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DocWatch Algal Blooms
The bloom is WAY off this rose.
These "blooms" stink, poison the water, suck out oxygen from bays and the open ocean, and are generally produced by human shit rolling downstream. This can be artificial shit from crop fertilizer runoff, or natural shit from industrial beef, pig, and chicken farming. This is a aphrodisiac for algae. Ick! Related Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ climate impacts  ~ fertilizer runoff  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ dead zones  ~ health impacts  ~ massive die-off  ~ toxic water  ~ invasive species  ~ corporate farming  ~ toxic buildup  



Mon, Aug 17, 2015
from Gail at Wit:
Dispatch from the Endocene, #9
Following is the transcript from my segment on Extinction Radio which airs Sunday, August 16 ... The Dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is larger this summer than it has ever been, about the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.... [Elsewhere,] "The toxic algae blooms in the Pacific Ocean stretching from southern California to Alaska -- already the largest ever recorded -- appear to have reached as far as the Aleutian Islands, scientists say. "The anecdotal evidence suggests we're having a major event," said Bruce Wright... "Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed"... "[T]he recent determination that cancer is almost entirely the result of exposure to various modern toxins"... "Every year over the last decade and a half, the U.S. Geological Survey has descended on Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in California to give 17,000 trees a physical. But in a growing number of cases, what's starting off as a check-up is turning into an autopsy."... "I used to call them 'the immortals,' because they just never seemed to die," he says. "In the fourth year of drought, they've started dying by the bucket-loads. So they're no longer the immortals." ...


If all this were really happening, I'd be hearing about it on the news. Because that's what they're giving us, right? News? What's really happening?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 25, 2014
from South China Morning Post:
Toxic alert as Hong Kong suffers highest number of red tides in 26 years
The city has been hit by the worst six months of red tides in 26 years, with the highest number of potentially harmful algae species recorded, analysis by the Post has revealed. Scientific experts said the algal blooms might indicate that pollution is increasing and climate patterns shifting. They would not rule out the possibility that a lethal red tide - that can kill off marine life en masse - could strike soon, although these are almost impossible to forecast. ...


There was a time when a red tide would have been a marketing coup.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 4, 2014
from Associated Press:
Toledo's water crisis was a decade in the making from farms and sewage plants, experts say
The toxins that contaminated the drinking water supply of 400,000 people in northwest Ohio didn't just suddenly appear. Water plant operators along western Lake Erie have long been worried about this very scenario as a growing number of algae blooms have turned the water into a pea soup color in recent summers, leaving behind toxins that can sicken people and kill pets. In fact, the problems on the shallowest of the five Great Lakes brought on by farm runoff and sludge from sewage treatment plants have been building for more than a decade. ...


Who listens to experts?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 24, 2014
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Convulsing sea lions along coast may hold clues to epilepsy
Sick and confused sea lions convulsing with seizures are being found in increasing numbers along the California coast, suffering from what Stanford University scientists say is a form of epilepsy similar to the kind that attacks humans. The culprit is a neurotoxin found in algae blooms, also known as red tides... The toxic blooms since then have generally occurred in the spring and summer, but researchers say they are now being detected at all times. ...


Doom & bloom.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Nov 10, 2013
from Foreign Affairs, via WitsEndNJ:
The Devolution of the Seas: The Consequences of Oceanic Destruction
Of all the threats looming over the planet today, one of the most alarming is the seemingly inexorable descent of the world's oceans into ecological perdition. Over the last several decades, human activities have so altered the basic chemistry of the seas that they are now experiencing evolution in reverse: a return to the barren primeval waters of hundreds of millions of years ago.... Over the last 50 years -- a mere blink in geologic time -- humanity has come perilously close to reversing the almost miraculous biological abundance of the deep. Pollution, overfishing, the destruction of habitats, and climate change are emptying the oceans and enabling the lowest forms of life to regain their dominance. The oceanographer Jeremy Jackson calls it 'the rise of slime': the transformation of once complex oceanic ecosystems featuring intricate food webs with large animals into simplistic systems dominated by microbes, jellyfish, and disease. In effect, humans are eliminating the lions and tigers of the seas to make room for the cockroaches and rats. ...


So, you environmentalists have become 'cockroaches and rats'-ists?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from Associated Press:
Lake Erie algae a threat to Ohio drinking water
Toxins from blobs of algae on western Lake Erie are infiltrating water treatment plants along the shoreline, forcing cities to spend a lot more money to make sure their drinking water is safe. It got so bad last month that one township told its 2,000 residents not to drink or use the water coming from their taps... The unsightly surface has scared away tourists, and toxins produced by the algae have contributed to oxygen-deprived dead zones where fish can't survive. The toxins also are a threat to the drinking water that the lake provides for 11 million people. ...


Let them drink Coke.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 21, 2013
from London Guardian:
Halve meat consumption, scientists urge rich world
People in the rich world should become "demitarians" -- eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up -- in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged, in the clearest picture yet of how farming practices are destroying the natural world.... The quest for ever cheaper meat in the past few decades -- most people even in rich countries ate significantly less meat one and two generations ago -- has resulted in a massive expansion of intensively farmed livestock. This has diverted vast quantities of grain from human to animal consumption, requiring intensive use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides and, according to the Unep report, "caused a web of water and air pollution that is damaging human health". The run-off from these chemicals is creating dead zones in the seas, causing toxic algal blooms and killing fish, while some are threatening bees, amphibians and sensitive ecosystems. ...


All I did was order a cheeseburger!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 9, 2013
from E&E Publishing:
Harmful algae blooms increase as water warms in the world's major lakes
The warming waters of one of central Europe's most popular holiday destinations, Switzerland's Lake Zurich, have created an ideal environment for a population explosion of algae including Planktothrix rubescens, a toxic cyanobacterium. It has the potential to harm humans, animals and the tourism that pumps up the economies of lake districts. Although harmful algal blooms have been documented for more than a century, recently the number and frequency of cases have drastically increased. According to research published in leading scientific journals, Lake Zurich is by no means alone. Cyanobacteria now threaten the ecological well-being of some of the world's largest water bodies, including Lake Victoria in Africa, Lake Erie in the United States and Canada, Lake Taihu in China, the Baltic Sea in northern Europe, and the Caspian Sea in west Asia. ...


