Random Jottings

Low oxygen levels, now that is a real issue

I was looking at some news sites and found details of this report from the Smithsonian institute, which at face value is a bit worrying.....

So I dropped them a line to get more details.

Breitburg-et-al-eaam7240.full.pdf

The report does make some interesting reading with the main causes being detailed as global warming, which despite misgiving is being accelerated by humans and the influx of fertilizers from farming, again more pressure is being put on arable land to support and increasing population so QED there too.

I was particularly interested about the area around the UK, I know that the Pacific is the elephant in the room but hey I am concerned about my own doorstep first and foremost.

The areas of risk aren't in great detail but on the East Coast of the UK I would guess that the problem areas are around river estuaries where farming run off would cause issues, so Thames, Humber, Tees, Tyne etc. I must say that on my patch we do have some areas which due to the particular geography are 'dead', there is one particular site at Beadnell where there is a dead stretch where you can almost taste the sulphides through your reg!

There is one thing that I do know and that is that we are seeing minisule amounts of acidification of the sea around the UK, the reason for my rather bald statement is that over the last 'cough cough'  years I have experienced a 'softening' of scallop shells, strange but true!

Years ago you could 'crack' open the scallop by twisting a screw-driver in the gap in the shell through which water is pushed, over time we have now got to a point where the shell crumbles and it can be a bit of a chew to clean the mollusc.

Unfortunately due to the scale of the problem it simply isn't going to be sortd in my life time, stopping chemical rich run-off will take years to resolve and as for global warming, well that's a whole different issue! The world is exiting a 'mini ice-age' and that is well established, the problem is that we are travelling too fast and will probably overshoot where the Global mean should be... whatever that means bearing in mind we had hippos in the Thames in pre-history!

I do have some questions re the report, an example being that the report details an estimated 77 billion tons of oxygen 'released' by the sea that's quite a mass.......

Dive safe

RichW

Recommended suppliers

Latest Photographs