BLOG THIS by Pat Darnell | Oct 13, 2012 | Bryan TX
Scientists in Washington State Adopt Tiny Island as Climate-Change Bellwether - NYTimes.com: "What the researchers call “happy time” comes in the afternoon when the tides return and they gather — along with a rotating cadre of graduate students — outside the Winter Palace on an old dock laid out on the lawn to compare notes, gossip and have a snack."
'via Blog this'
So what's the problem? Scientists see declines in the welfare of the island's wildlife. It causes four decades of observation to go in a new direction, alarm: "... historically hardy populations of gulls and murres are only half what they were 10 years ago, and only a few chicks hatched this spring. Mussel shells are notably thinner, and recently the mussels seem to be detaching from rocks more easily and with greater frequency..."
Further the article states: " ... Biologists suspect that the shifts are related to huge declines in the water’s pH, a shift attributed to the absorption of excess carbon dioxide ..." (STACEY SOLIE. NYT. Published: October 6, 2012. HERE)
Carbon dioxide makes the sea water more acidic and affects the food chain. This is becoming a major factor around our globe, as carbon dioxide infiltrates many ecological systems. Biological systems that have been observed on this island and documented since the 1960's are starting to buckle under the CO2 abundance.
It is Bad News Chemistry: " ... Of course, if nothing changes in terms of carbon emissions, we might well have the chance to see if these effects occur on a much larger scale—in the world’s glaciers and polar ice caps. ... " (SMithsonian, Smart News. Oct 11, 2012. HERE)
NEXT WEEK :: the Keystone Species Hypothesis