The circle of life. Everything depends on everything else to survive on this planet. Even one disruption in the balance can have serious ramifications. Who would have thought that the warming trends on the planet would effect the oysters. “Who cares about the oysters?”, you may say. Here’s why–

USA Today

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exactly 20 years after warning America about global warming, a top NASA scientist said the situation has gotten so bad that the world’s only hope is drastic action.

James Hansen told Congress on Monday that the world has long passed the “dangerous level” for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels. He said Earth’s atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises.

“We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path,” Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences who is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science, told The Associated Press. “This is the last chance.”

This is a very scary realization. See how fast we produce carbon dioxide.

<a href=”<Breathing Earth

I must say that I am pleased that “going green” isn’t a term to be shuddered at anymore. I remember a time that anyone who said that was considered a tree hugger and a hippie. Now, people are finally waking up and realizing that we are in fact hurting the Earth. I don’t care if you don’t think that humans have anything to do with global warming or not (whether you believe in global warming at all is another story. If you don’t, you really need to check your facts), but one must admit that the way we treat the Earth is very sad indeed.

Think of it this way–imagine the many thousands of years humans have been on this Earth. Think about just the last few hundred years and how much crap we are leaving behind. There aren’t many remnants left of ancient civilizations compared to how many people there were. They used the Earths natural resources to build there homes and get by in daily life. Think about the legacy we are leaving behind. We’ll just imagine that one day a thousand years ago everyone on Earth disappeared. Imagine everything they left behind. It wouldn’t be much and what was left behind would eventually disintegrate.

Now imagine if everyone today disappeared. Imagine everything we would have left behind. The majority of our materials would stick around for hundreds and thousands of years. The metal, steel, radioactive waste, weapons, cars, buildings, trash heaps…you get the point.

Aside from all that, today, in this day in time the oceans which make up 70% of the Earth are in serious danger. Think about that for a moment…really think about it. 70% of this Earth is being ruined…the main culprit? Us. THAT, my friends, is a cold, hard, sad and sorry fact.

Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger

Oceanic problems once found on a local scale are now pandemic. Data from oceanography, marine biology, meteorology, fishery science, and glaciology reveal that the seas are changing in ominous ways. A vortex of cause and effect wrought by global environmental dilemmas is changing the ocean from a watery horizon with assorted regional troubles to a global system in alarming distress.

One manifestation of this warming is the melting of the Arctic. A shrinking ratio of ice to water has set off a feedback loop, accelerating the increase in water surfaces that promote further warming and melting. With polar waters growing fresher and tropical seas saltier, the cycle of evaporation and precipitation has quickened, further invigorating the greenhouse effect.

Atmospheric litter is also altering sea chemistry, as thousands of toxic compounds poison marine creatures and devastate propagation. The ocean has absorbed an estimated 118 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, with 20 to 25 tons being added to the atmosphere daily. Increasing acidity from rising levels of CO2 is changing the ocean’s PH balance.

Other sea nurseries are also threatened. Fifteen percent of seagrass beds have disappeared in the last ten years, depriving juvenile fish, manatees, and sea turtles of critical habitats. Kelp beds are also dying at alarming rates.

While at no time in history has science taught more about how the earth’s life-support systems work, the maelstrom of human assault on the seas continues. If human failure in governance of the world’s largest public domain is not reversed quickly, the ocean will soon and surely reach a point of no return.

That’s not all. This all starts a chain of events. For instance, overfishing is the main cause for the rise in blackmarket bushmeat. The natives’ diet is primarily fish. When the fish population is low they turn to bushmeat. PBS aired a documentary in which researchers found a direct correlation between the rise in bushmeat hunting and a deline in fish populations.

Want to hear more? I’m sure you don’t and I don’t want to keep talking about it but people NEED to know. Overfishing is causing a rise in plankton population (fish eat plankton) the plankton die and fall to the ocean floor where they decompose. This process creates sulfur and methane that is trapped in the ocean floor. When a low pressure weather system comes along the built up pressure in the ocean floor is released and an eruption of sulfur and methane is created. This turns the water a milky yellow color and communities along the oceanside are stuck with a rotten egg smell. Aside from the inconvenience of the smell of sulfur, methane is a contributor to global warming.