Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 1:17PM
Some time ago I noticed there wasn't as much going on in the blogosphere with respect to marine science as I would like, but I was really prompted to start writing by the press release last week from IUCN naming the 10 species - other than polar bears - most likely to suffer as a result of climate change. Seven of those were aquatic and we had all of them, or close relatives, in the collection at Georgia Aquarium. In choosing these particular species, the IUCN underscored the significant role of the oceans in global climate change processes. This is tremendously important because I think most folks still regard GCC as a terrstrial issue. Its not: evidence is growing that the ocean is the single largest driver of climate, and the response of the oceans to increasing greenhouse gases will determine how GCC plays out, including which models - if any - most closely meet the changes we observe. The oceans are our best friend in this respect, absorbing excess carbon dioxide and dampening the effect of all that fossil fuel burning, but they do it at the expense of their inhabitants and they can only do it up to a point. I expect this will be a topic we return to pretty regularly; it should be higher on many people's climate change radar, and we can hope that it features prominently in discussions in Copenhagen this week.
When I thought a little more about it, it shouldn't be at all surprising that ICUN picked 70% aquatic species for their list; after all, 70% of the earth is covered in water...