Seems like a lake of fire would be an attraction for some tourists.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Apr 5, 2012
from BBC:
Jellyfish blooms creating oceans of slime
...Last year alone, nuclear power plants in Scotland, Japan, Israel and Florida, and also a desalination plant in Israel, were forced to shutdown because jellyfish were clogging the water inlets. The entire Irish salmon industry was wiped out in 2007 after a plague of billions of mauve stingers -- covering an area of 10 sq miles (26 sq km) and 35ft (11m) deep -- attacked the fish cages... Perhaps the most extraordinary blooms have been those occurring in waters off Japan. There, refrigerator-sized gelatinous monsters called Nomuras, weighing 485lb (220 kg) and measuring 6.5ft (2m) in diameter, have swarmed the Japan Sea annually since 2002, clogging fishing nets, overturning trawlers and devastating coastal livelihoods. ...


Our only hope is Godzilla.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
from Wales News:
Dramatic changes to sea algae could have harmful effects for human health: Welsh academics
DRAMATIC changes to sea algae could have harmful knock-on effects for human health and the rest of the food chain, research from Welsh scientists has revealed. Findings published by academics from Swansea University have uncovered huge changes in the make-up of North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean algae in the space of five years. The changes seen in algal blooms -- shifting from dinoflagellate to diatom algaes -- could mean a build-up of toxins on feeder organisms.... Professor Graeme Hays, from Swansea's Department of Biosciences in the College of Science, and an author in the study, said: "Imagine looking at your garden one morning and finding that the grass had suddenly been replaced by bushes. This may sound far-fetched, but we have found changes of this magnitude in the biology of the North Atlantic, with a dramatic switch in the prevalence of dinoflagellates to diatoms -- two groups which include many of the microscopic planktonic plants forming the base of the ocean's food chain." ...


Doom & bloom.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 15, 2011
from NPR:
Putting Farmland On A Fertilizer Diet
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere, really.... this document represents the agency's best attempt to solve one of the country's -- and the world's -- really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways.... around the world, environmentalists and scientists are mobilizing to fight the plague of over-nutrition. That's where the new USDA document comes in. It lays out a host of steps that farmers can take -- and will have to take, if they get funding from certain USDA programs -- to minimize the spread of nutrients outside farm fields. Essentially, it involves putting farmland on a sensible diet. Only feed the land as much as it really needs. And don't apply fertilizer, including manure, when the crops don't need it. Also, try to capture and store any excess nutrients. For instance, grow wintertime "cover crops" that can trap free nitrogen before it leaches into groundwater. ...


Sounds like some common sense shit to me!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 14, 2011
from USA Today:
Disasters doom Texas oyster crop
...A monstrous bloom of toxic algae looming across the Texas coast has shut down oyster season. Fueled by Texas' ongoing drought, the algae -- known as Karenia brevis-- thrives in warm, salty water and has spread through the bays and islands along Texas' 350-mile coast...he size of the current bloom coupled with the state's ongoing drought and lack of rain could make it one of the biggest and most destructive in history... ...


We don't do anything small in Texas.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Oct 27, 2011
from Palm Beach Post News:
Wetlands restoration panel worries over loss of money for monitoring
The monitoring programs that reveal how Everglades restoration plans are working -- or not -- have been slashed by 60 percent overall -- leaving gaping holes in programs that predict algal blooms, monitor pollution, provide real-time water level data and assess the survival rates of endangered species. Gone altogether are programs that monitor the well-being of alligators, crocodiles and pink shrimp, indicator species that reveal the health of the entire ecosystem. Cuts to wading bird monitoring in Lake Okeechobee will leave scientists unable to accurately predict the start, peak and end of the nesting season -- benchmarks needed to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between restoration efforts and wildlife. "Basically, the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee are like patients in an emergency room," said Paul Gray, science coordinator for Lake Okeechobee watershed programs at Audubon of Florida. "If you have a patient in the emergency room, the last thing you want to do is shut off all the monitoring equipment." ...


Can't they, like, divine the answers?

ApocaDoc
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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Wed, Oct 19, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Texas Gulf Coast Sees Largest Algae Bloom In Years
Historic drought conditions are fueling the largest algae bloom in more than a decade along the Texas Gulf Coast, killing fish, sparking warnings about beach conditions and making throats scratchy, researchers said Monday. The extent of the so-called red tide bloom came as no surprise to biologists because the microscopic algae love warm, salty water. Since March, Texas has recorded seven of the 10 driest months in 116 years, so scientists had anticipated a red tide.... The geographic scope of this red tide - affecting areas from Galveston to South Padre Island - is the largest since 2000, Byrd said from her office in Victoria. A variety of dead fish have been reported washing up in places since last month - including a 6-foot tarpon on Padre Island this weekend, but so far this bloom hasn't produced a fish kill as severe as others, Byrd said. ...


A red bloom sounds rosy to me!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Oct 5, 2011
from Reuters:
Great Lakes face stresses from run-off, invaders
Great Lakes shorelines are becoming clogged by algae blooms fed by agricultural run-off, while invasive mussels decimate the food chain in deeper waters, an environmental group said on Tuesday. The five lakes, which contain one-fifth of the world's fresh water and supply tens of millions of people, may be "veering close to ecosystem collapse," the report by the National Wildlife Federation said. "Too much food is causing massive algal blooms in Lake Erie and other coastal systems, while too little food is making fish starve in Lake Huron's offshore waters," said the group's Great Lakes director, Andy Buchsbaum. ...


Those poor Great Lakes are ate up lakes now.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 27, 2011
from Associated Press:
Kansas agencies assessing algae's impact in lakes
State parks officials are assessing the impact of large-scale, blue-green algae blooms at Kansas lakes and reservoirs that kept people and animals out of the lakes this summer. Dangerous levels of the toxic algae prompted Kansas health officials to post advisories and warnings since May. Ron Kaufman, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, said the algae blooms, along with weather conditions, prompted numerous cancellations at state cabins and campsites... The algae conditions occurred as many people were looking to spend their scarce leisure dollars staying closer to home enjoying Kansas parks and lakes. ...


From vacation to staycation to algaecation.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 15, 2011
from Huffington Post:
New Shellfish Poison Found In U.S. Waters Caused By Algal Bloom
The bright red skull-and-crossbones signs are hard to miss and increasingly common on Pacific Northwest beaches. A whole new fleet just popped up along the shores of a small bay between the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound. On Friday, Washington State health officials reported the first U.S. illnesses linked to one particular strain of toxin triggered by an algal bloom. Three people came down with Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) after eating mussels from Sequim Bay, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The bay is now closed to shellfish harvesting.... Although the culprit biotoxin hadn't been previously detected at unsafe levels in U.S. shellfish, thousands of people in Europe, Asia and South America have reportedly suffered its unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms in recent years.... Excess nutrients entering the waterway, including fertilizers, pet waste and sewage, might also contribute to the proliferation of the microscopic marine plants. "A heavy rainfall could produce the last slug of nutrients for algae to start blooming in mass," said Moore. ...


