Ocean Phytoplankton Drops 40 Percent Since 1950

The microscopic plants that form the foundation of the ocean’s food are declining. The tiny organisms, known asphytoplankton, work hard to gobble up carbon dioxide to produce half the world’s oxygen output—equaling that of trees and plants on land. But their numbers have dwindled since the dawn of the 20th century, with severe consequences for ocean ecosystems and the planet’s carbon cycle. Researchers at Canada’s Dalhousie University say the global population of phytoplankton has fallen about 40 percent since 1950. That translates to an annual drop of about 1 percent of the average plankton population between 1899 and 2008 and the greatest loss in in the last 5 years. Just as the heating of the poles is accelerating, so will the loss of some microbes. Warmer temps may mean more of other kinds of microbes, but the key concern is how that relates to C02 and Methane. C02 and Methane are the greatest concerns to planet Earth. The scientists believe that rising sea surface temperatures are to blame. “It’s very disturbing to think about the potential implications of a century-long decline of the base of the food chain,” said lead author Daniel Boyce, a marine ecologist. They include disruption to the marine food web and effects on the world’s carbon cycle. In addition to consuming CO2, phytoplankton can influence how much heat is absorbed by the world’s oceans, and some species emit sulfate molecules that promote cloud formation.

C02, methane and sea bugs

C02, methane and sea bugs

“In some respect, these findings are the beginning of the story, not the end,” Boyce said. “The first question is what will happen in the future. We looked at these trends over the past century but don’t know what will happen 10 years down the road.” The study “makes a sorely needed contribution to our knowledge of historical changes in the ocean biosphere,” said David Siegel of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Bryan Franz of NASA in an essay, also published in Nature. “Their identification of a connection between long-term global declines in phytoplankton biomass and increasing ocean temperatures does not portend well for [ocean] ecosystems in a world that is likely to be warmer,” they wrote. “Phytoplankton productivity is the base of the food web, and all life in the sea depends on it.” Boyce said he and his co-authors began their study in an attempt to get a clearer picture of how phytoplankton were faring, given that earlier studies that relied on satellite measurements produced conflicting results.

The scientists dug back into the historical record, well past 1997, the year continuous satellite measurements began. They examined a half-million data points collected using a tool called a Secchi disk, as well as measurements of chlorophyll—a pigment produced by the plankton. The Secchi disk was developed in the 19th century by a Jesuit astronomer, Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, when the Papal navy asked him to map the transparency of the Mediterranean Sea. What Secchi produced was a dinner plate-sized white disk that is lowered into ocean water until it cannot be seen anymore. The depth it reaches before disappearing gives a measure of water clarity. That can be used as a proxy for phytoplankton population in a given area, since the tiny organisms live close to the ocean’s surface, where they are exposed to sunlight they use to produce energy. Data gathered with a Secchi disk are roughly as accurate as observations collected by satellites, Boyce said, although satellites have greater global reach. The researchers found the most notable phytoplankton declines in waters near the poles and in the tropics, as well as the open ocean. They believe that rising sea temperatures are driving the decline. As surface water warms, it tends to form a distinct layer that does not mix well with cooler, nutrient-rich water below, depriving phytoplankton of some of the materials they need to turn CO2 and sunlight into energy.

Death of the Ocean

Death of the Ocean

This may also have a lot to do with the China Algea Sea. The largest algal bloom ever recorded in China has turned the Yellow Sea green and may be related to pollution from agriculture and industry. Officials in the city of Qingdao had used bulldozers to remove 7,335 tonnes of the growth from beaches according to the Xinhua news agency. The phenomenon has become an annual occurrence in the region over the past six summers. This year’s incident has swathed 28,900 sq km (11,158 sq miles), twice as much as the previous biggest bloom in 2008. The algae, called Enteromorpha prolifera, is not toxic to humans or animals. However the carpet on the surface can dramatically change the ecology of the environment beneath it. It blocks sunlight from entering the ocean and sucks oxygen from the water suffocating marine life. The algae thrives on an abundance of nutrients in the sea. University of Cambridge and EnAlgae Project researcher Dr Brenda Parker said that the Chinese bloom may well be linked to industrial pollution. “Algal blooms often follow a massive discharge of phosphates or nitrates into the water. Whether it’s farming, untreated sewage or some kind of industrial plant that is discharging waste into the water,” she said. The recent explosion of the algae pointed to a dramatic change in the ecosystem which was probably not natural. “That would probably be an indicator that something is a little bit unbalanced,” said Parker. She said that the 2009 example algal bloom on the Brittany coast was a similar example of a human-induced algal bloom.

