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Ocean plankton suck up twice the carbon we thought they did
JoNova ^ | March 19th, 2013 | joanne

Posted on 03/20/2013 11:35:53 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Hyperia | Credit Wikimedia

Despite the fuss about CO2 emissions, on a global scale no one is quite sure where a lot of it ends up. Those mystery “sinks” draw in a large proportion of CO2. Here’s a big sink that just got twice as big.

Science Daily  Mar. 17, 2013 — Models of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans need to be revised, according to new work by UC Irvine and other scientists published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience. Trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought, they found. Global marine temperature fluctuations could mean that tiny Prochlorococcus and other microbes digest double the carbon previously calculated.

The trouble started when someone made an assumption.

In making their findings, the researchers have upended a decades-old core principle of marine science known as the Redfield ratio, named for famed oceanographer Alfred Redfield. He concluded in 1934 that from the top of the world’s oceans to their cool, dark depths, both plankton and the materials they excrete contain the same ratio (106:16:1) of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.

But as any gardener who has done a soil test knows, amounts of those elements can vary widely. The new study’s authors found dramatically different ratios at a variety of marine locations. What matters more than depth, they concluded, is latitude. In particular, the researchers detected far higher levels of carbon in warm, nutrient-starved areas (195:28:1) near the equator than in cold, nutrient-rich polar zones (78:13:1).

“The Redfield concept remains a central tenet in ocean biology and chemistry. However, we clearly show that the nutrient content ratio in plankton is not constant and thus reject this longstanding central theory for ocean science,” said lead author Adam Martiny, associate professor of Earth system science and ecology & evolutionary biology at UC Irvine. “Instead, we show that plankton follow a strong latitudinal pattern.”

A we farming plankton next? Will we get carbon credits?

 

World Plankton prevalence | Wikimedia

 

POST NOTE (late addition):

The point here is that there is a $176 billion dollar annual turnover in a market that depends on carbon accounting models which don’t even have the basic big numbers right. Then there is an assumption that human emitted CO2 will raise global CO2 levels. What if our small extra emissions are mostly swallowed up by plankton (and other as yet unknown sinks). What if CO2 levels are controlled by temperature, not by your SUV?

This is about the folly of thinking we know what is going on.

 

———————————————————–

REFERENCES

Adam C. Martiny, Chau T. A. Pham, Francois W. Primeau, Jasper A. Vrugt, J. Keith Moore, Simon A. Levin, Michael W. Lomas. Strong latitudinal patterns in the elemental ratios of marine plankton and organic matter. Nature Geoscience, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1757

Image Credit : Wikimedia  | Wikipedia: Plankton


TOPICS: Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: california; carbon; carbondioxide; carbonemissions; carbonsinks; climatechange; co2; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; oceanlife; plankton; ucirvine

1 posted on 03/20/2013 11:35:53 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

2 posted on 03/20/2013 11:37:00 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
LOL

We mmust stop this consumption of a valuable resource...these critters are stealing food for all of our land based plants that supply us and our meat based life forms with food.

3 posted on 03/20/2013 11:40:42 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

All Hail Plankton!


4 posted on 03/20/2013 11:41:07 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator; landsbaum; SunkenCiv; Marine_Uncle; Fred Nerks; Carry_Okie; blam; Lorianne; Twotone; ...
This was some good funded Government Research!!!

Right here in Orange County ....California.

5 posted on 03/20/2013 11:49:21 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Now if they would just go back to teaching the carbon cycle in schools, and the water cycle, and the..............................


6 posted on 03/20/2013 11:51:51 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Models of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans need to be revised, according to new work by UC Irvine and other scientists published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience. Trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought, they found. Global marine temperature fluctuations could mean that tiny Prochlorococcus and other microbes digest double the carbon previously calculated.

Now, if they could just measure their respiration, excretion, and decomposition products, we might just be getting somewhere.

7 posted on 03/20/2013 12:21:30 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Well... for once GovernMental action doesn’t suck canal water and squander money!!! Phhhhht!!!


