Friday, October 19, 2012

Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean

Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean

by , 10/17/12

The Guardian is reporting that a July dump of 100 tonnes of iron sulphate in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, by California businessman Russ George has fueled a plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers. The dump is part of a rogue geoengineering experiment that is intended to demonstrate that ocean fertilization using iron can draw carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the ocean long-term to help combat climate change. But environmentalists have called George’s algae bloom experiment a “blatant violation of two international resolutions.”


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Northernmost Lake Reappears Due to Warming

Northernmost Lake Reappears Due to Warming

Algae in Greenland lake bouncing back after deep freeze, study finds.

Kate Andries
Published October 17, 2012
The world's northernmost lake, situated near the coast ofGreenland (map), is coming back to life.
Populations of microscopic algae, called diatoms, have been absent from the lake Kaffeklubben Sø for over 2,000 years. But a new study has found that the diatoms are returning, thanks to global warming.
"It's a pure climate change story," said study co-author Bianca Perren, a paleoecologist at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France, who specializes in Arctic environmental change (see pictures).
Diatoms were once abundant in Kaffeklubben Sø, which was formed about 3,500 years ago after glacial retreats created numerous small lakes on the coastal plain.
As surrounding temperatures cooled, diatom populations decreased until they vanished some 2,400 years ago, Perren explained.
"Until about 1920, [the lake] was basically in a deep freeze," she said.
Ice completely covered its surface, cutting off any sunlight that had previously penetrated into the water. This lack of light, along with dropping temperatures, killed off the organisms beneath the surface.
Strong Evidence for Climate Change
Scientists began seeing a growth in the number of diatoms in the lake between 1960 and 1970 as summer temperatures began gradually increasing—varying by less than a degree throughout the years. By 1980, the diatom population had exploded.
A layer of ice three-to-six feet thick (one-to-two meters thick) covers the lake year-round, though the rising summer temperatures—now averaging around 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 degrees Celsius)—cause some of the ice to melt, especially around the shore.
Temperaturewise, several degrees Celsius in northern Greenland makes a critical difference, said Perren. The warmer summer temperatures and ice meltage allow enough light into the lake so that life can grow.
A large portion of the study sought to determine if the surge in diatom population was caused in part by nitrogen pollution, which can cause algae to bloom. But no evidence of pollution—nitrogen or otherwise—was found in Kaffeklubben Sø, suggesting that the current rise in diatom population is due to climate change alone. (Take a global warming quiz.)
Jack Williams, director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, agreed, noting that the Kaffeklubben Sø study made a strong argument that this is a climate-driven change rather than a nutrient-driven change.
The current diatom population in Kaffeklubben Sø is the highest in recent memory, according to the study authors.
"We certainly expected to see some sort of biological growth," added study co-author Colin Cooke, a geoscientist at Yale University, added. "I didn't expect to see such a large response."
The northernmost lake study appears in the November issue of Geology Journal.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gloom over 'anaemic' rivers

Gloom over 'anaemic' rivers

Authorities have all but abandoned improving the health of big areas of the Swan and Canning rivers in the short term, according to a report that shows the system's condition is anaemic.
The Swan River Trust's annual report painted a bleak picture of the waterway after a year in which it was hit with mass fish kills and several toxic algal blooms.
According to the trust's own monitoring, nitrogen levels were too high at almost half of its stations for the fourth year in a row, while phosphorous levels exceeded benchmarks at 20 per cent of sites.
The report showed the amount of chlorophyll-a - a green pigment that indicates algal growth - was far too high everywhere and had been getting worse since 2008.
And dissolved oxygen levels, which were propped up by oxygen plants as a "last line of defence", were too low in each river area except its lower reaches, which were most affected by seawater.
Crucially, the trust said conditions were not expected to improve in many areas and according to several criteria "in the foreseeable future".
This was because of the system's high embedded nutrient level and Perth's lack of winter rain, which reduced the rivers' ability to flush themselves out.
The trust reported six sewage discharges into the rivers last year, 11 industrial discharges and 22 oil slicks or spills.
A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the trust had failed to meet its own benchmarks.
"The trust and its partners deliver many positive initiatives that improve water quality and environmental condition in priority catchment areas," she said.
Greens MP Alison Xamon said the trust's report revealed a grim picture of the health of the rivers and legislative action was urgently needed to clean the system.
Shadow environment minister Sally Talbot said the rivers would not recover until water-soluble fertilisers were banned in the catchment."


Ms Talbot has missed the point, all fertilizers HAVE to be water soluble. 
All living organisms (bacteria to humans) are about 70% water and can only consume water soluble material. Therefore fertilizer, food and sewage is always water soluble. 

The headline hits the mark, perhaps unintentionally. 
The problem with polluted rivers and lakes is lack of IRON and not excess nutrients. 
Nualgi provides iron on a silica base.