Best of our wild blogs: 23 Oct 17



28 Oct (Sat): Mangrove fun at Pasir Ris for the Parks Festival
wild shores of singapore


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Two studies launched to monitor marine trash in Singapore

KELLY NG Today Online 22 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE — Efforts to track the growing problem of marine trash are gathering pace, with local researchers to conduct two studies that will help uncover the state of microplastic pollution here.

The International Coastal Cleanup, Singapore, is partnering the National Parks Board to monitor debris and microplastics at nine coastal sites such as East Coast Park, Coney Island and Sisters’ Island Marine Park.

The two-year study will involve monthly sampling of larger microplastic particles, measuring between 1mm and 5mm, with the help of the community. It aims to uncover seasonal trends of marine pollution through a more representative database.

Currently, data on marine waste here is only tabulated during the annual cleanup event held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup in September. Items picked up from other coastal clean-up events held during the rest of the year are not monitored.

According to figures from the last five years, foam pieces, plastic beverage bottles and cigarette butts are the top three items found.

Last year, the 10 most-collected items of marine trash all contained some form of plastic. Various animals, such as horseshoe crabs and seahorses, were also found entangled in fishing nets, according to last year’s data.

While existing data offers a snapshot of the marine waste situation in Singapore, the upcoming study will provide “higher resolution data” that can help stakeholders trace the source of waste, said Mr N Sivasothi, who leads the cleanup effort in Singapore.

Microplastics, which generally range from 10 nanometres to 5mm in size, have generated growing concern among scientists due to their sheer pervasiveness and effects that are not yet fully known. The Guardian reported in September that researchers found 83 per cent of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations contaminated with plastic fibres.

Microplastics may originate from weathered remnants of larger plastic waste and other products — such as microbeads in cosmetic products, microfibers from synthetic fabrics during the laundry process and rubber debris from vehicle tyres.

In a separate study, Singapore has joined forces with nine other countries in the Western Pacific to develop a standard protocol for monitoring plastic particles that have accumulated on stretches of beaches.

The result of a workshop on marine microplastics organised by the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific in September, the initiative will include detailed procedures for handling and categorising the plastic particles picked up, the tools to use, and sampling sites in each partner country.

The sampling sites in Singapore include the beaches at Changi and East Coast, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Hantu and Lazarus Island.

The other countries involved are Bangladesh, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The latter five countries are the source of 55 to 60 per cent of plastic polluting the oceans, according to a recent study by advocacy group, the Ocean Conservancy.

Among the participating countries, only China and South Korea have existing laws to combat plastic pollution. China bans marine dumping while South Korea bans the use of microbeads in cosmetics. They are also the only two countries that have published data on plastic waste.

The 10 countries will reconvene next September to report the status of microplastic pollution and discuss ways to enhance monitoring efforts, such as by expanding the scope of sampling to include surface waters and plastics consumed by animals.

National University of Singapore Chemistry professor Dr Suresh Valiyaveettil, who specialises in plastics research, said a concerted effort to monitor marine trash will help to improve design solutions and regulations to minimise local sources of such waste.

“It would be nice to introduce plastic-free days in a week throughout Singapore, provide alternate paper products or (encourage consumers to) carry (their) own containers…Like the European Union, we could set up machines in supermarkets (for consumers to) return the empty cans and bottles,” said Dr Valiyaveettil, who spoke at a public workshop on plastic pollution last Thursday (Oct 19).

Dr Serena Teo, deputy director of research at the Tropical Marine Science Institute said beyond monitoring, the Republic should do more to develop “sustainable solutions to replace and reduce use of plastic and other poorly degradable materials”.

“Monitoring and clean-up is all fine and good, but the time has come to take a big step further as we produce plastic faster than we can ever hope to clear up. So on the technology and industry end, we seriously need to ramp up efforts,” she said. “Otherwise, the efforts of the many (members of the) public who are trying to clean up is futile… We have to also ask ourselves what useful things can we do with all the plastic waste after it is collected.”


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AVA testing laser devices to ease din of roosting birds

Ng Jun Sen Straits Times 23 Oct 17;

Lasers may soon be used to combat the noise and nuisance caused by wild birds roosting, with one trial conducted by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) recently, though pest control firms expressed doubts about their usefulness.