It is vital that we all shift our perspective towards a balanced approach to living in accord with nature as apposed to polluting our natural resources that are clearly warning us of significant changes ahead.

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Could Global Warming trend be over?

The sun is a major factor in our solar system and literally affects everything here on Earth. I’ve been watching a growing number of bright minds talk about  the sun and how it affects how we live, but they don’t get much airtime due to the vast number of stories about C02, Global Warming and ice melt. The video below is a guy who has been watching the sun for a long time and I think worth sharing for those of us who enjoy research.

Warming or cooling, our food supply is no less in jeopardy. A full thirty % of land in the U.S. is used to grow corn. The reason? Well, multinational corporations are finding new ways to use corn that never used to exist before. For one example: The majority of cows raised for the beef industry are now raised on corn. Unfortunately, before they raced ahead in an attempt to grow them bigger and faster, no one stopped to find out if it made sense. Truth is, it doesn’t make sense because the cows digestive system is not designed to digest corn. Increase in eColi anyone?

More corn, more sugar shit for the masses. Few realize that high fructose corn syrup is in 90% of all food on store shelves and is made from chemicals and corn.

TRUE: The FDA conducted over 50,000 food inspections annually in 1970. In 2007 they did less than 9,000.

TRUE: There used to be over one thousand slaughterhouses in the U.S. and now there are only 13

Faster, Fatter, Bigger Cheaper – that is the corporate moto for growing food to feed a growing population. This equates to no accountability and no integrity of our food supply. Bad food means more sickness. More illness means more need for healthcare. More healthcare means politics takes over. Sound familiar?

TRUE: In 1996, Two % of all soybeans had the genetically modified patented gene inside

TRUE: In 2008, Eighty % of all soybeans have it

Monsanto has 75 full time attorneys protecting their seed patents and countless teams of investigators harassing farmers who choose not to use their GMO seeds.

The US Government has passed bills to prevent anyone from posting a disparaging picture or text comment about the food production, cattle ranchers or slaughterhouses controlling our food supply.

If you havnt rented Food Inc. you should. Some things we all should be aware of.

Now for the “sun part” Some scientists agree the climate change patterns may be shifting due to the significant changes in the sun’s solar activity. We may be starting to cool off and Global Warming may be near its cyclic end. That’s said, Climate extremes may be here to stay and may actually get worse. More reason to learn how to grow healthy organic food Aquaponically. 

SEE VIDEO

California drought and food supply

By now everyone with a TV or mobile device is aware of the challenges facing California due to the extensive drought. However, I’m not sure everyone in America understands how it affects them. As conditions worsen by the day, policy makers and local residents are actually arguing about protecting some rare fish instead of diverting water from reservoirs and canals to the agricultural regions that need it most. Additionally from my research only two new Desalinization plants are currently under construction at a hefty cost to tax payers. Why is it that Australia can figure it out and California cannot? Australia has the first wind powered desalinization plant.

Wind Powered Water

Wind Powered Water

Are coastal residents so ignorant that they would vote down an efficient wind turbine that would deliver all the clean water they could need for a lifetime simply because they think it’s unsightly and affects their ocean view? Priorities rarely seem to mesh with logic anytime emotion is at play.

California is one of the biggest suppliers of fruits, vegetables and nuts to the United States. In fact 82% of the world’s Almond supply comes from California. Expect prices to double at the very least. A recent report by industry expert stated the following. “The less obvious consequences of how climate change may affect the nation indirectly through shifts affecting the Southwest, given that Southwestern states produce more than half of specialty fruit, nuts and vegetables for the U.S., and more than half of the nation’s shipping container traffic comes in through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. All of these conditions, particularly those in mid to Northern California, where a large percentage of U.S. food is produced, have implications far beyond the state. The drought’s effects will ripple far beyond the fields. Consumers can expect tighter supplies and higher prices for most fruits and vegetables by summer. And farm suppliers will feel the pinch. “We’re in the middle of what potentially is looking like a huge catastrophe,” said Ryan Jacobsen, chief executive of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. “We’re looking at some very harsh realities, as far as water allocations.”

