Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Climate change brews ocean trouble

It's not just in models now, climate change seems to be disrupting ocean ecosystems in unexpected ways.

The surprising low oxygen dead zone off Oregon is just one example of how unexpected ocean shifts can harm marine ecosystems. Who knew that upwelling--the engine that drives high productivity off Oregon and elsewhere--could turn into a problem?

"These are complex systems," marine scientist Andrew Bakun says. "And when you change their basic functions, they can run away from you in ways you don't expect.

I have a feeling we haven't heard the final word on this situation.

2 comments:

Heather said...

What are your thoughts on ocean reserves (like land reserves) to aid declining fish stocks and facilitate biodiversity?

Are there any solutions to the problem of increased cyanobacteria in our oceans?

Tim Adams said...

I'm not sure what Mark's views are, but if you are interested in my views on ocean reserves, take a look at my blog. Mind you, I concentrate on the question of Marine Protected Areas for the purpose of enhancing fisheries, not for enhancing fish stocks (where protecting an area from all human impacts is obviously likely to help stocks - as long as an ecological "phase-change" has not occurred, and as long as the decline has not been caused primarily by a climatic cycle).

Sorry Mark - I was inspired to parasitise your blog by the article on Anglerfish that you mentioned earlier :-)