Source: MPA News
Oysters are being farmed in several locations in California; the bad news is that ocean acidification — the absorption of carbon dioxide into the sea, a direct result of high levels of carbon in the atmosphere — is a direct threat to that industry.
Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall, an operation north of San Francisco on Tomales Bay was visited. Tessa Hill, who’s been researching ocean acidification at Bodega Marine Laboratory for eight years. Hill studies how changes in marine chemistry impact a variety of marine animals, including oysters, whose shells are getting thinner, smaller and more susceptible to predators. Her research looks at current conditions and develop a baseline for tracking the effects of climate change going forward.
Ocean acidification, like everything associated with climate change, is probably going to get worse before it gets better. But in addition to gathering data that Hog Island can use to protect their crop, understanding the impact of climate change and ocean acidification can help us make those connections less theoretical and more real.
Figure 1 (a) Upper (0–700 m) OHC, calculated using 40 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5) models (historical run) (gray lines; black line is the ensemble mean). The CMIP5 results are compared with the observation-based estimate using the strategies presented in this study (red line) and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) mapping (dashed blue line). Two major volcanic eruptions are marked by the black arrows. (b) Annual global-averaged upper ocean warming rates from the CMIP5 model results (gray lines; red line is the ensemble mean) and from observations (blue line), computed from the first differences of OHC at 700 m (units: °C yr−1). (Figure plotted by IAP)
To know how much global warming is happening, you have to measure ocean warming. That is because more than 90% of the excess energy coming to the Earth from greenhouse gases goes into the ocean waters. But how would you measure the ocean? How would you make consistent, long-term measurements that would allow people to compare ocean heat from decades ago to today? How would you make enough measurements throughout the ocean so that we have a true global picture?
This is one of the most challenging problems in climate science. Many measurements were made along ocean passageways as ships transported goods across the planet.As more ship travel occurred, and more measurements were made, the coverage of temperature measurements across the globe increased. So, over time, the temporal and spatial resolution increased. One particularly important measurement device called the eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT). This device, originally designed to make crude measurements for navies, has been used for years by climate scientists. There is systematic bias in XBT data, which creates spurious “ocean warm decades” from 1970s to early 1980s as reported in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
Past errors in the ocean heat content (OHC) record could be reduced by correcting systematic measurement biases, filling in gaps where no information is available, and by choosing a proper comparison climate. Lead author, Dr. Lijing Cheng (who works for the International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences in China) of a paper found here applied four separate improvements to data, focusing attention on the heating in the upper 700 meters of ocean waters because that depth has the best measurements and it also is the region where much of the global warming heat goes.
Going back to 1970, the upper 700-meter water layer temperature has increased approximately 0.3°C (approximately 0.55°F). While that may not sound like a lot, this is a huge amount of water and consequently requires an enormous amount of energy. The world’s oceans were separated into the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. All three of these oceans are warming with the Atlantic warming the most. Ocean heating was calculated using 40 state-of-the-art climate models. Over the period from 1970, the climate models have under-predicted the warming by 15%. A remarkably close match that gives us a lot of confidence in the models. On the other hand, the models were not able to predict shorter-term fluctuations in ocean heating contained within the observed time period. Dr. Cheng summarized the work by saying,
Ocean heat content change is an important metric for the ongoing global warming. But ocean subsurface temperature data are very sparse in time and space, and they contain systematic biases for some instruments. Those problems make previous OHC estimates with large uncertainties, which have been referred as ‘pre-mature’ data. That’s why our group in IAP/ICCES keeps working on investigating and quantifying the error sources and providing our estimate on historical OHC change. In this study, we summarized our previous research and provided a new OHC estimate. We will make more efforts to provide more and more accurate OHC estimates in the future.
New Study Finds Quicker Upper Ocean Warming than Previous Thought
Oceans warming faster than climate models predicted
By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor
At the closing plenary on July 10th, conference Scientific Committee Chair Chris Field summarizes the implications of the meeting for the science agenda moving forward. IPCC chairman Ismail El Gizouli provides an overview of the science landscape. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Segolène Royal, French Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment & Energy will also share their views. It is hoped that the conference will send a strong message to policy-makers to agree on an ambitious deal at the Paris negotiations in December.
On July 9th, the conference focused on responding to the challenges of climate change. Many speakers highlighted the urgency of reducing emissions to lessen the risks of climate change, and possible solutions. Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development, noted that adaptation is not just dealing with risks, but taking opportunities to change. He cautioned that it is doubtful that adaptation can be a solution in 3 or 4 degree warmer world, sharpening the need for mitigation. Several speakers highlighted the need to articulate an attractive vision of a low-carbon future. In the plenary, Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency, noted that not only visions, but specific targets will be critical to send the signal for emitters like the energy sector to meet ambitious goals, including an emissions peak in 2020.