8 posted on 03/20/2013 12:33:53 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Mark Twain said: "It's easier to fool someone than to convince them they've been fooled!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

So we have to burn all that dirty oil and coal to “save the whales” . . . baleen whale feeders need the plankton to survive . . . yammering leftists need to understand that their clever arguments are no match for God’s wisdom, and it shows . . . it says as much in the Bible.


9 posted on 03/20/2013 12:45:37 PM PDT by RatRipper (Self-centeredness, greed, envy, deceit and lawless corruption has killed this once great nation.)
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To: Carry_Okie; SierraWasp; neverdem; Marine_Uncle; Fred Nerks
All of that climate science research money ought to be redirected....thing I would start with the shop that Dr James Hansen heads up.

Sent that Money to UC Irvine.

10 posted on 03/20/2013 12:47:29 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Ocean plankton have twice the intelligence that liberals do.
11 posted on 03/20/2013 12:51:15 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Back in the 1980s when I believed that AGW was real, I was proposing stimulating the growth of marine algae with which to feed Foraminifera as the only reasonable way to sequester massive amounts of carbon at reasonable cost.


12 posted on 03/20/2013 12:52:59 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
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To: Carry_Okie
I had to look that up:

What are Foraminifera?

********************************EXCERPT***************************************

Over hundreds of millions of years these tiny creatures have swarmed the ocean bestowing to the planet their exquisite dwellings, a smidgen of which was once fashioned into the Egyptian Pyramids

13 posted on 03/20/2013 1:00:25 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

So they will admit they are full of it on the global warming thing? I bet not.


14 posted on 03/20/2013 1:01:26 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Obama is the Chicken Little of politics)
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To: All
http://www.foraminifera.eu/

Foraminifera by:    Genus     Locality    Fossil    Query    Calcarina hispida, Foraminifera Dentalina globifera, Foraminifera Uvigerina peregrina, Campos, Brazil, Foraminifera Flag german      Key to Genera    Articles     About     

Foraminifera Gallery - illustrated catalog
Welcome to the illustrated catalog of the Foraminifera.eu Project, which wants to build a link between science and community.
Send us your sand or rock sample and we extract forams and shoot images for free. Contact us

This project depends on both of you: Contribute as a scientist  /  Study foraminifera as a non-scientist
      
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We recommend to participate
Foraminifera form a considerable part of Earth biomass and are in the fossil record
since at least 542.000.000 B.C., but are mainly ignored by the public.
With this non-commercial project we want to foster the interest
in these precious and basal forms of life.

Try the illustrated Taxonomy Guide

Online 19th of March 2013: 6415 forams and new:
Rügen, Germany, Maastrichtian
Neoflabellina reticulata (Reuss, 1851)
Maastrichtian, Cretaceous
Rügen, Germany
Globulina gibba d'Orbigny, 1846
recent
Ile de Porquerolles, France
Elphidium limpidum Ho, Hu et Wang, 1965
recent
Bohai Sea, China
Neoflabellina reticulata
Globulina gibba
Elphidium limpidum

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Atlas of Boreal Maastrichtian Foraminifera
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micropaleontology
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Paleozoic Foraminifera
Paleozoic Foraminifera
Thanks to Dr. James E. Conkin and Prof. Barbara M. Conkin we are now able to work on Paleozoic Foraminifera. We started with Carboniferous foraminifera. [more]
   
Mikhalevich Classification
   
   
Mikhalevich Classification
   
                       
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Type Specimens
A type specimen is the original specimen from which the description of a new species is made. Thanks to Prof. Michael A. Kaminski and Dr. Claudia G. Cetean we are able to show 64 type specimens in the collections of the Natural History Museum London.   [more]
   
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Plummercell Slide Collection of Karl-Otto Bock
Karl-Otto Bock collects since long foraminifera as a hobby. In the course of time he has produced 150+ plummercell slides. We found a way to bring his slides online showing each single field with just a click.      [Check it out]
Index Foraminifera
Index Foraminifera Upper Cretaceous
Foraminifera are commonly used as index fossils, also called marker or guide fossils. An index foraminifera may indicate from which geological time the sedimentary rock is, the foraminifera is found in. We show easily recognizable species         [more]

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15 posted on 03/20/2013 1:14:20 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: TigersEye

I will NOT Haggle with that.


