton decline feel the same way about what they do.
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Old 30-07-2010, 18:15   #41
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Thank you Bash! Very well said.

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Old 30-07-2010, 18:31   #42
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As I understand the climate change info, the answer is a qualified yes. The industrial waste put into the air and water in 1960 may well just be showing it's effects now, as the poisons are cumulative in their effects. I suspect that if we curtailed further emissions today, we wouldn't see a turn in results for decades in the air, but perhaps somewhat faster in an inland water cleanup?

But the ocean? And the base of the oceanic food chain? It is getting quite late and we are no where near stabilizing emissions let alone, decreasing them I think. That is what gives activists on the issue a certain urgency and even shrillness at times I imagine. tick tock

As I understand the climate change info, the answer is a qualified no.

Pollution and climate change (have you noticed you use "climate change" now instead of "global warming" like a year or two ago?) are different subjects. For the most part unrelated.

My scientists are smarter than your scientists.

But heck I am not going to say any more here. I have read too many thousand pages over the last couple of years on the subject.

Sorry I said as much as I did already.
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Old 30-07-2010, 18:54   #43
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Well, I use climate change intentionally. The effects are different in different specific locales, and portend an increase in amplitude often rather than specifically warming. But it is getting globally warmer, within our own historical vision and record keeping. The last decade being the warmest ever recorded.

The problem with getting into gear to alter what is known to be harmful seems to be overcoming the notion that the air and ocean are permanent garbage dumps for our production and consumption, that will continue to renew themselves. The data suggests to me that we may have passed a tipping point in those magical abilities.
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Old 30-07-2010, 19:11   #44
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A few scientists I work with study nutrients which include zooplankton and phytoplankton. I will ask if they have heard of such a thing and what the facts are and get back.

You cant believe everything the environmental advocacy groups tell you. Its not that all of what what they say is wrong but sometimes some of what they say is inaccurate or exaggerated.
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Old 30-07-2010, 19:45   #45
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. But it is getting globally warmer, within our own historical vision and record keeping. The last decade being the warmest ever recorded.


.
Good grief.

Recorded history? So what? The planet is bit older than us and our records.

One volcano and all changes, yet again.

And the "warmest ever recorded"? Sheesh. Those data are mostly from stations that are now surrounded by walls and concrete. You have to dig deeper into the data.

Poisioned by waste, pretty obvious. Warming, NOT.

I just can't keep my mouth shut.

http://www.surfacestations.org/

http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/

http://southchild.com/?p=748
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