Earth Now ~ Page 4

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Sailors turned Scientists:
Join the world’s biggest plankton survey

A recent study has suggested that the phytoplankton in the oceans that underpin the whole marine food chain has declined by 40% since the 1950s due to climate change. A team of scientists from Plymouth University, UK, have created a mobile phone app called Secchi and a Citizen Science project to encourage thousands of seafarers around the world to take part in a global study of plankton. Sailors turned Scientists: Be a part of the world's biggest plankton survey The Canadian scientist’s study provoked debate among many marine biologists however, as some thought they saw different results. Part of the controversy arises from the fact that the oceans are a vast place and there aren’t enough marine biologists to study them. This is where you, the sailor, can help – by becoming a Citizen Scientist. CLICK For more information. What does being a Citizen Scientist involve?


A brutal week in climate politics

What an inglorious week in the short history of Australian action to tackle climate change. In a brutal 48 hours the new federal government abolished the Climate Commission, which had been set up to give information to the public about the global warming problem and potential solutions, and started a process designed to close down the Climate Change Authority, the body that gives advice to government on emission reduction targets. New Environment Minister Greg Hunt scrapped the Australian Climate Commission in one of his first acts as minister last week, and said overnight that Dr Flannery’s plans to establish a ‘Climate Council’ vindicated his decision. ‘It proves our point that the commission didn’t have to be a taxpayer funded body,’ the minister said. We think NOT and ask you to support the Cilmate Council, as we have, to ensure we get correct information on the changing climate of Planet Earth. How else will we make an informed decision?? This is good news in that the newly formed Climate Council will not be hampered by politic agendas and will issue unbiased reports that hopefully will forged a new, stronger will with the people to reduce our pollution and tampering of Nature. Jack and Jude urge you to support the newly formed Climate Council


Once Decimated U.S. Fish Stocks
Enjoy Big Bounce Back

A new report highlights the success, and challenges, of fisheries management.

good news in a world where rampant overfishing is a critical concern.

Good News in a world where rampant overfishing is a critical concern.

Two-thirds of the closely monitored U.S. fish species once devastated by overfishing have bounced back in a big way thanks to management plans instituted 10 to 15 years ago, a new study says. And fish aren’t the only ones celebrating. Recovering populations can mean more revenue and jobs for some fishermen—but unfortunately success hasn’t been universal.

It’s not unbridled good news but it does show the effectiveness of listening to professional fishermen and changing laws.


Grave implications for aquatic food and production of food by aquaculture.

Global warming shrinking size of marine species

Global warming is causing aquatic animals to shrink 10 times more than land-dwellers in size, scientists from Queen Mary College, the University of London, and University of Liverpool say in the largest study of its kind. “Aquatic animals shrink 10 times more than land-dwellers…,” said co-author Dr Andrew Hirst. “While animals in water decrease in size by five per cent for every degree Celsius of warming, similarly sized species on land shrink, on average, by just half a per cent,” Hirst said. The research also found the most likely cause is due to the much lower availability of oxygen in water than in air.


Get your children involved with Earth and Nature. They will soon inherit the climate problem.

In a lucid freethinking moment just after Storm Sandy had unleashed itself, Jude and I were imagining the massive amount of heat radiating off any concentration of man. We realized that in our lifetime, our specie has created a huge amount of heat, and that we continue to increase the heat and pollutants that alter the way the sun’s energy is received.

Record LOW Arctic ice

The ice age may have been an intergalactic collision, but the increasing wild weather is all man driven. Is that such a crazy thought? If it’s not, then what can be done to limit, and hopefully reverse this harmful happening? Even if you do not like the “great outdoors” get your children involved with Earth and Nature. They will soon inherit the climate problem. ARTICLE: Record low Arctic Ice Did Climate Change Supersize Hurricane Sandy? Scientists weigh the evidence.

storm sandy

Nature has proven it can destroy mankind
Mankind needs to learn not to destroy Nature


Australia’s most remarkable natural gift ~ The world’s largest coral reef.