Can't we just dump algaecide into the waters? How hard is that?

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Aug 13, 2011
from The Detroit News:
Algae blooms foul Great Lakes
...Bay City State Recreation Area features a one-mile beach that runs south from its visitors center along Lake Huron's western shore. In reality, you can enjoy about 500 feet of it. Just south of the park's volleyball courts, the white sands turn into what locals call "beach muck" -- a thick layer of washed-up algal growth and detritus that sucks at visitors' feet and makes the area close to impassable... Bay City is hardly the only place where algae has become part of summer life. But it does lie in one of the Great Lakes' hot spots for algal growth -- the Saginaw Bay. There, as well as in western Lake Erie and the Green Bay area of Lake Michigan, the green stuff has gone from being an occasional nuisance to an annual problem over the past decade. In each of these areas, the trigger is phosphorus. It gets carried off the region's yards, farms and golf courses by storm runoff and moves via streams and rivers to the lakes. It settles on the bottom of the lake bed and, in shallow waters, reacts to penetrating sunlight by generating algae. ...


This phosphorus is sooooo phucking up our phlora and phauna.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 9, 2011
from Telegraph.co.uk:
'Green slime' outbreak blamed on pollution, not just hot weather
Some 83 incidents of algae have been reported to environmental authorities so far this year, starving lakes of oxygen and putting native species at threat. The highest ever number of annual reported incidents was 226 five years ago, but the Environment Agency said this year was an unusually bad one.... The Environment Agency has issued a warning of further 'potential hazards' in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire as more outbreaks are expected.... The Government agency blamed the hot weather and the recent drought, which means the algae can grow faster, for the high levels of algae blooms, along with phosphate nutrients from fertilisers used on farms. Environmentalists pointed out that there have been cool periods and rain this year, and said the outbreak was made much worse than expected because of pollution from farms and sewage works and water companies taking too much water from the streams. ...


Proof positive that Britons are "going green"!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 23, 2011
from Discover:
Are Toxins in Seafood Causing ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's?
The cause of ALS is unknown. Though of little solace to the afflicted, Stommel used to offer one comforting fact: ALS was rare, randomly striking just two of 100,000 people a year. Then, a couple of years ago, in an effort to gain more insight into the disease, Stommel enlisted students to punch the street addresses of about 200 of his ALS patients into Google Earth. The distribution of cases that emerged on the computer-generated map of New England shocked him. In numbers far higher than national statistics predicted, his current and deceased patients' homes were clustered around lakes and other bodies of water.... "I started thinking maybe there was something in the water," Stommel says. That "something," he now suspects, could be the environmental toxin beta-methylamino-L-alanine, or BMAA. This compound 
is produced by cyanobacteria, the blue-green algae that live in soil, lakes, and oceans. Cyanobacteria are consumed by fish and other aquatic creatures. Recent studies have found BMAA in seafood, suggesting that certain diets and locations may put people at particular risk. More worrisome, blooms of cyanobacteria are becoming increasingly common, fueling fears that their toxic by-product may be quietly fomenting an upsurge in ALS--and possibly other neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's as well. ...


We can start calling them "TFC" illnesses: Top of the Food Chain.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, May 11, 2011
from ScienceDaily:
Ocean Acidification: Carbon Dioxide Makes Life Difficult for Algae
The acidification of the world's oceans could have major consequences for the marine environment. New research shows that coccoliths, which are an important part of the marine environment, dissolve when seawater acidifies. Coccoliths are very small shells of calcium carbonate that encapsulate a number of species of alga. Algae plays an important role in the global carbon-oxygen cycle and thus in our ecosystem. Our seawater has changed because of our emissions of greenhouse gases and therefore it was interesting for Hassenkam and his colleagues to investigate how the coccoliths react to different types of water. "We know that the world's oceans are acidifying due to our emissions of CO2 and that is why it is interesting for us to find out how the coccoliths are reacting to it.... In fact, it turns out that the shell falls completely apart when we do experiments in water with a pH value that many researchers believe will be the found in the world oceans in the year 2100 due to the CO2 levels...." ...


Shells fall apart; the algae cannot hold.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Toxin found in dead sardines
Sardines that suffocated and died en masse this week in King Harbor have tested positive for a powerful neurotoxin that scientists believe may have distressed 1 million or more fish off the Los Angeles coastline and caused them to swim chaotically into the Redondo Beach marina. Researchers still believe critically low oxygen levels, not the toxin or an algae bloom, caused the fish to suddenly die Monday night in the Redondo Beach marina. But the discovery of domoic acid in dead fish -- reported Friday by USC biologists -- could help explain why millions of sardines swam into the harbor in the first place... Domoic acid is often found in the stomachs of fish that have been feeding on plankton on the ocean's surface during toxic algae blooms. The toxin has been linked to neurological disorders, illnesses and deaths of seabirds, sea lions, sea otters and whales. When it accumulates in edible fish and shellfish, it can sicken humans. ...


Arrrrr! We made these sardines walk the plankton.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Mar 10, 2011
from CBC:
Great Lakes phosphorus levels rising, report warns
A mysterious resurgence of phosphorus in the Great Lakes is endangering the aquatic food chain and human health, says a binational agency that advises Canada and the U.S. Fifteen years after the last programs to control phosphorus runoff ended, the International Joint Commission urged on Wednesday a renewed effort to get the oxygen-depleting chemical out of the water.... "We don't know where the phosphorous is coming from," Bill Bowerman, chair of the IJC's science advisory board and a wildlife ecologist at South Carolina's Clemson University, said during Wednesday's IJC news conference. "Some of our monitoring programs that would allow us to understand this either are under threat or have disappeared over the past 15 years."... The report suggests key factors likely include inadequate municipal wastewater and residential septic systems, agricultural runoff, industrial livestock operations and the impacts of climate change, which causes more frequent and intense rainstorms.... [M]uch of the lake is back to being coated with slimy green algal blooms in the summer, as it was in the 1960s and early '70s. "They said, 'Well, we have this one fixed.' Well, we don't have this one fixed," she said. ...