Flushing toilets only once a day, as one member of the audience suggested, certainly does help, the panelists agreed, but efforts to cut back on residential water use only go so far given that “agriculture consumes almost 80 percent of the water in our region.” This has been a driver for the Aquaponic community since Aquaponics is very water wise and uses 90% less water than soil farming. Large commercial Aquaponic farms are being converted from soil farms in an attempt to stay alive. This drought is causing farmers to look for solutions and Aquaponics is a major solution. The drought causes a wide range of negative effects and the obvious ones are; loss of jobs, economic degradation, and significant property value decline. What is a house worth when nothing comes from the faucet?

Fire Danger Earlier in 2014.

“It’s unprecedented for us to do this in January,” said Battalion Chief Mike Giannini, whose Marin County Fire Department is one of the first to be called upon to send aid north. “We’ve sent crews this early in the year in the past to Southern California, because their fire season never seems to end,” Giannini said. “But not up there. Not to places like Humboldt, which has coastal, high-humidity, forested types of conditions we would normally equate with low fire danger.”

Together these spell problems for the nation’s largest state, 40 million people, and 4th largest economy in the world. Let’s hope and pray they get their priorities worked out and please let’s all pray for rain and a much needed summer El Nino`for all our sake.

The Distraction Era

For five years my business partner and I worked hard to help a lot of people through the financial crisis. I remember having a conversation with Mel (my partner) around Christmas 2009 when we talked about the current cycle and how long it would last. Around that time I began to do research into what would be the next stage of my career and how I would earn a living once the real estate market recovered and our client base shrunk. It wasn’t until late 2011 when I realized that we as a society had a lot of pressing issues that really needed to be addressed. I found enormous amounts of data on various subjects that would eventually lead us all to a path of no return. At that time I gave though to the fact that there was nothing I could do about these “macro” issues. But I still felt a responsibility to learn. Brushing aside all the conspiracy theories and people “selling” fear in books and seminars, and weeding through volumes of data and reports from credible sources, I found myself a little depressed. It seemed so obvious to me. Why were only a few people paying any attention to the signs of what was just around the corner? I brushed it aside temporarily and watched for another two years to see if it would really worsen or perhaps change for the better. After all, I have always believed that the Earth would just do what it was going to do. It ebb’s and flows and would always do just that. The question was always how that ebbing would affect 7 billion people. One of the biggest issues seemed to be the food supply and agriculture.

I looked at a variety of businesses from high end tattoo studio’s, smoothie bars with real fruit instead of ice and syrup, coffee cafes and even E-Cigarette Vapor lounges. Mel my partner, has since opened a Vapor lounge and she is doing very well. I could not see myself selling E-cigs to people day in and day out. For me the money was secondary to the work, and my work had to have meaning. I also never liked being beholden to others. I prefer to be in control of my own destiny. That was hard to find in a business model. Fast forward two years and the information that I came across then was much more prevalent now, and far more “dire”. I watched daily as the mainstream media peddles insignificant news to millions of people. The level of nonsense was overwhelming. Pushing news primarily dealing with three topics: Politics, sports and entertainment. Benghazi, the draft, or who won or lost last nights game and why; and who was voted off Dancing with the stars, The Voice, or American Idol. Add to that the newest and greatest mobile device that everyone “has to have”, as if it will make their life any better. I walk through the super market and listen to people. I go to Starbucks, or to dinner and listen to people. I’d hear nothing with any real value. Turn on the radio, if you don’t hear an advertisement trying to sell you something, or convince you to move your 401k, then you hear the DJ saying you need to buy your car from X dealer because they did. Are people in denial or are they totally immune to the issues that surround them and will greatly affect them and their children in a short period of time?