“Barrier reef half-dead under Australia’s watch”

Greatest Condemnation of Mankind’s Mismanagement say Jack and Jude

The Australian government admits the Great Barrier Reef has been neglected for decades after a study showed it has lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years.

“Starfish killing Great Barrier Reef” “Intense tropical cyclones responsible”

Why blame forces other than human activity?

Forty years ago Jack and Jude first explored the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef. Filled with the optimism of youth, we thought Earth and her creatures were secure. Little did we know that mankind had chained itself to a system that is destroying all that’s innocent and good before it destroys our own ability to exist. Jack and Jude believe nothing will change until we blast away the fairy truths of “lives well lived” and directly tell the people that we are out of control, destroying not only marine life, but the forests and even the air we breath. There is no further time. More action must be taken. We all must speak out to force governments to act.

  • Support family planning
  • Lobby your representatives about your concerns.
  • Urge your children to get involved – they will soon be making the decisions.
  • Climate Reality Project Australia offers free presentations on the reality of climate change.
  • Stay informed – Get involved – Spread the word.

IUCN logo ACF_logo


Saving the Wandering Albatross

The magnificent Wandering Albatross is hovering on the very brink on extinction as a result of the wholesale slaughter of seabirds caused by longline fishing. Now, thanks to the extraordinary dedication of a group of Australian scientists and engineers backed by generous American and Australian philanthropists, there is a glimmer of hope that an ecological catastrophe may be averted, and you can help. Each year over 100,000 albatrosses are dragged to their death beneath the sea after being caught on baited hooks deployed, for the most part, by long-line fishermen from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and various flag-of-convenience states whose high seas fleets operate with impunity beyond the rule of law. To help save the Wandering Albatross, donations can be made to the Seabird Conservation Fund through Birdlife Australia. For credit card donations phone 1300 730 075 or visit online at http://www.birdlife.org.au/support-us/donate/ and select Seabird Conservation Fund on the drop-down menu.


The world’s extinct and endangered species

Today, one in eight birds, one in four mammals, one in five invertebrates, one in three amphibians, and half of all turtles face extinction. The IUCN and Zoological Society of Londonhas listed the 100 most endangered fauna and flora. Most of these creatures are not known by many, but that is not the point of this article. What is important are the reasons for their demise. Top of that list is habitat destruction, usually from clearing forests. Mankind needs the space. Predation by invasive species and illegal collection are neck and neck in second. Mankind, for all our platitudes and high talk, is rolling along at full speed ahead and damn the rest on planet Earth. Seems a poor life ahead for our children when their only experience with wild creatures are those caged in a zoo or seen in a museum. Jack and Jude have said before that we need lateral thinking to escape this terrible fate. Let’s immediately start discussing other ways we could manage ourselves and still realize our aspirations.


Ocean Acidification

Ocean research has shown that about half of all the CO2 released by human activities is now found in the world’s oceans and that about a third of this has been taken up in the Southern Ocean. As CO2 continues to dissolve in the ocean it increases ocean acidity, making it harder for some marine organisms to form shells.

The coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi showing
a: one of six healthy morphotypes (cell forms) observed in ocean samples, b: incomplete growth

What effect will ocean acidification have?

As it becomes more difficult for calcium carbonate to form, it will become more difficult for some planktonic organisms to form shells. If their shells are thinner and/or deformed, the organisms may be unable to function properly. Many of these organisms are key components of the food chain – important in the diets of krill, fish, squid, penguins, seals and whales. They are also important in the removal of carbon from surface waters to the deep ocean and the release of oxygen into the air. Important metabolic processes, such as respiration in fish, may also be impaired by the acidity, as lowering the pH reduces the efficiency of oxygen exchange in their gills. more information Ocean acidification and the Southern Ocean Southern Ocean close to acid tipping point