The use of such Class 3A handheld laser devices by AVA officers is not meant to kill or blind wild birds such as Javan mynahs, pigeons and house crows. Instead, the laser beams are aimed around the birds to scare them away.

AVA said the trial was one of various mitigation methods it is testing.

With a power output of up to five milliwatts, Class 3A lasers are the most powerful type that do not require a licence to use, possess or import, according to the National Environment Agency website.

AVA was responding to questions after The Straits Times discovered a flight notice issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore cautioning airmen of a bird control trial being conducted in the Potong Pasir area from Sept 28 to Oct 1.

Residents in the area, including the private Sennett Estate, have complained about the noise caused by roosting mynahs in the trees there. AVA said it had received more than 10 complaints so far this year.

Lasers were brought into the picture after other efforts, such as the selective pruning of trees or regular disposal of food waste that may attract birds, did not pay off.

AVA said the use of lasers is not new here - they have been used to scatter birds at Changi Airport, and as part of AVA's other bird management trials.

The method is non-lethal, humane and has zero noise emission, and studies have shown that its effectiveness differs across bird species. Some species may become accustomed to the lasers following repeated application, AVA added.

But bird control specialists expressed scepticism about using lasers as a passive bird control measure, citing their own trials.

PestBusters chief executive officer Thomas Fernandez said his firm tested and gave up on bird control "laser guns" around five years ago.

"We were very eager and excited when we had our laser guns, but they just didn't work for us. We were able to affect a few crows, but it was not enough to get rid of them all," said Mr Fernandez.

These lasers, he added, are effective only for a while and when light levels are low enough for the beam to stand out.

Ms Gloria Ngoi, business development manager at bird control firm Mastermark, said Singapore also has tight regulations against the use of high-powered lasers, which limit the range of such handheld laser devices.

But while the lasers' effectiveness may be limited, Ms Ngoi said the trial allows AVA to add "another toy into the tool chest of available methods" used to manage bird issues.


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Timely landing by Singapore Airlines for farmers in the Kranji countryside

Why would a big player like Singapore Airlines team up with local farmers? Kranji Countryside Association’s Manda Foo explains why this a step forward for sustainability.
Manda Foo Channel NewsAsia 22 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE: Earlier this week, the Kranji Countryside Association announced its partnership with our national carrier Singapore Airlines to launch a new initiative that incorporates the use of Singapore produce in their inflight meals.

Those who follow the agricultural scene and stories in Singapore know that it is often one of hardship and uncertainty – can farmland in Singapore be saved despite growing urbanisation? Can our farms attract young talent to carry on? Is local agriculture even worth talking about with such a small producer base and industry?

So this tie up with Singapore Airlines comes to many as a big surprise. Some have asked, with all the world their playground and large farms with high economies and standards to choose from, why would a big player like Singapore Airlines look at local farms, most of which are small and family-run?

But this unlikely marriage of a global airline and local farmers is a step in the right direction for Singapore’s sustainability.

1. SUSTAINABILITY NEEDS A “THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL” APPROACH


Among big businesses, governments, academics and civil society voices, there is growing consensus that the complex and inter-connected issues of food security, environmental sustainability and climate change requires all stakeholders to “think global” but “act local”.

This means having a pulse on world trends and affairs, but creating solutions that are actionable and impactful. That is why big businesses in the agri-food space have been engaging small local communities for some time now.

Sime Darby, Syngenta and Whole Foods, for example, all have policies and partnerships with smallholder farmers that are meant to empower them, whether they are contract-suppliers or customers of these businesses.

Agriculture and aviation are the largest contributors to greenhouse gases and global warming. In solutions to improve the health of our earth, airlines and farmers therefore have massive roles to play.

As a global industry leader, Singapore Airlines’ most recent commitment to reduce food miles and tighten the sustainability standards of its food sources is an important statement.

The partnership with the Kranji Countryside Association, which has 48 member farms in Singapore, is particularly poignant. It indicates that the airline is not only looking at large local players that have the firepower for global sustainability audits and certifications, marketing and branding, but also at smaller players that have an aspiration to get there.