16 posted on 03/20/2013 1:17:34 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

” - - - The trouble started when someone made an assumption. - - - “

Always test and re-test any and all assumptions.


17 posted on 03/20/2013 1:18:38 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Graewoulf

When you assume....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hrLj8QEAgI


18 posted on 03/20/2013 1:20:47 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Headline redactions are me! lol


19 posted on 03/20/2013 1:35:07 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Graewoulf
Always test and re-test any and all assumptions.

Somebody ought to make that the basis of a protocol for, oh, I don't know, some kind of discipline of human knowledge or something.

20 posted on 03/20/2013 1:37:01 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: All
Not all of the links at #15 work but this one leads to some interesting topics:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/blogs/micropalaeo/?fromGateway=true

And this is interesting to me:

0 How to CT-scan a microfossil

*****************************EXCERPTS**********************************************

Posted by Giles Miller on 20/03/2013 1:23:03 PM

One of the most amazing things about working at the Museum is having access to world class facilities to support my work, whether that be managing the collections or doing research. Members of the Imaging and Analysis Centre have been analysing an important foraminiferal type specimen using the Museum nano-CT scanner. This produces a 3-D rendition of something less than half a millimetre wide and helps with classification of this important species that has potential to date rock formations, show past climates and ocean conditions.

 

NanoCT_scan_blog.jpg

A prescan picture of one of the paratypes of the planktonic foraminifera, Globigerina prasaepis (Blow, 1969).

You can see the top of the mounting pin and the air bubbles in the adhesive I used. The scale bar is 0.1mm.


 

What's a nano-CT scanner?

 

Electrons from a scanning electron microscope (SEM) beam are directed onto a metal target and this causes X-rays to be emitted. Tiny specimens or samples are then placed between the source and an X-ray camera, allowing 2-D projections like the one above to be taken. The diagram below is posted on the Museum web site where further details and specifications of the Museum nano-CT system can be found.

 

gatan-xum-schematic-48309-1.jpg

 

How is the specimen prepared for scanning?

 

The first thing to do is to mount the specimen on the head of a pin. To do this I used an adhesive called Paraloid B72 and a fine paint brush dipped in acetone. The specimen is then coated with a fine 20 nanometre coating of gold under vacuum in a sputter coater.

 

After this the pin needs to be placed precisely on a special holder or sample stage that is rotated through 360 degrees in the x-ray beam. An image is taken for each degree of rotation. The stage needs to be centred so that the specimen stays in the field of view while it rotates. Fortunately I had the expert help of Tomasz Goral to achieve this.

 

P1000855_blog.jpg

Tomasz is placing the specimen mounted on the end of a pin, onto the rotating sample stage.

 

P1000871_blog.jpg

Special software is used to take an image every 45 degrees while the stage rotates 360 degrees under the microscope seen above. This tells us where the centre of rotation of the stage is. The stage is then adjusted so that the specimen is as close as possible to its centre of rotation. With such a small specimen this is harder than you'd imagine but was done expertly by Tomasz.

P1000868_blog.jpg

The rotating stage with adjusting screws and the specimen on the end of a pin.

 

How long does it take?

 

Once the stage with the mounted specimen is placed into the SEM chamber there are still a lot of adjustments to be made. Different metal targets are available and, for our analysis, tungsten was chosen to produce the X-rays. Several test scans are required to make sure that the images produced are high enough quality to make 3-D reconstructions. Each image is produced by amalgamating a number of frames. The optimum number and length of frame needs to be chosen.

 

The final setting Tomasz chose was 20 frames of 12 seconds each for each degree of stage rotation. You can do the maths if you'd like to work out how long it took to take 360 of these images! Usually a scan would be done overnight and sometimes it can take as long as 24 hours.

 

Globigerina_prasaepis_P49616_slice_blog.jpg

One of the slices produced by the Gatan software. You can see all the chambers inside the specimen

as well as the pores through the calcium carbonate wall of the specimen.

 

 

How do you get a 3-D image?

 

The X-ray projections for every one degree of rotation are then analysed using software developed by Gatan, the makers of the camera. These produce slices through the specimen that are further analysed using a programme called Drishti developed by the Australian National University. Dan Sykes of the Imaging and Analysis Centre used Drishti to produce a 3-D rendition using a process called computed tomography (CT).