Why monitor what you don't want to know?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Nov 16, 2010
from WTHR 13 - Indianapolis:
Dumped in Indiana
...This summer, just over the border in Ohio, Grand Lake St Marys was devastated by blue-green algae that killed fish, birds, and tourism. The iridescent algae is blamed for millions of dollars in lost revenue for businesses surrounding Ohio's largest inland lake. State officials say the algae crisis was a direct result of manure runoff that drained into the shallow lake from area farm fields. To curb the problem - and hopefully save the lake - state officials developed a detailed action plan to improve water quality at Grand Lake St Marys. The plan calls for Ohio to "promote manure hauling" away from the lake's watershed, and it includes using federal funds from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program to help Ohio farmers transport their manure to Indiana. ...


Here in Indiana we don't mind being shat upon.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Nov 16, 2010
from Associated Press:
EPA announces Fla. water pollution rules
The federal Environmental Protection Agency for the first time Monday in Florida set numeric water pollution standards for a state although 13 others already have adopted such rules on their own. The federal standards are required by the settlement of a lawsuit last year. They replace Florida's vague descriptive regulations for determining when rivers, lakes and other inland waters are polluted with such contaminants as fertilizer and animal and human waste. Those pollutants are blamed for toxic algae blooms that have clogged Florida's waterways. "The EPA has stepped in to rescue Florida from a powerful gang of polluters who for decades have used campaign contributions and intimidation to stop state government in Tallahassee from taking this action," said Frank Jackalone, Florida staff director for the Sierra Club. His is one of five environmental groups that sued EPA for failing to enforce the Clean Water Act of 1972, charging Florida was allowed to get away without adopting numeric standards. ...


This is especially important in a state that will have so much more water once sea levels rise.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 15, 2010
from Louisiana State University via ScienceDaily:
Oceanography Researchers Discover Toxic Algae in Open Water
Louisiana State University's Sibel Bargu, along with her former graduate student Ana Garcia, from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in LSU's School of the Coast & Environment, has discovered toxic algae in vast, remote regions of the open ocean for the first time... Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are reported as increasing both geographically and in frequency along populated coastlines. Bargu's research shows that the ubiquitous diatom Pseudo-nitzschia -- an alga that produces the neurotoxin, domoic acid, or DA, in coastal regions -- actually also produces DA at many locations in the open Pacific. The presence of these potent toxins in deep water environments is worrisome, given that in coastal waters, where the phenomenon has been studied, DA can enter the food chain, forcing the closure of some fisheries and poisoning marine mammals and birds that feed on the contaminated fish. The main concern, though, is that the adding of iron to ocean waters -- one of the most commonly proposed strategies to reduce global warming -- appears now to likely result in promoting toxic blooms in the ocean. ...


This bloom... could be our doom.

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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Sat, Oct 9, 2010
from BBC:
Toxic algae rapidly kills coral
Scientists studying coral reefs in the Gulf of Oman have issued the warning after being shocked by the impact of one large-scale bloom, which destroyed a coral reef in just three weeks. Around 95 percent of the hard coral beneath the algae died off and 70 percent fewer fishes were observed in the area. The rapidly growing patches of microscopic marine plants starve coral of sunlight and oxygen. Coral reefs are increasingly under threat from environmental stress in the form of climate change, coastal development, overfishing, and pollution. Climate change is suspected of causing a number of coral bleaching events, as rising sea temperatures stress coral communities. But the latest study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, suggests that algal blooms could pose another significant threat. ...


Sounds like the algae is just putting the coral out of its misery.

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Fri, Sep 24, 2010
from National Geographic:
"Sea Snot" Explosion Caused by Gulf Oil Spill?
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill sparked an explosion of sticky clumps of organic matter that scientists call sea snot, according to ongoing research. The boom likely precipitated a sea-snot "blizzard" in Gulf waters, researchers say. And as the clumps sank, they may have temporarily wiped out the base of the food chain in the spill region by scouring all small life from the water column.... Tiny plants in the ocean called phytoplankton produce a mucus-like substance when stressed, and it's possible that exposure to the Deepwater Horizon oil caused them to pump out more of the sticky stuff than usual. This abundance of "mucus" made the naturally occurring marine-snow particles--usually about a few millimeters wide--even stickier. "Everything they collide with in their path they collect and take with them," said project leader Passow, who's currently tracking marine snow aboard the research vessel Oceanus. ...


A "sea-snot blizzard"? This is one hell of a hurricane season.

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Sun, Sep 12, 2010
from Contra Costa Times:
Delta: A lake in the making
The toxic blue-green algae floating in the scientist's jar is a symptom of a disturbing shift in the West Coast's biggest estuary. Common in lakes and reservoirs around the world, this kind of algae is less likely to be found in estuaries where rivers and ocean tides tangle in a restless ebb and flow. But the slime has spread in an increasingly stagnant Delta. After five years of studies, scientists are coalescing around the idea that diverting fresh water to farms and cities has led to a fundamental change in the Delta by slowing flows for most of the year. Other factors are also at play, especially the dramatic conversion of a once vast tidal marsh into a network of deep channels and "islands" first built for farming. In short, the Delta is becoming more like a lake or a lagoon, researchers say. ...


Revelations chapter 2, verse 17: "And the deltas shall become like lakes or lagoons."

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Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from Toledo Blade:
Toxic algae blooms choking Lake Erie
After years of recovery, Lake Erie is sick again. Ask the boaters who get the spinach-like clumps of algae on their boat propellers, the tourists grossed out by the sight of pea-green water, the property owners picking up whiffs of stench, the beach-goers confronted by signs urging them to stay out of the water, and the scientists who have said at conferences for at least five years that an ecological backslide is in progress. Biologists such as Roger Knight, who manages Ohio's Lake Erie fisheries program, are drawing correlations between algae-induced oxygen losses and below-average walleye hatches. Walleye are the backbone of the Great Lakes region's $7 billion fishery, which lives and dies with what happens in Lake Erie's western basin, which is the Great Lakes region's warmest, shallowest, and most productive area for spawning fish. ...


Now we'll have to come up with some new example of lake restoration... if one indeed exists.

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Fri, Jul 23, 2010
from DesdemonaDespair:
Algae bloom in Baltic Sea puts marine life at risk
Record summer temperatures, farm fertilisers and a lack of wind have a gigantic carpet of evil-smelling weed covering large areas of the Baltic and threatening both marine life and seaside tourism, scientists warn. The 377,000 sq km of blue-green algae, covering an area the size of Germany, has been identified by satellite cameras. It extends from Finland along the south coast of Sweden and surrounds the Danish island of Bornholm. Scientists from the German section of the World Wide Fund for Nature in Hamburg have warned of the damaging effects of the weed. "These huge algae carpets hit the marine environment most," said Jochen Lamp, a WWF project spokesman. "They kill plants and encourage the spread of dead zones on the sea bed which have no oxygen left in them." ...