Many farms in Singapore produce safe, nutritious and good quality produce but are overlooked because of their small size – this partnership gives opportunities to the farms that wish to punch above their weight and get propelled to the global stage through an alternate route.

Singapore Airlines coming back to our country’s agrarian roots is an exemplary example of how it’s making a global impact with our local community.

I can only expect that other airlines will soon follow suit. My hope is that this partnership is the start of a trend that will see local produce sought after and farmers’ work valued like it is in other developed countries – as a valuable sector that nourishes people and enables others to scale greater heights.

2. SUSTAINABILITY IS ABOUT DIVERSITY

Another reason why I think empowering local farmers is a significant move for environmental and food sustainability is the role of smallholder farmers in preserving agricultural diversity.

In the last 100 years, the world has lost 80 per cent of agricultural crop diversity, with 2 per cent of crop genetic resources being wiped out annually. Maize, wheat and rice account for more than 60 per cent of the world’s caloric intake, despite there being more than 50,000 varieties of edible plants available.

Climate tolerance, robustness, nutrition and flavour all depend on genetic diversity and the loss of it will lead to food quality stagnating and declining.

Homogenous agriculture can threaten local food supplies. The worrying thing is that massive industrial farms and modern food supply chains are catalysing this trend, and few people know what is happening or how to help the situation.

Luckily for us in Asia, smallholder farmers still number around 500 million and they produce 80 per cent of our food.

Urbanites in Singapore may not find such a huge variety of vegetables or meat because we rely primarily on imports coming through large supply chains, but there is a whole forest of available types of food beyond the supermarket.

Singapore’s local farmers are producing many of these alternative foods: Edible indigenous flowers, leaves and herbs, goat’s milk, frog meat, and quail meat and eggs are just a few examples.

Restaurants have gradually been sourcing these specialty foods from our local farmers over the years, and consumers learning more about them through their flight on Singapore Airlines will be a great boost to the farmers.

Ultimately, helping our local farmers stay in business and pass on their trade to the next generation will act as a balance to the cheaper homogenous food imports that dominate our market, and at the same time improve our self-reliance with a more rounded and robust local agricultural industry.

3. SUSTAINABILITY IS A CONSUMER DEMAND

To be sure, one pain point we often hear of is higher prices local produce in Singapore fetch, compared to mass, overseas producers.

Yet, gone are the days when consumers only look at price when they shop. With a larger, more educated, better travelled middle-class in the region, more are looking for things beyond the price tag.

Some say locally grown foods can spoil faster, because they have less preservatives that make them last, and options may be limited based on what is available seasonally.

But provenance and ethics are coming into play for consumers. Sustainability is now a consumer demand and that is fundamentally why big businesses are changing many of their policies.

Well-heeled consumers have proven that they will pay more for food that they deem healthier for themselves and for the planet, and with fewer negative externalities and collateral damage. The rise of the organic food movement and the increasing boycott of sharks’ fin are cases in point.

Cutting down livestock consumption, another trend, is not only good for one’s health but also good for the environment – the popular “meatless Monday” consumer movement and Singapore Airlines' wider variety of vegetarian options are all responses to the spread of such knowledge, and encouraging signs that consumers can be part of the solution with the way they spend.

There are bound to be skeptics who will question the sincerity of Singapore Airlines’ move to support local farmers and the impact it will ultimately make on the small local agriculture industry.

However, my belief is that these emerging trends will help catalyse the industry's transformation.

Farming is not a sunset industry. It is an essential pursuit that deserves the highest respect; it is high time that Singapore Airlines made its landing in the Kranji Countryside.

Manda Foo is executive secretary for the Kranji Countryside Association.
Source: CNA/sl


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NEA to audit waste at food places, malls and hotels

Data obtained will be used to develop programmes to cut waste; audit lasting till mid-2019 may cover 150 premises
Samantha Boh Straits Times 23 Oct 17;

As the nation's battle against food waste intensifies, the authorities are making sure they know their enemy better.

In December, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is expected to start a waste audit of shopping malls, hotels, supermarkets, hawker centres, food manufacturing and food catering establishments, as well as food warehouses.

The project, which will end in mid-2019, will categorise approximately 100kg samples of the waste, according to documents seen by The Straits Times.