I realize that the majority of people have trouble with change, but I never realized how many people live in “complete ignorance” to what is going on around them. Geologist worldwide have been, and continue to, sound the alarms all over the globe. We are at a tipping point and there is nothing we can do about what comes next. In 1972 scientists warned us of the hole in the ozone layer of the Earth and we took steps to remove the CFC’s fairly quickly and the hole healed itself (for the most part). That was easy compared with what is happening today. While many argue over what is causing the climate change and the dramatic warming of the polar regions, no one disputes it. It is happening and it is accelerating.

I recently posted a video that summarizes very accurately what is happening today. I posted it and emailed it to hundreds of people. Other than a few responses no one said anything. This post is a chronicle to the seriousness of the issues that will soon threaten our daily routines. We have 2-5 years before everyone will be very surprised! Don’t take my word for it, there are many people much smarter than I all saying the same thing. Here is One Example.

At this point the best option for each of us is to begin planning for your own independent sources of food water and energy. Planning where you want your 12 year old to go to college is foolish. Sorry, to appear negative, but this is true. There has already been a 1.5 inch rise in sea levels since 2002 so Fl and the LA will have serious issues and millions will be forced to move within the next 5 years. This is just one issue that by itself will cause a ripple effect. In New Orleans the government has spent 14 billion building a sea wall 6 miles out, hoping to protect the city from future Katrina-like storms. It helped a lot of people with work and a paycheck, but it will do nothing to the escalating storms that will come as a result of increase in precipitation. Educate yourself a little with this VIDEO

Global Methane

Global temp anomalies

Ocean Heat chart

As more heat comes from the sea which covers 70% of the Earth, so then the precipitation increases which then increases the amount of moisture that is collected and dumped from the atmosphere when it rains. Record rain fall has been increasing for the last 10 years and it causes major floods and displaces tens of thousands if not millions. We’ve watched storms increase their intensity for 10 years and this cycle is only going to get worse.

Climate change is one of dozens of issues facing our future. As of March 2014, Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is still melting down and the 4th reactor has melted through the concrete floor barriers and is leaking high level radioactivity deep into the water table below the plant. This ground water ends up leaching into the Pacific Ocean. Elevated radiation levels have been measured in marine life in Seattle and San Diego.  Marine life is a perfect transmitter. The smallest creatures absorb the most toxins and they are then eaten by larger marine life and so on up the food chain. By the time the large 4 foot Tuna eats the 1 foot Mackerel the toxins increase 50-100 fold. News of massive die off of plankton and the cascading affect of algae growth is a big topic. Just Google China’s Algae bloom.

Marine Life Eco System

At this point, a main source of food has been removed by the Fukushima disaster and will affect millions of people worldwide. We still don’t know the full extent of the disaster. Some claim that this will cause a mass extinction within 10 years from the  Caesium-134/137 which causes cancer in very small amounts and has since been detected in air and water around the world. Obviously exposure to low levels of these toxins will react differently in all people depending on their age and immune system. Nevertheless, the toxins are not good for anyone at any levels.

A report from the Huffington Post on March 7th 2014 warned of cascading system failures due to climate change driven events. “From roads and bridges to power plants and gas pipelines, American infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a pair of government reports released Thursday”.

Full article here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/climate-change-effects_n_4914116.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

I’m not trying to freak anyone out. I’m simply trying to get people to wake up a little and take notice and begin their own research into these issues so they can begin planning for their future. We owe our children the truth of what they face and knowledge to work through it. Knowledge is power and will give them the ability to be resourceful when they need to be. I am currently working with my children on three things. 1. Aquaponic farming so they can grow their own organic food. 2. Rain water capture and filtration. 3. Various types of radiant heating and Solar power.

No one knows when their time is up, and I for one do not worry about dying. I have lived a wonderful life. For some reason, I have a desire to help people, help themselves and until I grow tired of that, I will keep trying even when laughed at or ignored. Blessings to all who keep trying.

The increase of GMO’s in our food

A recent series titled Food for Thought on the Huffington Post blog explored some common secrets of GMO’s that are worth sharing.

I have posted them below and also added to them in my own words.

