Just a Few More Things to Worry About

I have pondered how to start this post for sometime. It has nothing to do with the contents but everything to do with the nature of this blog. Most of the things I write about are, plain and simple, downers. Just thinking about them could create a depressing state of mind and the future posts I have planned don’t help this situation.That’s probably one of the reasons I bird so much. You can’t get depressed birding. My first thought was to start this post with a big “Sorry!!”. Then I thought something like “enough already“. I even thought about not writing it. But in the end I went with the chosen title and and here it is. To me it doesn’t appear that many people worry about the same things I do so I will just continue my worrying ways and go birding often.

So why does this post start out with a big fish?

Photograph by Tony Arruza/Corbis

Marlin and sailfish are the oceans’ perfect athletes. A marlin can outweigh a polar bear, leap through the air, and traverse the sea from Delaware to Madagascar. Sailfish can outrace nearly every fish in the sea. Marlin can hunt in waters a half mile down, and sailfish often head to deep waters too.

Yet in more and more places around the world, these predators are sticking near the surface, rarely using their formidable power to plunge into the depths to chase prey.

The discovery of this behavioral quirk in fish built for diving offers some of the most tangible evidence of a disturbing trend: Warming temperatures are sucking oxygen out of waters even far out at sea, making enormous stretches of deep ocean hostile to marine life.

“Two hundred meters down, there is a freight train of low-oxygen water barreling toward the surface,” says William Gilly, a marine biologist with Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California. Yet, “with all the ballyhoo about ocean issues, this one hasn’t gotten much attention…”

Globally, these low-oxygen areas have expanded by more than 1.7 million square miles (4.5 million square kilometers) in the past 50 years.

This phenomenon could transform the seas as much as global warming or ocean acidification will, rearranging where and what creatures eat and altering which species live or die. It already is starting to scramble ocean food chains and threatens to compound almost every other problem in the sea.

This rather disturbing fact is brought to you curtesy of the National Geographic website. In writing that last sentence I just realized that I’m not the “downer” I thought I was. I have lot’s of help. The actual article is called, Oceans Are Losing Oxygen—and Becoming More Hostile to Life. There is plenty of “science” involved with all this. You can find out what “oxygen minimum zones(OMZs)” are and much more here. The article goes on to say,

They are far different from hypoxic coastal dead zones, which are multiplying, too, with more than 400 now reported worldwide. Dead zones are caused by nitrogen and other nutrients as rivers and storms flush pollution from farms and cities into nearshore waters.

The expansion of deep-sea low-oxygen zones, on the other hand, is driven by temperature. Warm water carries less dissolved oxygen. It’s also lighter than cold water. That leaves the ocean segregated in layers, restricting delivery of fresh oxygen to the deep and making these oxygen-poor zones much bigger.

Let’s move on to something different that’s not related to climate change and there’s nothing we can do about it. Back in October I came upon this rather scary title, Scientists: Earth’s Magnetic Field May ‘Flip’ Sooner Than Expected.

I found several references to this story. Even the Christian Science Monitor reported on it. But it soon disappeared from the news.

A pilot looking down at her plane controls and realizing magnetic north is hovering somewhere over Antarctica may sound like a scene from a science-fiction movie, but new research suggests the idea isn’t so far-fetched in the relatively near future.

A magnetic field shift is old news. Around 800,000 years ago, magnetic north hovered over Antarctica and reindeer lived in magnetic south. The poles have flipped several times throughout Earth’s history. Scientists have estimated that a flip cycle starts with the magnetic field weakening over the span of a few thousand years, then the poles flip and the field springs back up to full strength again. However, a new study shows that the last time the Earth’s poles flipped, it only took 100 years for the reversal to happen.

The Earth’s magnetic field is in a weakening stage right now. Data collected this summer by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite suggests the field is weakening 10 times faster than scientists originally thought. They predicted a flip could come within the next couple thousand years. It turns out that might be a very liberal estimate, scientists now say. “We don’t know whether the next reversal will occur as suddenly as this [previous] one did, but we also don’t know that it won’t,” Paul Renne, director of the Geochronology Center at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement…

While a pole flip could cause a few technical issues, there’s no need to panic. Scientists have combed the geological timeline for any evidence of catastrophes that might be related to a magnetic flip. They haven’t found any.

The only havoc that a reversal would wreak is interference in the global electric grid. No direct evidence remains of past catastrophes triggered by a magnetic flip.

However, if the magnetic field weakens enough or temporarily disappears during the flip, then the Earth could be hit with dangerous amounts of solar radiation and cosmic rays. The exposure could mean that more people develop cancer, Renne said, though there’s no scientific proof this could happen.

Did you notice the words, “interference in the global electric grid”? That wasn’t something they worried about thousands of years ago. Today that would be a big deal. I know because the power where I live goes out often and life stops until it comes back on. Did you notice the word “her” in reference to the pilot. That CSM is so liberal. So this worry isn’t on par with an asteroid hitting the planet and killing you(1 in 700,000) or the sun flipping out but it’s still something to worry about.

Finally this last thing I will mention is life threatening!!! I came upon this article called, Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans.

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

The gloomy part of that article was that it was written as satire but is it really??? What part of this post is fact and what part is satire? I’ll let you decide. I will end with a picture of our only home. We should all worry about it.






One thought on “Just a Few More Things to Worry About

  1. Just heard about a couple who just gave birth to their thirteenth son and are wondering if they should keep trying for a girl. How can our planet survive this kind of behavior?

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