The food waste will be split into categories such as meat, fruit and vegetables, bones and shells, and homogeneous food waste, which includes soya bean waste and coffee grounds, and then weighed.

"The data obtained from the waste audit will help NEA establish the potential for reducing the amount of food waste disposed of and develop programmes to reduce waste in Singapore," the agency said.

It has called a tender to conduct the waste audit, which will close at the end of the month.

More than 150 premises could be audited, with the majority being food manufacturing and catering establishments, and food warehouses. The exact number will be finalised after the tender is awarded.

EXTENT OF FOOD WASTE
10% Percentage of food waste in the total waste generated.

14% Percentage of food waste that is recycled here.

790,000 Tonnes of food wasted last year.

Food waste accounts for about 10 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore, and only 14 per cent is recycled. The amount generated has also climbed by about 40 per cent over the last 10 years.

Last year, more than 790,000 tonnes of food was wasted - equivalent to two bowls of rice per person a day.

NEA has waged war on several fronts, including education campaigns to cut waste at home and the installation of food waste digesters, which turn waste into non-potable water or compost, at schools and hawker centres.

Associate Professor Tong Yen Wah, from the National University of Singapore (NUS), said that the audit will help NEA in deciding on whether it is feasible to install food waste digesters, and on the kind of digesters to use, among other things.

Food waste digesters can convert food waste to non-potable water, compost, or biogas to generate electricity.

"For instance, carbohydrates, like rice, are more suitable than vegetables for anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms are used to convert the waste into biogas," said Prof Tong, who is from the NUS department of chemical and biomolecular engineering and has done research into food waste for more than five years.

Ms Jen Teo, executive director of the Singapore Environment Council, noted that food waste can be burnt to produce energy, but a lot of food waste here has high water content.

She added that "high-fibre goods like wheat and sugarcane burn well while durian shells do not".

Knowing the type and source of food waste can also help in developing initiatives to reduce food waste at its source, she said.

"For example, initiatives at foodcourts to reduce waste could be as simple as having vendors serve smaller meal portions or encouraging customers to ask for less rice so they can finish what they are served."


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Malaysia: Conference on Heart of Borneo a platform for biodiversity experts

OLIVIA MIWIL New Straits Times 23 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: The 9th International Conference on Heart of Borneo (HoB) to be held here will serve as sharing platform among biodiversity experts.

In a statement, Sabah Forestry Department said this year marked 10th year of HoB’s initiatives.

The initiative is a programme formed through a joint declaration between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2007 to spur conservation efforts promoting a network of protected areas, sustainable management of forests and land uses.

“The conference will re-assess major activities that are critical to HoB and the responsibilities of stakeholders by key sectors.

“It is also to streamline and coordinate actions towards realising the HoB initiative.”

During the programme, there will be a keynote address from conservation leaders and a plenary session on “The Accomplishments of a Decade-Transboundary Management”.

The two-day programme, which begins tomorrow, will be launched by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

About 900 participants from various sectors locally and internationally, including students from higher learning institutions, had been invited for the programme.

Forty-two speakers are expected to give their speeches at the conference.

There will also be a signing of eight Memoranda of Understanding between the state government, represented by Sabah Forestry Department, and various parties.


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Philippines: Plastic wastes focus of marine convention on migratory species

Roy Mabasa Manila Bulletin 22 Oct 17;

The Philippines will take the center stage when representatives from some 120 countries gather today in Manila for the 12thConference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the first ever in Asia.

“We have to struggle everywhere with the effects of plastic pollution and work furiously on the rescue of animals entangled in plastic items. However, this has little effect if we cannot stop the influx of plastic waste entering the oceans in the first place,” said Fabienne McLellan of OceanCare, a Switzerland-based marine conservation organization.

CMS, also known as Bonn Convention, is a UN Agreement on animal species whose populations regularly cross national borders on their migrations, including migratory birds, terrestrial species like elephants and lions, and marine species such as cetaceans, sharks and turtles. The Agreement aims for close cooperation of relevant states who share a species’ range, which includes reproduction and foraging areas, as well as migration routes.