1. Don’t mention the food waste: “We need this technology to feed to world,” is the marketing cry of the big chemical companies. In truth, they do need this technology to feed the expectations of shareholders, but it turns out that more than one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste. That amounts to 1.3 billion tons every year, costing us economically. In this country alone, we throw away 96 billion pounds of food every year, or 27 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s 3,000 pounds of food a second. With the United Nations on record saying that we need more than just genetically engineered food tools in the toolbox, it appears what we also need is a smarter distribution model to address this waste.

2. It’s Big Razor’s playbook: Gillette will practically give away the razor to get people hooked on buying the razor blade. It’s a smart strategy for chemical companies, too. They offer the genetically engineered seed at a discount, then get farmers on the hook for buying the chemicals and suite of chemical products required to make their seeds grow. Pesticide application is up 527 million pounds since the introduction of these genetically engineered crops.

FYI…did you know that by using your regular inexpensive hair conditioner to shave your legs (woman) or face (men) that your razor will stay sharp 50% longer than buying shaving cream? TRUTH. Shaving cream actually dulls the blades faster so instead of buying another product to shave with…often a more expensive product, simply use what you already have. Your conditioner. Additionally, the more ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner the worse it is for your body and scalp. Remember, what you rub on your skin or scalp does enter the bloodstream. SAVE SOME MONEY.

3. EPA now regulates this genetically engineered corn as a pesticide. Seriously, if you had the choice on your kitchen table or at a BBQ between a corn regulated by the EPA as a pesticide and one that wasn’t, which would you choose? No brainer. We should know which one is the pesticide and which foods it is going into.

4. Pre-treated seeds doused in chemicals: It’s called an accelerating agent, and seeds are pretreated before they are ever even put in the ground. Is it any wonder that farmers using these seeds are increasingly worried about what it is doing to the quality of their soil? Monsanto owns almost all the Patents with regard to plant stress. They own 90% of all the genetically modified seeds on the planet and will eventually control the nations food supply. They own drought tolerant seeds that grow with less water and they are are now monitoring the farmers grow data. See Blog Titled  https://empoweringconsumers.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/monsantos-recent-move-to-control-farm-data/

5. Pouring on the Pesticides: The latest analysis shows that genetically engineered crops have driven up overall pesticide use across the country, contributing to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use between 1996 and 2011. And last year alone, genetically engineered crops used 20 percent more pesticides on average than non-GE crops. Who pays for that? Farmers and the people that eat them. Who benefits? The chemical companies selling the seeds engineered to withstand these increasing doses. It goes straight to the bottom line and into the bank. Not only are the chemicals a danger, but the antibiotics in our food have increased dramatically as well. 

Antibiotics in food

Antibiotics in food

6. Patent the Chemicals as a Drug: The increasingly controversial weed killer, glyphosate, has been patented an antibiotic: Who knew that the patent had been filed? Apparently the US Patent and Trademark Office. As a growing number of farmers express concern over what this chemical is doing to their soil as headlines around the world express concern over what it is doing to humans, you have to ask yourself: given the 21st century technology we have today, is it time to make this 20thcentury, chemically intensive operating system, obsolete?

FYI – you can buy distilled white Vinegar for about $2.29 per gallon and add 20% water and use it to spray on your weeds with no harm to the soil. The weed killer Monsanto sells at your local hardware store costs $25.00 and is toxic. SAVE SOME MONEY.

7. Patents protect intellectual property: “The development of genetic engineering of plants in the 1980s was accompanied by a sequence of increasingly specific confirmations of the patentability of various types of life forms, provided that they met the standard patent criteria of novelty, utility and nonobviousness.” Nonobviousness is pretty discreet. So let’s say a pediatric cancer or autism group wanted to study if these crops and chemicals are contributing to the rates of cancer or autism. They’d have to go to Monsanto or the other big chemical companies for permission. It’s worth considering that just as Big Tobacco did before it, these chemical companies just might possibly be relying upon concealment of its documents from the public under intellectual property law to avoid liabilities and to evade regulation.

