Re: New study quashes hopes iron in ocean useful against global warming

Posted by Amaranth Rose on Mar 19, 2004 at 04:00

Re: New study quashes hopes iron in ocean useful against global warming (Jean Pierre)

I'd agree that food webs in the ocean are much more complex than on land, partly due to the fluid nature (pardon the pun) of the situation, in that some organisms remain fixed while others come and go. We don't have enough data yet to really understand the relationships between all the players in an ocean ecosystem. Does that shark live here, for example, or did he just wander in to sleep and will be gone far away by tomorrow night? We don't know which creatures are parasites, commensals, or symbionts in many cases. Where does a deep ocean vent community end and the rest of the ocean take over? We're stupid about the oceans, yet we have to go play with them.

We've been dumping garbage in them for years, yet the lack of nutrients and the low density of bacteria means that very little degradation gets done there; it's just washed up on shore where it finally can be degraded. We don't learn from this.

Returning to an equilbrium is often slow and difficult in the ocean, especially in temperate waters. When the oil barge Florida sank off of the coast of Massachusetts in 1969 it spilled 650,000 liters (169,000 gallons) of diesel fuel into Wild Harbor; sediments to this day show evidence of this substance. The wreck (havoc) of the Exxon Valdez, in a colder, more barren environment, will probably be with us for several decades, if not forever. We've been playing with the the sea for a long time, and it is a bad play, IMHO.

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