That algae island's got nothin' on the Great Pacific Gyre.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 8, 2010
from London Guardian:
China launches armada to head off algae plume
Chinese authorities have dispatched a flotilla of more than 60 ships to head off a massive tide of algae that is approaching the coast of Qingdao. The outbreak is thought to be caused by high ocean temperatures and excess nitrogen runoff from agriculture and fish farms. Scientists involved in the operation say the seaweed known as enteromorpha needs to be cleaned up before it decomposes on beaches and releases noxious gases. According to the domestic media, the green tide covers an area of 400 sq km. Newspapers ran pictures of coastguard officials raking up the gunk as soon as it reached the shore. As well as the 66 vessels sent to intercept the approaching algae, a net has been stretched offshore as an extra defence. Ten forklift trucks, seven lorries and 168 people were clearing up the many tonnes of seaweed that still got through. ...


Sounds blooming gross to me!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 3, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg:
Ohio lake's algae dangerous to swimmers, economy
Patches of green and turquoise slime floated like thick paint in the channel behind Kyle Biesel's home. His pontoon boat sat covered up, unused for weeks, on a wooden lift stained by the algae. A foul smell enveloped the backyard where he used to fish and watch blue herons glide over the water. He called it a "sickening combination of manure and propane gas." Even more alarming, tests reveal that the waters in Ohio's largest inland lake contain dangerous toxins with the potential to cause rashes, vomiting or even liver and nerve damage. State officials say it's no longer safe for swimming and skiing.... "We have reached a tipping point where the degraded nature of the lake is causing a significant loss to local businesses and the total livelihood of the region," the governor said in his letter. ... Grand Lake St. Marys is one of the state's most lakes polluted because of the fertilizer and manure that runs off from nearby farms and into creeks and streams flowing into the lake, feeding the algae that produces toxins. This year state environmental regulators have found a different species of algae that can produce up to seven different toxins. Water tests have shown there are low levels of two toxins that can affect the liver and nervous systems. ...


Better get down to it / algae's now cutting us down / should have been done long ago.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 30, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Nutrients, viruses and the biological carbon pump
Adding nutrients to the sea could decrease viral infection rates among phytoplankton and enhance the efficiency of the biological pump, a means by which carbon is transferred from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, according to a new mathematical modelling study. The findings, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, have implications for ocean geo-engineering schemes proposed for tackling global warming. Tiny free-floating algae called phytoplankton dominate biological production in the world's oceans and sit at the base of the marine food web. Their population dynamics are controlled by sunlight, nutrient availability, grazing by tiny planktonic animals (zooplankton) and mortality caused by viral infection. "Viruses are the most abundant organism in the world's oceans, and it is thought that all phytoplankton species are susceptible to infection. Our aim was to model the interaction between viruses, phytoplankton, zooplankton grazing and nutrient levels".... The researchers took an 'eco-epidemic' modelling approach, taking into account the mutual interaction between the effects of ecology and disease epidemiology. This approach has been used previously to model the effects of infection by pathogens on the population dynamics of mammals and invertebrate animals.... Artificial enhancement of the biological carbon pump by fertilizing the oceans with nutrients has been proposed as a possible geo-engineering 'fix' for global warming caused by the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources. "The decrease in viral infection rates caused by artificially adding nutrients to the sea could in the future benefit humans by increasing the efficiency of the biological carbon pump, making these proposed ocean geo-engineering schemes more viable," said Dr Rhodes. ...


As far as I know, extra nutrients never caused any problems anywhere else.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 24, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Giant China algae slick getting bigger: report
A floating expanse of green algae floating off China's eastern seaboard is growing and spreading further along the coast, state-run media has reported. The algae bloom has expanded by about 50 percent since it was first reported by state media earlier in the week to 320 square kilometres (120 square miles), or about four times the size of Hong Kong island, Xinhua news agency said.... Algae blooms are typically caused by pollution in China and suck up huge amounts of oxygen needed by marine wildlife to survive and leave a foul stench when they wash up on beaches.... According to a 2008 State Oceanic Administration report, raw sewage and pollution from agricultural run-off has polluted 83 percent of China's coastal waters, leading to algae and other problems. ...


I thought canaries in coal mines were birds.

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Tue, Mar 23, 2010
from Reuters, via DesdemonaDespair:
Uganda says pollution of Lake Victoria worsening
Pollution in parts of Lake Victoria is worsening so fast that soon it may be impossible to treat its waters enough to provide drinking water for the Ugandan capital, a senior official said Monday. The lake, east Africa's largest by area, also supplies water to millions in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania, and supports fishing communities in all three countries.... "The water has become so thick from effluent that is being discharged directly into the lake because the wetlands that used to filter it have all been destroyed by developers." Fisheries experts say heavy concentrations of pollutants are killing certain fish species. "As more algal blooms, phosphates, nitrates, heavy metals and fecal matter all pile into the lake, it's going to be harder and harder to clean the water," Sawula said. ...


The Queen Mum would not be pleased.

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Mon, Feb 15, 2010
from San Jose Mercury News:
Brown pelicans washing up dead and dying on California beaches
In an ocean mystery that is baffling marine biologists, at least 1,000 brown pelicans have turned up dead or in distress along California beaches during the past month, with hundreds overwhelming wildlife rescue centers from the Bay Area to San Diego. The popular birds, whose wing spans can reach 8 feet and who dramatically dive into ocean waters to scoop up fish, are widely reported to be hungry and disoriented. They also appear to have some kind of substance -- possibly a naturally occurring material from a red tide or other ocean conditions -- that is causing their feathers to lose insulation properties, exposing the birds' skin to cold water and hypothermia. ...


A red tide of brown birds.

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Sun, Dec 6, 2009
from Seattle Times:
Trying to crack an ocean mystery: What caused killer algal blooms?
The mysterious bird-killing algae that coated Washington's ocean beaches this fall with slimy foam was the biggest and longest-lasting harmful algal bloom to hit the Northwest coast. Now the phenomenon that killed at least 10,000 seabirds -- more than any known event of its kind -- has scientists consumed by questions: Was it a rogue occurrence, rarely if ever to be repeated, or a sign of some fundamental marine-world shift? And did we cause it?... The culprit this fall was a mushroom-shaped single-celled species, Akashiwo sanguinea, that has bloomed in Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay and saltwater from Europe to Australia and Japan without incident. But something here this time caused the cells to multiply rapidly and break open in a toxic foam. ...