In a study conducted in 2015 by the Washington DC-based Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines was listed as the third highest producer of plastic wastes thrown into the ocean after China and Indonesia.

She said the CMS will call on member-states to step up their efforts not just against plastic pollution, but also on other issues like underwater noise, hunting of aquatic animals, and in the conservation of marine migratory species.

“Our vision and passion is to put n end to the age of single-use plastic and reduce the amount of plastic debris ending up in our oceans,” said Mclellan who will lead the discussion on the plastic pollution issue.

With vast quantities of debris thst are entering the world’s oceans each year, she said “millions of marine animals, from fish, sea birds, turtles, sharks to great whales, are trapped, injured and killed by marine debris.”

These animals, Mclellan added, are increasingly living in a “plastic soup that they ingest or become entangled in.”

OceanCare regards underwater noise and marine plastic pollution as the most pressing challenges for international cooperation to develop conservation measures.

Another issue of great concern to the CMS is the increasing hunt for marine species for human consumption, including cetaceans, sirenians, turtles and crocodiles, to compensate for declining fisheries resources in some regions of West Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America.

“We are excited about this partnership. There is an urgent need to work together with stakeholders and communities in the region to bring back the balance of the marine ecosystem which will make people and wildlife become the winners. Time is pressing“ comments Sigrid L├╝ber, President of OceanCare.
Joining Mclellan in the five-day CMS meet are two other OceanCare experts, Nicolas Entrup and Joanna Toole, who will lead the discussion on underwater noise and the increasing hunt for marine species for human consumption.

“Sustainable fisheries management is crucial for restoring the subsistence of local fishing communities. We hope to cooperate on all levels, with government representatives, international fora, and above all local people, to restore the balance of the marine ecosystem and to efficiently protect endangered species from hunting”, Toole said.


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More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

Roger Harrabin BBC 23 Oct 17;

All sea life will be affected because carbon dioxide emissions from modern society are making the oceans more acidic, a major new report will say.

The eight-year study from more than 250 scientists finds that infant sea creatures will be especially harmed.

This means the number of baby cod growing to adulthood could fall to a quarter or even a 12th of today's numbers, the researchers suggest.

The assessment comes from the BIOACID project, which is led from Germany.

A brochure summarising the main outcomes will be presented to climate negotiators at their annual meeting, which this year is taking place in Bonn in November.

The Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification report authors say some creatures may benefit directly from the chemical changes - but even these could still be adversely affected indirectly by shifts in the whole food web.

What is more, the research shows that changes through acidification will be made worse by climate change, pollution, coastal development, over-fishing and agricultural fertilisers.

Ocean acidification is happening because as CO2 from fossil fuels dissolves in seawater, it produces carbonic acid and this lowers the pH of the water.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the average pH of global ocean surface waters have fallen from pH 8.2 to 8.1.
This represents an increase in acidity of about 26%.

The study's lead author is Prof Ulf Riebesell from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel.

He is a world authority on the topic and has typically communicated cautiously about the effects of acidification.

He told BBC News: "Acidification affects marine life across all groups, although to different degrees.

"Warm-water corals are generally more sensitive than cold-water corals. Clams and snails are more sensitive than crustaceans.

"And we found that early life stages are generally more affected than adult organisms.

"But even if an organism isn't directly harmed by acidification it may be affected indirectly through changes in its habitat or changes in the food web.

"At the end of the day, these changes will affect the many services the ocean provides to us."

On the agenda

Since 2009, scientists working under the BIOACID programme have studied how marine creatures are affected by acidification during different life stages; how these reactions reverberate through the marine food web; and whether the challenges can be mitigated by evolutionary adaptation.

Some research was done in the lab but other studies were conducted in the North Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic, and Papua New Guinea.

A synthesis of more than 350 publications on the effects of ocean acidification - which will be given to climate delegates at next month's summit - reveals that almost half of the marine animal species tested reacted negatively to already moderate increases in seawater CO2 concentrations.

Early life stages were affected in Atlantic cod, blue mussels, starfish, sea urchins and sea butterflies.

But an experiment with barnacles showed they were not sensitive to acidification. And some plants - like algae which use carbon for photosynthesis - may even benefit.

