Oh, Shell!

As someone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and, as a rite of passage, took a basic oceanography course at UDub, I’ve followed reports of ocean acidification for the past five years or so. I’ve seen film of the deep water creatures of Puget Sound coming up into shallow water, gasping for oxygen that’s no longer there.

This 7 March 2010 news story just provides a recap of the current unpleasant news: “Growing Low-oxygen Zones in Oceans Worry Scientists”

The story didn’t surprise me. Unfortunately, neither did a number of the comments beneath the story, including this one:

i guess Al Gore was involved in this study. Why is it this has suddenly cropped up? Just out of the blue, no previous press, study updates, funding by just boom, “OMG the oceans are being depleted”………BS

Suddenly cropped up, out of the blue, no previous press?

Google brought up 275,000 results for “ocean acidification.”

Google Scholar brought up 28,200 results for “ocean acidification.”

The college database Academic Search Premier brought up 206 peer-reviewed results for “ocean acidification.” Most of these were published after 2005.

Even a search of Google News brought up 155 articles, including what look to be articles from well-organized rebuttal sites.

Then there are also quite well known books that touch on this subject. For example here’s a parenthetical comment by Dr. Peter D. Ward of the UDub’s Biology and Earth Science department in his 2007 book Under a Green Sky:

Alarmingly this [ocean acidification] is occurring in our world in the Arctic Ocean, now so acidic that one group of mollusks, the pteropods, which are important in the food chain, are going extinct as their shells dissolve off their backs, as described by John Raven of the University of Dundee in Scotland and his colleagues in 2005. (121)

For a situation that’s gotten no press, ocean acidification has sure gotten a lot of press.

Cassandra

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One Response to “Oh, Shell!”

  1. stephy Says:

    Oh crazy…I’m in Seattle near the UW incidentally. I found your blog from the Colorado Springs/Obamaville article we both commented on…anyway, that has nothing to do with the acidification but it’s fascinating to me which stupid stuff gets tons of press and what important stuff doesn’t.

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