Ya gotta think the seabirds are pretty puzzled, too.

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Thu, Nov 12, 2009
from Environmental Science and Technology:
Salt-loving algae wipe out fish in Appalachian stream
A salt-loving alga that killed tens of millions of fish in Texas has struck for the first time in an Appalachian stream that flows along the border of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prymnesium parvum or "golden alga" caused the sudden death of thousands of fish, mussels, and salamanders in early September along some 30 miles of Dunkard Creek. University and government scientists fear the disaster could presage further kills in the region. Streams at risk due to high concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) include portions of the northern branch of the Potomac River and 20 other streams in West Virginia, according to state scientists. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky also have many vulnerable rivers and streams, according to U.S. EPA scientists. ...


Golden Algae is the name of my cat!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 9, 2009
from Las Vegas Sun:
Quagga mussels a toxic threat to Lake Mead
...Years before they showed up in Southern Nevada, the little mollusks colonized the Great Lakes, and researchers there have found that the rise in their quagga populations correlates with increases in dangerous toxins. There are two reasons for this: poop and algae. Quaggas can poop poison pellets and can turn swaths of open lake into algae-filled dead zones. The scoop on the poop is this: Each mussel works like a tiny liver, absorbing toxins and heavy metals such as mercury, selenium, polychlorinated biphenyls (known as PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) from the lake water in a process called bioaccumulation. But quaggas are not content to do a good deed. They later expel those chemicals and metals -- in the form of a highly concentrated pellet. Those toxic pellets sink to the lake floor. ...


Can we introduce some little portajohns for them?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 9, 2009
from PhysOrg.com:
15,000 reasons to worry about invasive species
Candy Dailey spent a Fourth of July holiday splashing with grandkids on the sandy shore of Lake Metonga when she felt a nasty sting on her foot.... the culprit was a zebra mussel -- cuts from the razor-sharp shells have become as unremarkable as bee stings since the mussels invaded Dailey's lake eight years ago.... The natives of the Caspian Sea region first turned up in North America in the summer of 1988, thanks to overseas freighters' long-standing -- and ongoing -- practice of dumping their contaminated ballast water in the Great Lakes, which are now home to more than 185 non-native species.... Now, this ecological mess is spreading inland. ...


Those critters will mussel in, one way or another.

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Wed, Nov 4, 2009
from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute via ScienceDaily:
Deep-sea Ecosystems Affected By Climate Change
...Historically, many people, including marine scientists, have considered the abyssal plains, more than 2,000 meters below the sea surface, to be relatively isolated and stable ecosystems. However, according to Ken Smith, a marine ecologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and lead author of the recent PNAS article, changes in the Earth's climate can cause unexpectedly large changes in deep-sea ecosystems. ...


This news is abysmal!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 2, 2009
from National Geographic News:
Sea Slime Killing U.S. Seabirds
Hundreds of birds ... are washing up on the shores of the U.S. Pacific Northwest coated with a foamy sea slime, scientists say. The slime, which comes from algae blooms in the ocean, saps the waterproofing ability of the birds' feathers, experts say.... "Then they have to beach themselves, because they are cold and wet." Research suggests that recently, the blooms are larger, lasting longer, and happening with greater frequency.... "They are finding that the [nutrient] upwelling is happening at different times of the year than it used to," he said, "and that's because currents and weather are changing." ...


We don't want slime before its time.

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Mon, Sep 28, 2009
from Associated Press:
What's ugly, smells, kills dogs? Blue-green algae
Waterways across the upper Midwest are increasingly plagued with ugly, smelly and potentially deadly blue-green algae, bloomed by drought and fertilizer runoffs from farm fields, that's killed dozens of dogs and sickened many people. Aquatic biologists say it's a problem that falls somewhere between a human health concern and a nuisance, but will eventually lead to more human poisoning. State officials are telling people who live on algae-covered lakes to close their windows, stop taking walks along the picturesque shorelines and keep their dogs from drinking the rank water. Peggy McAloon, 62, lives on Wisconsin's Tainter Lake and calls the algae blooms the "cockroach on the water." ...


Doesn't have quite the same poetic ring as "canary in a coal mine" but it will do.

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Wed, Aug 19, 2009
from Press-Enterprise (CA):
10 million to 15 million fish die in Lake Elsinore
An estimated 10 million to 15 million tiny baitfish went belly up at Lake Elsinore last weekend, the worst fish die-off since 2002, officials said. Piles of dead threadfin shad still clogged the lake's shoreline Tuesday. In some spots, the stench was overpowering for drivers who had the misfortune of rolling down their windows down near the lake. Mass fish die-offs have been a historic problem at Lake Elsinore, more so than at other Inland lakes. A shallow, naturally occurring lake about 20 miles northwest of Temecula, Lake Elsinore is replenished by runoff and recycled water, unlike other area lakes that are actually man-made reservoirs and have water imported through aqueducts.... [T]he deaths appeared to come from a combination of the seasonal shrinking of the lake due to evaporation, an increase in water temperature to about 80 degrees and possibly an algae bloom. ...


Not apocalyptic... unless you're a shad in Lake Elsinore.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 11, 2009
from Globe and Mail:
Crown of Thorns starfish destroying Asian reefs
The predator starfish feeds on corals by spreading its stomach over them and using digestive enzymes to liquefy tissue. The researchers found large numbers of them in Halmahera, Indonesia, which lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle. During a research trip in December, they saw a stretch of reef measuring 10 kilometres in circumference completely wiped out. "It's quite a stark sight. The crown of thorns choose to eat some species, like staghorn corals, the branching corals disappear and you are left with just a rubble pit," Andrew Baird [said].... Dr. Baird said the outbreak was caused by poor water quality and could be an early warning of widespread reef decline. "Humans are exacerbating the problem because we put too many nutrients in the water," he said, referring to water pollution caused by sewerage and agriculture fertilizers. "There are lots of micro-algae and the larvae of the crown of thorns feed on the algae," said Dr. Baird, who was involved in the study. ...


The larvae know not what they do.

