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Proposed Treatment for
Expanding Ocean Dead Zones


by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

 


Photo courtesy of Steven C. Hall

 
Read this article from Live Science:
Future of the Ocean: Expanding Dead Zones

 
Recent studies show that the various specific "dead zones" now spreading in the oceans are even worse than previously thought. They show that these specific "dead zones" will take centuries to correct even if conditions were now reversed. Worse, the oceans as a whole are now becoming anoxic—with profoundly serious consequences that already will require 100,000 years or longer to correct, even if the conditions causing this were reversed immediately.

With a little background in geology and the geological record, two years ago I began pointing-with-alarm at currently increasing eruptions of methane and hydrogen sulfide, as part of this oceanic anoxia, and the apparent connection of previous such episodes with major geological extinction events and especially with the 99% extinction event at the end of the Permian—see also our article on the methane threat, which followed fruitless attempts to discuss the issue at other levels. (More recently, see New Details on CO2 and Extinction.)

Were that condition permitted to develop again, there is little question that the human species—indeed, all primates—indeed, all mammals and most probably all vertebrates—on Earth will go absolutely extinct. I, for one, would prefer to avoid this and prevent it from happening.

Those who fail to learn from the Permian are bound to repeat it....?

I'd really rather not see our billion-year travail, and our struggle to survive and advance, come to so ignominious an end, and to mean absolutely nothing after all this. I'd like to see our efforts mean something.

One symptomatic treatment of the problem could be an expanded version of our proposal for oceanic fish farming—see The Blue Revolution. Not only would this re-aerate parts of the oceans, and not only would this offset some of the deadly changes in chemistry now happening in our waters, but it more than compensates for the decline of food since we've been killing off our fisheries.

While this is only a symptomatic treatment and doesn't address the root causes of this dire planetary illness, it could buy us some time within which some relevant matters could clarify. Possibly even some wisdom could grow, especially by deferring the distractions that would otherwise be induced by extreme planetary famine as both land-based agriculture and food from the sea threaten to collapse. But if we don't even discuss such matters, there is less and less chance that the worst will be even delayed, much less forestalled.

Wanted:   Marine engineers, and other help, to turn our still-nebulous oceanic fish-farming proposal into specific, well-designed propositions and model systems—not only to "save the world" but because the proposed fish-farming system will be so productive a source of protein that implementation of such a system could prove also quite productive of profits. Please reply to Win Wenger.


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