Climate Change: Heatwaves and Ocean Death

in steemstem •  3 months ago

Climate Change: Heatwaves and Ocean Death

Image is creative commons

“Our future is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”
-scientist James Lovelock

Heatwaves this summer have claimed lives from at least 90 in Japan to 70 in Canada.
2. These heatwaves contribute to forest fires. The Earth burned this summer, from the UK to Finland to California to Greece to even the Arctic 3. Death Valley in California raged the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, with 21 days over 120 degrees. 4.

All these radical temperature changes and heatwaves are a reflection of the ongoing climate change. Spawned by the use of fossil fuels, climate change is now a reality. Meanwhile, our societies, founded on the availability of cheap and abundant fossil fuels, continue on much the same path as before. In 2017, global carbon emissions rose, after three years of remaining flat, to a high of 32.5 gigtaons. We’ve known about climate change and have done little to stop it.

Heatwaves have an effect on oceans as well. Scientists have recently measured an all-time high of temperatures off San Diego, since daily measurements of the area began in 1916. A dangerous aspect of this is that much of marine life has evolved to exist in a narrow series of temperatures. Even small adjustments to that precision can have massive and dangerous effects.6

Perhaps this is one contributing factor to a shocking fact. Over the past decade the biomass of large fish in Australian waters has declined by more than a third. Imagine that, a third of all large fish just vanishing within the scope of ten years. Large fish, often predatory, are necessary to regulate the populations of smaller prey fish. Without them, the prey populations are able to expand beyond their natural boundaries with effects across the entire ecosystem. This loss of marine life in Australia reflects a global trend. A 2015 report by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature states that populations of marine vertebrates, from turtles and fish to whales and dolphins, fell by half between 1970 and 2010. In recent years that process has only accelerated. A separate UN study found that 90% of the world’s fisheries are fully or overfished. The effect on the oceans by humanity’s industrial system of consumption can be summed up a single image: this year, Japanese scientists discovered a plastic bag at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest place in the oceans.

Aside from changing ocean temperatures, there is one other factor believed to be responsible for the continued dieoff of ocean life: pollution. Whether plastic waste like microfibers from your clothes 8 or the nitrogens and other fertilizers 9 causing toxic algae blooms off Florida. 10

The fact is that human society, the way it is organized, is having the net effect of mass die off. The consequence of unfettered, unregulated growth is an extinction event. The Anthropocene is here, in all its horrific glory.

And for what? What exactly is the marvelous treasure we all gain from this?

Not to be alarmist, but all these statistics and data reflect a real and dire situation. Personally, I’ve known about climate change since I was a teenager, as has much of the world public. Instead of action, it’s been business as usual. Divested of power in the political sphere, the general public are rendered as workers and consumers. What we need to be are active agents of change. The conclusion is that the system structurally dependent on fossil fuels, appears ready to exist until the planet is rendered inhospitable. It’s no wonder that, based on models, climate change probably killed off other species of aliens as well. Becoming fit to rule ourselves, is, afterall, a galactic test. Will we pass it, or have we already failed? 11.


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

We need to change course fast! We actually do not know how close the tipping point for an environmental meltdown is.

Did you notice the percentage of pollution caused by private players far exceeds the government bodies ?( except in nuclear reactors)


We actually do not know how close the tipping point for an environmental meltdown is.

This is what legit scares me. Governments operate off the IPCC's projections which are conservative at best, at then try to approximate how close they can go to an increase in temperature without completely destroying the planet. Bu the truth is like you say. We actually don't know because the science isn't exact.


Source The images of earth:
Year 2001 Vibrant blue and green
Year 2012 The colors sicken visibly

It often seems that the economy and wealth are on divergent paths than the health of the planet. Problem is when profits swing down, the earth doesn't really recover.

It is cheaper and more profitable to be environmentally irresponsible. So you can assume the corporations will never take the means necessary. With he loosening of the environmental sanctions and takeover of the US EPA by that orange guy, things do not look to be getting better.

It is up to us as individuals to change our habits, redirect our purchasing power, and educate the next generation. Hard as hell to practice what you preach but I am trying to be less of the problem and more of the solution personally.