8. Technology Stewardship Agreements lock farmers into contracts for genetically engineered seeds. Want to break the contract? They’ll sue you. A farmer in Iowa is living testament to this happening. Once he realized that the details of that contract locked him into purchasing Monsanto’s suite of products for the life of the farm, it felt like a noose. When he wanted out, they made a point of showing the farming world that it wasn’t an option and sued. TRUTH…Monsanto is also involved with weather modification and as floods and storms wipe out small farmers, they buy the land and add it to their holdings. WATCH THE MOVIE HERE

9. Labels mean liability: Right now the companies using these genetically engineered foods want a ban on state labeling and are trying to stop a growing call for mandatory national labeling. Why? Because without labels, this “GMO Buyers Club” can claim that there is no evidence that these crops have ever caused any harm. And guess what? Without labels, they are right, there is no evidence. Labels would bring accountability, traceability and liability. It’s no wonder that the food industry is so allergic to labeling these genetically engineered ingredients in the United States. An allergic reaction to food sends someone to the ER once every three minutes.

Without labels on genetically engineered ingredients, the industry can claim “no evidence of harm.” Without labels, there is no traceability, accountability and liability. No way for these companies to be held accountable for the costs that they are externalizing onto society, our farmers, their farms and our economy. The food awakening is on, and the companies that are opting out of genetically engineered ingredients and willing to be transparent with the consumers are capturing market share.

I never like to tell people what to do, but I think it’s time to turn off “Dancing With The Stars” and begin learning how to farm our own food. This is the only way to ensure the quality of what we put in our bodies. As the poles continue to melt and the weather continues to accelerate, we will all be affected within the next 3-5 years. There are a lot of solutions out there if you know where to look.

Arctic Methane release likely to be trouble

A combined team of U.S. and Russian researchers has found that large amounts of methane are bubbling up from the subsea permafrost along the East Siberian Shelf. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes research they’ve conducted over several years. North of Russia lies the Arctic Ocean, over time, parts of it have been given different names—one of those the Laptev Sea, lies north of Siberia, and is bounded by peninsulas on both sides. The sea normally freezes in the winter and thaws in the summer, but the water remains so cold that the seafloor has, at least until recent years, remained frozen. The researchers in this latest effort have been monitoring the amount of methane released into the sea as the subsea permafrost melts in the summer.

Methane stored in sea floor

Methane stored in sea floor

The melting of the subsea permafrost in the Arctic Ocean can’t be blamed on modern humans—it’s been slowly warming down there for thousands of years—it’s just recently however, reached the point where it melts in the summer just enough to allow the methane gases to seep out and bubble up into the sea column above. The researchers have been seeing record levels of methane in the both seawater and permafrost core samples they’ve been collecting over the past several years (they also use sonar to measure the density of bubbles emanating into the seawater). Worse, they have found that methane levels drop dramatically during storms. This means, the researchers report, that all that methane in the seawater is whipped into the atmosphere, adding to the other greenhouse gasses that are contributing more to global warming.

The researchers note that their measurements contradict predictions by other “more dire” reports that a massive “pulse” of methane will very soon add as much as 50 billion tonnes of methane to the atmosphere, causing a dramatic spike in global air temperatures. Instead, they suggest, it appears more likely that the methane will continue to bubble up slowly, but increasingly contributing to greenhouse gases much as is happening currently. They do caution that it is possible the current warming could cause more or bigger storms in the Arctic Ocean, releasing methane on a bigger scale.

Methane increase

Methane increase

One of the many conservative voices of climate change is the IPCC who gathers information from leading scientist and reviews their research. The IPCC reports are prepared and then shared with politicians and then adjusted prior to publication. One such report published in 2009 about the Arctic ice decline stated ( and charts showed ) the summertime ice in the arctic would be gone by 2100. Updated reports not published by the IPCC, but shared by concerned scientists state very clearly that the summertime ice shelves will be gone by 2016. See the MOVIE about Climate Change here

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and is highly flammable and toxic to breath. There are trillions of tons of methane stored within the Earths core and much of it lies beneath the permafrost under the Arctic sea ice and Greenland. Methane has and will continue to seep from the sea floor, but researchers have been finding increased rates of this gas since 2007. With the reduction of ice shelves and the warming of the poles (average warming at the poles is 6 degrees versus 1 degree for the rest of the planet) some are getting concerned for what appears to be more methane and co2 which will only contribute to further warming of the Globe.

John Callahan is committed to educating people on issues that affect their health and well-being.Learn more at reCALIBRATEYOURSELF.COM