 

 

 

Film showing the 3-D rendition of the planktonic foraminifera, Globigerina prasaepis

 

Using Drishti, Dan was able to decide the axis of rotation of the virtual specimen and vary the plane in which the virtual thin section was illustrated.

 

Why are the results of interest?

 

Some members of the International Subcomission of Paleogene Stratigraphy are currently putting together an atlas of Oligocene planktonic foraminifera. The Oligocene spans a period roughly 24-33 million years ago. Subcomission member Dr Bridget Wade of the University of Leeds writes,

 

"The analysis of holotypes and original descriptions are key to determining and understanding taxonomic concepts of extinct planktonic foraminifera. Globigerina prasaepis was described by Walter Blow in 1969 from Tanzania. It has been a relatively under-utilised species, and the relationship to other taxa is yet to be fully determined."

 

2-D Scanning electron microscope images of this species show excellent preservation. However, nano-CT images like these allow us to produce a 3-D model and to look inside the specimen and view the arrangements of the chambers. Hopefully this will help to evalute its relationship to other species of planktonic foraminifera and help scientists to accurately identify this species in research samples.

 

Because planktonic foraminifera secrete their shells directly from ocean water, studies of the carbon and oxygen isotopic signatures of fossil specimens can tell us a great deal about the conditions in ancient oceans and about previous climates. The distribution of various fossil and recent species can also tell us about the positions and directions of oceanographic currents.

 

DSCF1135_blog.jpg

Some examples from our collection of scale models of exceptionally preserved ostracods produced from CT scans.

The real specimens are about 1mm long. For details of how the scans were made, see my post on sex in the Cretaceous.

 

The future

 

The Museum is committed to making details of its collections available electronically via the web so they can be used for teaching or in research projects like those mentioned above. The scans produced can also be manipulated using special software to produce various 3-D models and 2-D cross sections. Scale models of these specimens can be printed in acrylic using special 3-D printers (see examples above) and could be made available to interested parties.

 

The raw data set can be made available to anyone interested in studying any species scanned. This method could be particularly useful for studying species of Foraminifera that are usually illustrated and identified in thin section. Making thin sections of microfossils is a dying art so virtual sectioning using this technique has real potential as it is non-destructive and the plane of section can be varied by choice. Previously we had to rely on the skill of the thin section maker to cut the microscopic specimens exactly through the centre.

 

The images I have shown are promising but there are some interference patterns that make the final rendition slightly fuzzy (see the slice above for example). The Museum have recently purchased and installed a new scanning electron microscope to replace the one that helped towards creating these trial CT-scans. It will be interesting to see if the new microscope can produce even better results.

 

I am greatly inspired by the British Geological Survey who are producing 3-D images of their type collections as well as those from other UK museums. It would be great to work with them and do a similar project on microfossil type specimens like the one presented here.

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Giles Miller

Giles Miller

Member since: 21/04/2010

This is Giles Miller's Curator of Micropalaeontology blog. I make the Museum micropalaeontology collections available to visitors from all over the world, publish articles on the collections, give public talks and occasionally make collections myself.

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21 posted on 03/20/2013 1:38:13 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: TigersEye; SierraWasp

Look at what they are doing to those little thingeys.....


22 posted on 03/20/2013 1:41:52 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That’s pretty shocking. Is PETA aware of this?


23 posted on 03/20/2013 1:45:55 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: TigersEye
I am not talking.

Time to run some errands.

Back later.

24 posted on 03/20/2013 1:56:06 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Surrrrre, just duck out when the heat is turned up! lol

Thanks for all the pings.

25 posted on 03/20/2013 1:58:25 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I wonder if anyone has an estimate of the amount of oil/gas that ended up in the oceans from WWII? I know it had to be in the millions of gallons as naval vessels carry a lot of fuel oil, aviation fuel etc.

And then I wonder where it all went?


26 posted on 03/20/2013 2:08:12 PM PDT by rfreedom4u (I have a copy of the Constitution! And I'm not afraid to use it!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; 11B40; A Balrog of Morgoth; A message; ACelt; Aeronaut; AFPhys; AlexW; ...
DOOMAGE!

