Another scare? Giant Kelp Sea Forests “Gone by 2100” Declare Experts. Oh No.

In today’s Sunday Times (UK), page 3, front main section (“News”):

Britain’s giant kelp forests–the sea weed that cover vast stretches of its surrounding seabeds–are being wiped out by human activities and will disappear within a few decades, marine biologists have warned.

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They go on to explain how they create a rich environment “for thousands of other marine creatures, including many commercially valuable species”.

They say that the kelp forests are likely to disappear by 2100, “destroyed by a combination of climate change and ocean acidification, both caused by CO2 generated by humans burning fossil fuels”. The leader of the study, Juliet Brodie, professor of Botany at the Natural History Museum in London also said that more storms caused by climate change would add to the destruction. Professor Jason Hall-Spencer from Plymouth University, a co-author of the paper, was also quoted “What is staggering is how fast warming and the spread of corrosive waters are changing marine life around our coasts.”

The author of the piece was by Jonathan Leaker, Science Editor of the Times.

The report was also discussed in NERC’s publication “The Planet Earth Online” at http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=1709 where they conclude with a paragraph saying something different (my bold):

The results of these changes will be complex, though, and not all organisms will lose out. Seagrasses and kelp forests may thrive at high latitudes due to increases in CO2. These are productive ecosystems that raise seawater pH as they grow. If we look after these habitats properly they should continue to store carbon and provide bio-diverse habitats for commercially important fish and shellfish.

Humm. It must feel good to be so certain about all this. Any uncertainty is not mentioned.

I’m going to have to do some more reading as I don’t recall reading very many definitive papers on how the oceans are warming, how pH of oceans will actually become acidic (the sea is already corrosive and the pH is well north of acidic), or how more storms will be caused by climate change, nor how storms in deep water affect the bottom. Lots of things to learn, I guess. A lot of this doesn’t make sense to me and it’s not because I don’t already have a lot of knowledge of these issues.

How did this article make it to page 3 of the Sunday Times? This is just sensationalism. Oh … Now I understand how it got on page 3.

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