Ignoring The Elephant in Climate Change.

In climate debate there is no mention of our planet's declining ability to support photosynthesis; THE primary process that moderates our planet’s chemistry. The belief that problems associated with human caused changes in our planet’s chemistry can be addressed by monetizing carbon dioxide without addressing our planet's declining ability to sequester carbon and produce free oxygen is delusional. (Carbon Credits)

A two percent reduction in ocean dissolved oxygen * is a significant and foreboding revelation of how Homo Sapiens is impacting planetary chemistry. We are affecting the temperature and pH of our oceans and this in turn affects a lynch pin family of life called phytoplankton. It is this lifeform most responsible for sequestering carbon and producing free oxygen. This family of life is made up of a variety of photosynthesizing species and is the largest source of photosynthesis on our planet, by far; and the rate of photosynthesis defines the rate of both carbon sequestration and O2 production.

Prior to the Anthropocene photosynthetic production of O2 was in near equilibrium with weathering and biological consumption. I will suggest that O2 consumption and CO2 production is now much higher than photosynthetic O2 production and CO2 sequestration. This has resulted in a 2 percent decrease in ocean dissolved oxygen; in just 50 years?

The ocean and atmosphere are chemically interdependent and move towards thermal and chemical equilibrium.

Pressure plays an important role in both the rate of gas exchange and equilibrium concentration between a gas and a liquid. When looking at our planet, we could impact the ocean – atmosphere gas exchange rate and gas equilibrium concentrations without changing the gas species ratio of the envelope. This caused by the gas to liquid/solid mass exchange that occurs when O2 and N2 are taken out of the atmosphere and incorporated into a heavier than air compounds. If we have converted large quantities of O2 and N2 into heavier than air compounds then we would also be changing the partial pressures of the constituent gasses by changing the pressure component as well as the mass fraction. The question here is again scale; hopefully it won’t look as bleak as a 2 percent decrease in ocean dissolved O2.

Reference to two percent reduction * -- http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7641/full/nature21399.html

“Phytoplankton Population Drops 40 Percent Since 1950”

The most concerning thing about this is that most people have no idea what this means. Well here it is plain and simple. Unless these trends are reversed; it means the extinction of our species.

A 40 percent reduction in the population of an organism that produces 50 percent of the oxygen extrapolates to a 20 percent reduction in oxygen production and proportional decrease in carbon sequestration.

Unless we find a way to regenerate the fundamental natural processes that support our planet’s biome there is no future for our progeny. It is that simple.



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