With respects to conference outreach and social media, there are extensive tweets; with 79 presentations and 57 posters available on the Slideshare page; and videos being continually uploaded to Youtube page, with eventual uploading of recordings of many sessions. The Guardian, reporting from the conference, ran a story on how fossil fuel firms risk wasting billions by ignoring climate change. Bloomberg spoke with Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University and he is pessimistic about the potential of the climate change negotiations in December. There is a story in Le Figaro with “climat : à la recherche de solutions concrètes” and Les Echos with “le climat met la recherche scientifique en ébullition”.
All slides on Slide Share http://www.slideshare.net/CFCC15
Présidente : D. Purnamita (Institut de la Croissance économique, New Delhi, Inde)
Intervenants : K. O’Brien (Université d’Oslo, Norvège), N. Nakicenovic (IIASA, Lu…
Landscapes of Our Common Future
Chair: D. Purnamita (Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India)
Speakers: K. O’Brien (University of Oslo, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, Norway) ; N…
Climate variability, change and vulnerability in the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans
Chair: E. Guilyardi (LOCEAN/IPSL, Paris, France)
Convener(s) : V. Sarma (National Institute of Oceanography…
Climate Change and Health
Chair: A. Woodward (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Co-convener: M. Neira (World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland)
D. King (Foreign and Commonweal…
Climate Change and Ocean Systems: Impacts and Feedbacks
Chair: J.-P. Gattuso (LOV, Villefranche, France)
Co-convener: E. Poloczanska (CSIRO, Hobart, Australia)
H.-O. Pörtner (Alfred Wegener Insti…
Climate Change and Land Systems: Impacts and Feedbacks
Chairs : W. Cramer (IMBE, Marseille, France), S. Seneviratne (ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)
S. Seneviratne (ETH, Zurich, Zurich, Switzerl…
By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor
This is Day 2 of the Conference, with ongoing presentations; and a special media panel on carbon divestment campaigns and the role of journalism. The Guardian has been very active in climate reporting and particularly with its divestment campaign, keep it in the ground. The campaign urges the world’ funds to move their money out of fossil fuels
The Guardian’s divestment campaign- the rights and wrongs of journalism as advocacy: Special media panel
By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor
In opening plenary, French Research and Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem issued a stark warning, saying that “unless we have widespread climate action, we will be the generation that knew what had to be done, but didn’t do it.”
Segolène Royal, French Minister for the Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development, echoed the same message, calling on scientists to speak with a clear voice in the run-up to the Paris climate change negotiations in December. “We have won the battle of ideas, now we must win the battle for action,” she said. She also reminded scientists that while science has a duty to provide proof and evidence, “to be heard in the preparations for the summit in Paris as you deserve, your voices must not be too tangled up in precautions.”
There are also transcripts available of WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud’s speech and the speech he delivered on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Many of Day 1 presentations are available for viewing on slide share : http://www.slideshare.net/CFCC15
Day 1 had many contributions on the social media side On the first day, there were more than 5600 tweets on the #CFCC15 hashtag, by more than 1900 individual authors.
There were free media workshops for scientists with The Carbon Brief –e with a very interesting event on The Guardian’s divestment campaign, debating the rights and wrongs of journalism as advocacy, with parallels for scientists.
Stories from the conference have started appearing on external news sources:
- The Carbon Brief provides a useful guide on what they see as the most interesting events at the conference.
- AFP newswire writes about the conference that scientists warn that the gap to avoid climate disaster is narrowing.
- Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and Joseph Alcamo, Director of the Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, published an op-ed in the Huffington Post calling on scientists to formulate a long-term vision at the conference. The op-ed is also available in French on Le Monde.
- The daily newspaper Liberation writes that “Les scientifiques chauffent la salle avant la COP21” (paywall).
There are also a number of new blog stories by social media reporters on the conference blog that might also be of interest (http://www.commonfuture-paris2015.org/Blog.htm):
- Aurelia Figueroa writes about what works best to encourage the uptake of efficient light bulbs in Kenyan community
- Kian Mintz-Woo asks whether our savings should dictate our evaluation of climate policy.
- Agathe Maupin contributed a piece on how climate geopolitics might be an opportunity for Africa to become a trailblazer.
- Hsiao-Chun Tseng explains why methane may be more important than CO2 in the South China Sea.
Slide share presentations at http://www.slideshare.net/CFCC15
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