We have not failed yet if we are still alive but many won't get off their ass unless an alarm is sounding. So ring it loud!

Great post.


It is cheaper and more profitable to be environmentally irresponsible.

Can you imagine the cost of factories around the world completely outfitting their production models towards not only sustainable energy grids, but so that the products themselves are environmentally sound? It'd be astronomical.

It is up to us as individuals to change our habits

I'm skeptical of any individual change. Go for it, by all means, but we need to restructure society itself.


I agree with you. I just am determined to be part of the solution no matter how futile it may seem in the face of humanity.

Actually the impact of animal agriculture on climate change is far larger than that of fossil fuels! Look at the UN climate reports and studies! Yes we need to stop using fossil fuels but the one thing we all can do now this second is to go plant based ...but so few want to do that because they want their flsh , milk and cheese no matter how it is killing everything ...

My facebook friend Paul Watson founder of Shepard writes some good articles on all the things killing the Ocean. Pollution (a great part by animal agriculture and plastic ), overfishing , fish farms ....

The predictions are dire possible Ocean death as soon as 2045 ...we all know what can happen if any biome loses balance it can turn ...well screw us because the ocean supplies 60-80% of our breathable oxygen. And with most of the remaining rainforests being chopped down for animal agriculture people might well have to pay for air to breath in future.

And those who can't ...oh well they will have to face the consequences of oxygen deprivation. Lower immune response , cognitive difficulties , children with defects ... And it is not only the rich bigwigs responsible it is every single one of us ...


Actually the impact of animal agriculture on climate change is far larger than that of fossil fuels!

I don't separate the two. Any input in our social means of production consumes fossil fuels as a means of energy. Raising a cow for slaughter in the Amazon requires energy at hundreds of points along the supply chain, right?

-fertilizers for the grains they eat
-shipping the grain seeds
-shipping the workers
-shipping the food to the workers
-running the plant that slaughters the animal
-shipping the corpses to markets
-shipping the containers for the body parts

The list goes on.


oh no if you put that into the animal agriculture sparta as well then it is even worse. I am talking pure methane and cow farts i kid you not

Depressing but true, like Richard Ellis's meticulously researched and sobering book, "The Empty Ocean."

And the situation is not helped when science is coopted by corporations that have only their own profits as their goal.

We've known since at least the 1970s that leaking septic systems and fertilizer runoff are primary causes of toxic algal blooms, yet Mote Marine Lab, in Sarasota, Florida, now claims that the causes are not clear, which is a baldfaced lie.

Even sadder, in the 1960s Mote was a real and highly respected scientific research lab, headed by Dr. Eugenie Clark, aka "The Shark Lady, who, along with oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, was a primary inspiration for my choosing marine science as my college major.

And a depressing study it became.

I'm in the middle of preparing a post on the Southern Resident orcas of the Pacific Northwest, and as beloved as they are, I'm afraid my post will be pretty depressing as well.

Man, I wish humankind would wake the #:*/ UP!!!

Posted using Partiko Android


yet Mote Marine Lab, in Sarasota, Florida, now claims that the causes are not clear, which is a baldfaced lie.

It's unbelievable. The science is clear on what causes it and the entire state government and their paid lackeys want to twiddle their thumbs and pretend we somehow don't know what's causing the toxic algae

And a depressing study it became.

Is it that bad?


This post has been voted on by the steemstem curation team and voting trail.

There is more to SteemSTEM than just writing posts, check here for some more tips on being a community member. You can also join our discord here to get to know the rest of the community!

Hi @dirge!

Your post was upvoted by in cooperation with steemstem - supporting knowledge, innovation and technological advancement on the Steem Blockchain.

Contribute to Open Source with

Learn how to contribute on our website and join the new open source economy.

Want to chat? Join the Utopian Community on Discord


thanks for the support @utopian-io

The times they are a changing. Greed and lack of wisdom may prevail over the survival of many species - including us. This is a very good and educational post needed to spur discussion and action about intelligent directions toward sustainability. Is it too late? Maybe. Balance and harmony with Nature is a worthwhile direction regardless.


I guess a consolation would be that life will live on after us


more fires on the way, then