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Mon, Aug 10, 2009
from Living on Earth:
Rock Snot
Algae blooms are usually problems for warm waters laden with excess nutrients. But they're now popping up in waters considered icons of environmental health cold, clear, trout and salmon streams. The alga didymo is spreading quickly, -- it's better known by its nickname -- rock snot.... If the name rock snot is not bad enough, consider its appearance. It's often described as looking like a sewage spill with wet toilet paper streaming in the water... Amy Smagula, a biologist with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, walks to the river to pick up samples of the invader. ...


Excuse me, but doesn't "Smagula" sorta sound like a Latin term for "rock snot"?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jun 16, 2009
from New York Times:
An Unsightly Algae Extends Its Grip to a Crucial New York Stream
The Esopus Creek, a legendary Catskill Mountain fly fishing stream that is an integral part of New York City's vast upstate drinking water system, is one of the latest bodies of water to be infected with Didymosphenia geminata, a fast-spreading single-cell algae that is better known to fishermen and biologists around the world as rock snot.... Didymo has a natural tendency to grow upstream in fast-moving rivers and creeks, but it can spread by clinging to fishing equipment, especially the felt-bottom waders that fly fishermen use to keep from slipping on river bottoms.... Even more worrisome, when kept in a cool, damp place -- like the trunk of a car -- Didymo can survive for 90 days in a felt sole, Dr. Spaulding said. Didymo presents other mysteries. Its destructive blooms are not set off by excess nutrients in the water -- often from human byproducts -- the way other algae booms are. Didymo can bloom in waters that are nearly pristine. ...


Fishermen: boogers are not a good lure.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jun 5, 2009
from CBC (Canada):
How much fertilizer can a river take?
Every year, some of P.E.I.'s rivers and streams end up starved of the oxygen marine animals need. Huge blooms of sea lettuce grow and then rot, sucking the oxygen out of the water, causing fish and other creatures to die in what's called anoxic conditions. Mike van den Heuvel of the Canadian Rivers Institute at UPEI has been looking at the example of the Wilmot River near Summerside, where the equivalent of several pickup trucks full of fertilizer is going into the water every day. Van den Heuvel, who is being consulted by the government, is one of the scientists trying to find that safe level of nitrates for Island rivers. While that level has not been established, he told CBC News Thursday too much is making its way into some rivers, and if changes aren't made, the consequences could be dire. "Ultimately it could have effects on economically important industries. For example, the mussel farming industry depends on the estuaries," said van den Heuvel. "Also tourism is also a very important industry for P.E.I., and smelly anoxic estuaries are not really a big draw for tourists." ...


This one is just gasping "less, and less, and less..."

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 18, 2009
from New Scientist:
Ultrasound weapon wipes out toxic algal blooms
Blooms of algae in lakes and seas, sometimes called red tides, can release neurotoxins into the food chain or suffocate the local ecology by sucking up too much oxygen. When one occurs, the safest option is usually just to wait for the bloom to clear of its own accord, but now scientists at the University of Hull, UK, think they have found a way to put a stop to these deadly algal explosions- by exposing them to blasts of ultrasound. The use of ultrasound has been explored before, but with mixed results. That may be because the mechanism was not well understood, say Michiel Postema and his colleagues, who successfully used ultrasound to kill off algae. Postema believes it affects buoyancy cells, known as heterocysts, which keep the algae afloat by enclosing a bubble of nitrogen gas. He reckons the ultrasound pressure wave causes the gas in the cells to resonate. At high intensity it bursts the cell, and the algae sink. "Without sunlight they will then die," he says.... The ultrasound could be targeted to specific species of algae, because the resonant frequency of heterocysts varies from species to species in accordance with their size. What's more, such a measure should not damage ordinary water-filled plant cells, which are relatively impervious to pressure waves. ...


Tiny bubbles... in the green... tiny bubbles... bursting free

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Mar 12, 2009
from Science Daily (US):
Climate Change Reduces Nutritional Value Of Algae
Dutch researchers wanted to know whether an increased CO2 concentration exerted an influence on underwater life. They therefore examined freshwater micro-algae: small, floating and mostly unicellular algae. The experiments were performed in large tanks called limnotrons. These were aerated with ordinary air or with air containing an elevated concentration of CO2. The researchers then examined the ratio between the important elements carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.... The micro-algae grew faster at a higher CO2 concentration, exactly as the researchers had expected. Yet this growth was also associated with a change in the composition of the algae. The algae cultured at a higher CO2 concentration contained relatively more carbon and relatively less phosphorous. This meant a reduction in the nutritional value, which could have detrimental effects upon the small animals that eat the algae such as water fleas. These in turn form food for fish, for example. As they are the first link in the underwater food chain, the algae ultimately influence the entire ecosystem. ...


C'mon, with all the algal blooms happening, there'll be lots more for the water fleas to eat!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 11, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Fears for ocean life as tanker loses toxic load
A ship carrying 60 containers of ammonium nitrate, used for making fertiliser and explosives, has lost an estimated 31 containers overboard and is leaking fuel in rough seas off Australia's northeast coast. Marine experts fear if the missing containers leak, the spill could create algae blooms which would choke marine life in Moreton Bay near the city of Brisbane... Three tonnes of ammonium nitrate spilt on the ship's deck when the containers broke loose.... "The risk of the impact (of the ammonium nitrate) is nitrification, which is algae blooms," Mr Smith told local media. "Ammonium nitrate is very soluble, so once it gets wet, it will dissolve fairly quickly." ...


Algae is so pretty when it blooms.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
from San Jose Mercury News:
At least 500,000 gallons spewed in Sausalito sewage spill
A broken pipe gushed at least 500,000 gallons of partially treated sewage into San Francisco Bay by Wednesday afternoon as Sausalito sanitary plant officials worked to get the spill capped more than 24 hours after it was spotted.... Workers in wetsuits placed a metal "saddle" around the 24-inch-wide pressure pipeline resting along the shore below the Fort Baker treatment plant to redirect wastewater back into the plant.... After several hours of unsuccessful attempts to plug the 2 1/2-inch hole before being submerged, the leak was allowed to continue overnight until work continued Wednesday morning.... [The Councilman] blamed the problem on "an incredibly leaky, neglected collection system" and "small banana-republic sewer districts" afraid to do anything because of rate increases. ...