Dr Carol Turley, an ocean acidification expert from Plymouth Marine Labs in the UK described the BIOACID research as enormously important.

She told BBC News: "It's contributed enormous insights into the impacts that acidification can have on a wide range of marine organisms from microbes to fish.

"It's also explored how in combination with ocean warming and other stressors it might play out at the ecosystem level and affect human society.

"On the lead-up to the UN climate change negotiations in Bonn this November it is clear that the ocean and its ecosystems should not be ignored."

The conference is being held in Germany but it is being chaired by Fiji, which wants delegates to give due prominence to the effects of CO2 on the ocean.

Ocean acidification is deadly threat to marine life, finds eight-year study
Plastic pollution, overfishing, global warming and increased acidification from burning fossil fuels means oceans are increasingly hostile to marine life
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 23 Oct 17;

If the outlook for marine life was already looking bleak – torrents of plastic that can suffocate and starve fish, overfishing, diverse forms of human pollution that create dead zones, the effects of global warming which is bleaching coral reefs and threatening coldwater species – another threat is quietly adding to the toxic soup.

Ocean acidification is progressing rapidly around the world, new research has found, and its combination with the other threats to marine life is proving deadly. Many organisms that could withstand a certain amount of acidification are at risk of losing this adaptive ability owing to pollution from plastics, and the extra stress from global warming.

The conclusions come from an eight-year study into the effects of ocean acidification which found our increasingly acid seas – a byproduct of burning fossil fuels – are becoming more hostile to vital marine life.

“Since ocean acidification happens extremely fast compared to natural processes, only organisms with short generation times, such as micro-organisms, are able to keep up,” the authors of the study Exploring Ocean Change: Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification found.

Marine life such as crustaceans and organisms that create calcified shelters for themselves in the oceans were thought to be most at risk, because acid seas would hinder them forming shells. However, the research shows that while these are in danger, perhaps surprisingly, some – such as barnacles – are often unaffected, while the damage from acidification is also felt much higher up the food chain, into big food fish species.

Ocean acidification can reduce the survival prospects of some species early in their lives, with knock-on effects. For instance, the scientists found that by the end of the century, the size of Atlantic cod in the Baltic and Barents Sea might be reduced to only a quarter of the size they are today, because of acidification.

Peter Thomson, UN ambassador for the oceans and a diplomat from Fiji, which is hosting this year’s UN climate change conference in Bonn, urged people to think of the oceans in the same terms as they do the climate. “We are all aware of climate change, but we need to talk more about ocean change, and the effects of acidification, warming, plastic pollution, dead zones and so on,” he said. “The world must know that we have a plan to save the ocean. What is required over the next three years is concerted action.”

The eight-year study was carried out by the Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification group (known as Bioacid), a German network of researchers, with the support of the German government, and involved more than 250 scientists investigating how marine life is responding to acidification, and examining research from around the world. The study was initiated well before governmentssigned a global agreement on climate change at Paris in 2015, and highlights how the Paris agreement to hold warming to no more than 2C may not be enough to prevent further acidification of the world’s seas.

Governments will meet in Bonn in November to discuss the next steps on the road to fulfilling the requirements of the Paris agreement, and the researchers are hoping to persuade attendees to take action on ocean acidification as well.

Ocean acidification is another effect of pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as the gas dissolves in seawater to produce weak carbonic acid. Since the industrial revolution, the average pH of the ocean has been found to have fallen from 8.2 to 8.1, which may seem small but corresponds to an increase in acidity of about 26%. Measures to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere can help to slow down this process, but only measures that actively remove carbon already in the atmosphere will halt it, because of the huge stock of carbon already in the air from the burning of fossil fuels.

Worse still, the effects of acidification can intensify the effects of global warming, in a dangerous feedback loop. The researchers pointed to a form of planktonic alga known as Emiliania huxleyi, which in laboratory experiments was able to adapt to some extent to counter the negative effects acidification had upon it. But in a field experiment, the results were quite different as the extra stresses present at sea meant it was not able to form the extensive blooms it naturally develops. As these blooms help to transport carbon dioxide from the surface to the deep ocean, and produce the gas dimethyl sulfide that can help suppress global warming, a downturn in this species “will therefore severely feed back on the climate system”.


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