Global Warming PING!

You have been pinged because of your interest in environmentalism, alarmist wackos, mainstream media doomsday hype, and other issues pertaining to global warming.

Freep-mail me to get on or off: Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy threads on global warming.

Republicans take aim at another EPA administrator for use of private email account

Coal state Dems press Obama to scale back EPA emissions rules

Obama: $2 Billion Green Energy Fund Would Enable Drivers To 'Go Coast-To-Coast Without Using a Drop of Oil'

As U.S. Cleans Its Energy Mix, It Ships Coal Problems Abroad

Eco-terror advocate bashes climate ‘deniers’ on film

Global Warming on Free Republic

Latest from Global Warming News Site

Latest from Greenie Watch

Latest from Real Climate

Latest from Climate Depot

Latest from Junk Science

Latest from Terra Daily

Latest from CO2 Science

27 posted on 03/20/2013 2:13:05 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Drag Me From Hell!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

It’s a wonder the monies where not distributed elsewhere before the project got underway.


28 posted on 03/20/2013 2:14:38 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Galt level is not far away......)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Send that Money to UC Irvine."
Less the infamous Hansen I presume? :)
29 posted on 03/20/2013 2:17:37 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Galt level is not far away......)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; newgeezer

I’ve been saying this for a few years. It seems that a degree rise in ocean temp will cause an exponential increase in the amount of plankton which “eat” carbon. That means the CO2 part of the ecosystem is self balancing.


30 posted on 03/20/2013 2:21:15 PM PDT by DungeonMaster (Giving attention to a politician is like giving neck to a vampire.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

sooo.. that means we need to harvest more whales and sharks or less? btw, I gave up seafood for the children... better they get a MacBite than an old fart


31 posted on 03/20/2013 2:45:12 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
This was some good funded Government Research!!!

That's why it wasn't in Science or Nature, just a Nature subsidiary.

32 posted on 03/20/2013 2:58:07 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: rfreedom4u

This Greenie paper acts like it is all still down there in the sunken hulls, a ticking environmental time bomb.

Just a wild guess, but after being torpedoed and or bombed, then burning, then probably having any empty compartments implode on the way to the bottom, I seriously doubt if much oil is left inside the wrecks.

Oil floats, folks! That trapped inside compartments would have provided long ago a feast to nutrient starved bacteria on the ocean floor.

Look what they do to iron.

http://www.realscience.us/2012/04/13/sdf-titanic-science-centennial/
“Iron-Eating Bacteria is Giving Titanic Rustcicles Which Will Recycle Ship by 2030”

A brief scan of the paper seems to show that the author is trying to set up a liability case against the deep pockets governmental owners of these sunken ships.


33 posted on 03/20/2013 3:51:08 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The article is concerned with Phytoplankton, which use CO2 in the same manner as terrestrial plants.

However, they have illustrated the article with a photo of a “Hyperia”, which is a Zooplankton which eats Phytoplankton, other Zooplankton and detritus (decomposing plant and animal parts as well as organic fecal matter).

It benefits from the CO2 captured by the phytoplankton, but does nothing directly to reduce atmospheric CO2


34 posted on 03/20/2013 4:01:28 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Ernest.


35 posted on 03/20/2013 4:14:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Another inconvenient truth.

What are the Gore-bots going to do?


36 posted on 03/20/2013 9:05:14 PM PDT by Rocky (Obama is pure evil.)
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To: Rocky
They have a new worry regarding fossil fuels:

Most of Earth covered with life powered on hydrogen. Living Rocks?

37 posted on 03/20/2013 9:13:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: BwanaNdege
If you had to "illustrate" this article for reader impact, would you choose a photo of a microscopic shrimp, or of a microscopic lawyer pond scum?
38 posted on 03/20/2013 10:53:16 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

“If you had to “illustrate” this article for reader impact, would you choose a photo of a microscopic shrimp, or of a microscopic lawyer pond scum?”

Too many photos of Hillary have been posted this week already.

As to which photo to post, “What does it matter, anyway?”

;-)


39 posted on 03/21/2013 6:19:41 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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