The Tasman Sea: Australia’s ocean hotspot

An exceptional rise of 2 °C has been recorded since annual measurements were begun in 1945. Research in the past 18 months has identified ecological changes such as:

  • 34 sub-tropical species of fish from NSW and southern Queensland now reside in Tasmanian waters
  • an invasion of non-native species such as sea urchins from north of Bass Strait have begun crowding out the endemic species on the inshore continental shelf
  • a noted deterioration in giant kelp, one of the few locations in the world where this stunning species is found
  • the first recorded impact of warming ocean temperatures on a fish species, at first responding healthily with faster growth and then losing condition as the animals’ organs fail to keep pace with its body growth.

The Global Population Situation

From ~ World Population Balance While some of these projections may look gloomy, remember: we can change the future. We can create a new vision, a new dream for the planet. It is in our power to humanely slow and stop population growth and solve the many problems that growth is creating. Population growth by world region Population doubled in the past 45 years! Right now, with 7 billion of us:

  • (1) We are driving over 50 species of plants and animals to extinction per day!
  • (2) We are destroying rain forests many times faster than they can regenerate.
  • (6) We are over-fishing our oceans, radically changing the species balance in many places.
  • (3) We are consuming stored solar energy (fossil fuels) at rates thousands of times faster than it is regenerating.
  • (4) We are consuming fresh water at least 10 times faster than it is being replenished in regions of northern Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, China, and the U.S.
  • (5) We are causing soil salinization and erosion several-fold faster than rates of restoration.
  • For several years population has been increasing faster than many vital non-renewable and renewable resources. This means the amount of these resources per person is declining, in spite of modern technology.
  • Other massive social and environmental problems … political instability, loss of freedoms, garbage, urban sprawl, water shortages, traffic jams, toxic waste, oil spills, air and water pollution, increasing violence and crime … continue to worsen as our numbers increase by more than 70 million more people every year.

Population growth projections by region In many developing countries, couples are still averaging 4 to 6 children. Nearly half of them would like to have fewer children, but they lack access to family planning (not including abortion). Providing the education and supplies they need would cost only a few dollars per year. While populations of some industrialized countries have stabilized, over three billion people live or struggle to exist in countries where population is still growing rapidly with doubling times of less than thirty years.

Putting Nature in the equation How will the planet cope with two billion more people in an increasingly urbanized world? In less than two decades, demand for freshwater globally will be 40% more than what is available if we continue on the path of business as usual.

Examples of the ruinous cost: Construction of the Diama Dam meant that by 1994, the Senegal Delta was starved of annual floods. The Delta became hyper-salinised and choked with invasive weeds. Ecosystem services were gone. Daily income from fishing and livestock grazing was virtually eliminated. In Rwanda, there are less reliable flows to downstream hydropower because of draining (for farming) of the Rugezi Wetlands and degradation of the surrounding Rugezi-Bulera-Ruhondo watershed. The result: a two-thirds fall in power generation from the dams, a 250% hike in electricity prices prior to 2006, with US$ 65,000 spent daily on diesel for generators.

World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline ~ June 2011 “Compared to the 70s, massive decline in corals and fish species.” Jack and Jude have been speaking about this degradation for over forty years “Changes happening faster than we’d thought” ~ “cumulative effect far worse.” In a new report, ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.” Over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised. The impacts, they say, are already affecting humanity. World Population Policies by DESA The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations High population growth remains a salient concern in the developing world. Many Governments in developing countries have realized the importance of reducing high rates of population growth in order to ease mounting pressure on renewable and non-renewable resources, combat climate change, prevent food shortages and provide decent employment and basic social services to all their inhabitants. Species loss rates During the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasingly observed. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel cited estimates that up to 30% of all species will be extinct by 2050 New South Wales Government Environment Report states broad scale clearance of native vegetation is the major human activity causing the loss and fragmentation of habitat and that habitat loss remains the greatest threat to biodiversity. Cap’n Jack