The Banana Republic of Marin County?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Feb 11, 2009
from Reuters:
Can algae save the world - again?
Can algae save the world again? The microscopic green plants cleaned up the earth's atmosphere millions of years ago and scientists hope they can do it now by helping remove greenhouse gases and create new oil reserves. In the distant past, algae helped turn the earth's then inhospitable atmosphere into one that could support modern life through photosynthesis, which plants use to turn carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars and oxygen. Some of the algae sank to sea or lake beds and slowly became oil. "All we're doing is turning the clock back," says Steve Skill, a biochemist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. "Nature has done this many millions of years ago in producing the crude oil we're burning today. So as far as nature is concerned this is nothing new," he said. The race is now on to find economic ways to turn algae, one of the planet's oldest life forms, into vegetable oil that can be made into biodiesel, jet fuel, other fuels and plastic products. ...


...(sigh) yeah they can do it... but they won't be happy about it!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Sep 20, 2008
from AP News:
Scientists monitor growing Lake Erie algae bloom
Giant floating fields of algae are back in strength this year on Lake Erie and scientists are trying to figure out why. The blooms of the pea-soup colored algae -- so big they've been showing on satellite photos -- are toxic to fish and small animals and irritating to humans. The lake once notorious for its pollution is cleaner than ever, yet the algae continues to thrive.... "It's now blooming in the proportions that it was in the bad old days of the 1960s and early '70s," Bridgeman said. "There's a mystery to it because the lake seemed to be getting cleaner, but now the algal blooms are worse." ...


Someday, someday Lake Erie will really be clean. It may be, however, long after we're all dead.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 10, 2008
from Great Falls Connection:
Lake Marmota Reaches "Tipping Point"
[Amy Stephan] said she could tell a number of neighbors and upstream homeowners had taken advantage of beautiful weather one weekend earlier in the season and had fertilized their lawns, because by Thursday, there were four inches of algae on the pond. When it dies, she said, the algae can create dead zones lacking oxygen and also smother life on the floor of the lake. The bacteria that feed on dead algae can use up all the oxygen in the water where they are present. ...


Green lawns on land and water.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 14, 2008
from Telegraph-Journal (Canada):
Lake Utopia's toxic algal bloom
The blue-green algae, he said, is caused by increased nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which come from a variety of sources. Fox said the increase could be an accumulation of many factors, including the flow from a canal that flows from the man-made headpond created by a power dam, automatic dishwater soap flowing into the water, the Cooke Aquaculture hatchery located on the lake, fertilizers people are using to grow grass on their lawns, leaky sewage systems and recreational boating.... Cleary advised that drinking the water could result in a "pretty nasty effect" of nausea and diarrhea and possibly death... The doctor explained that while humans probably wouldn't choose to swim in the scummy areas of the water or swallow it, animals don't know any better and should not be permitted to swim in the lake. ...


Ouch. We can no longer drink from
the waters of Utopia.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Aug 9, 2008
from Baltimore Sun (US):
Algal Bloom: Crabs suffocating in Middle River
John Neukam has been catching crabs in pots near the Middle River for decades. But this year, the crabs have been dying in the water, suffocated by a bright green algae bloom that is choking off oxygen and worrying watermen and recreational boaters. "You crab all week, you get a bushel and a half in your live box, and they die," said Neukam, after checking his pots yesterday morning. "I've been here all my life -- 64 years -- and we've only had this one other time, when fertilizer from a farm seeped into the cove." ...


Dead zones:
they're not just for cellphones anymore.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jul 9, 2008
from NOAA, via EurekAlert:
Aerosol toxins from red tides may cause long-term health threat
NOAA scientists reported in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that an algal toxin commonly inhaled in sea spray, attacks and damages DNA in the lungs of laboratory rats.... The scientists, led by John Ramsdell of NOAA's Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, S.C., determined that brevetoxins react with DNA of lung tissue and attach to the DNA-bases that code genetic information. The linkage of chemicals in the environment to DNA is a first step for many cancer causing agents and can lead to mutations in genes that normally prevent the formation of cancers. ...


Aaaah. Get a whiff of that salt air!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jun 28, 2008
from Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand):
Algal sludge greets Olympic sailors
... in Qingdao, the 2008 Olympic sailing venue, this week for a training camp only to find the sailing course blighted by tonnes of the algae.... Astonishing photos taken by coaching staff show conditions that create the illusion the sailors -- world No 1 men's pair Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page and women's crew Tessa Parkinson and Elise Rechichi -- are training on a lush green lawn instead of open blue water.... "We're not exactly sure what sort of algae it is, but it's not kelp -- it's very fluffy and spongy. It looks like the guys are sailing on grass." ... "This week, their boat's called Dead Calm -- quite appropriate, really, given the circumstances," Browne joked. ...


"Calm" is not how we think of it, in the Apocadocs context.

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Mon, Jun 23, 2008
from Environment News Service:
Toxic Algae Poisons Klamath River and Two Reservoirs
In 2004, the Karuk Tribe determined that the massive blooms of blue-green algae behind PacifiCorp's Iron Gate and Copco dams was the toxic algae Microcystis aeruginosa. This algae secretes a potent liver toxin known as microcystin. Since the discovery, tests of these reservoirs have shown some of the highest recorded levels of the toxic algae in the world ... can exceed water quality standards set by the World Health Organization by as much as 4,000 times. ...


PacifiCorp brags: "One of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the US."

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Fri, Apr 25, 2008
from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, via Science Daily:
Significant "Red Tide" Season Predicted For 2008 Based On Computer Models And Observations
A combination of abundant beds of algal seeds and excess winter precipitation have set the stage for a harmful algal bloom similar to the historic "red tide" of 2005, according to researchers from WHOI and NC State. The 2005 bloom shut down shellfish beds from the Bay of Fundy to Martha's Vineyard for several months and caused an estimated $50 million in losses to the Massachusetts shellfish industry alone. The weather patterns over the next few weeks will determine whether this year's algal growth approaches the troubles of 2005.... The algae are notorious for producing a toxin that accumulates in clams, mussels, and other shellfish and can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans who consume them. ...


Oh, man, you mean the Neocons win again? I'm so sick of red tides.

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Thu, Jan 10, 2008
from ScienceDaily:
Humans Have Caused Profound Changes In Caribbean Coral Reefs
"Coral reefs in the Caribbean have suffered significant changes due to the proximal effects of a growing human population, reports a new study. "It is well acknowledged that coral reefs are declining worldwide but the driving forces remain hotly debated," said author Camilo Mora at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada...The study showed clearly that the number of people living in close proximity to coral reefs is the main driver of the mortality of corals, loss of fish biomass and increases in macroalgae abundance. "The continuing degradation of coral reefs may be soon beyond repair, if threats are not identified and rapidly controlled," Mora said." ...


As Yogi the cartoon bear would say:
"Boo Boo, it's dj v-boo
all over again."

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