Ocean & Water Reports 

More to come: 

Evidence that there is a huge decline in the fisheries. Increased carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly making the world's oceans more acidic and, if unabated, could cause a mass extinction of marine life similar to one that occurred 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology will present this research at the AGU/ASLO Ocean Sciences meeting in Honolulu, HI on Monday, Feb 20.
As important as quantity is quality - with pollution increasing in some areas, the amount of useable water declines. Something strange has been happening to the frog and salamander species of the world. Populations are in decline and some frog populations are showing remarkable abnormalities.
"The geologic record tells us the chemical effects of ocean acidification would last tens of thousands of years," Caldeira said. "But biological recovery could take millions of years. Ocean acidification has the potential to cause extinction of many marine species." "In the ocean, oxygen is produced as a byproduct of photosynthesis by phytoplankton (single celled sea plants) and algae (multicelled sea plants). Although individual alga are much larger than plankton, the latter have a staggeringly larger biomass and so produce the most oxygen. Considering the Earth is more than 70% water and phytoplankton are found throughout the ocean, it's not surprising that they make up 90% of the Earth's oxygen production.

The oxygen produced by phytoplankton is released as a gas. Some of this is absorbed back into the ocean, but most flows into the atmosphere. From there it becomes available for use by all oxygen breathing organisms.

Some common causes of habitat loss in the oceans are oil spills, industrial and residential waste, overzealous ecotourists, and exotic species introduction. Most habitat loss takes place around port cities or any area with high human traffic. Most people don't understand how delicate marine systems are. The damage to or removal of a single species, even if they aren't the most abundant, can devastate an area. A good example is the removal of sea otters from the kelp forests off California. Without otters to prey upon them, sea urchin populations skyrocketed. Since they feed on kelp, the kelp forests were decimated and turned into a wasteland. All the other organisms
that relied on the kelp for food, protection, or habitat either died out or left the area. For other examples, check out the Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Fund.


Data From