Home Page        Cutting Emissions        Daily Tips        Links        Decoder Ring        What's the Catch?        Blog        The Fine Print
Home Page
Cutting Emissions
Daily Tips
Links
Decoder Ring
What's the Catch?
Blog
Subscribe (updates)
The Fine Print

Catastrophic Climate Change: We Caused It; We're Going to Have to Fix It.


Algae Blooms

Algae blooms are growing in size, geopgraphic distribution and duration. One factor in this is the rising average global temperature. However, algae is not just thriving on planetary warming, it is also contributing to climate change in a vicious circle (or positive feedback loop). Algae grows as seasonal temperatures rise, and then die off when sunlight diminishes and colder weather returns. While the blooms are forming, they reduce the amount of light getting into the water, which reduces growth of the aquatic weeds which provide habitat for many kinds of fish. And while they consume carbon dioxide from the air during their growth, they are also associated with reducing oxygen levels in the water.

But, the biggest damage comes when the algae blooms die off. The vegetative mass sinks, and decomposes under water - an anaerobic zone. That means, instead of just giving back the carbon dioxide it has consumed (which would happen in an aerobic environment like a compost pile), the decomposing algae produces methane - a greenhouse gas 56 times more potent than carbon dioxide. If our objective is to reduce the impact of greehouse gas emisisons to maintain a survivable planet, replacing carbon dioxide with methane is not a good substitution. We need to reduce algae bloom formation (by reducing nutrient supplies and cooling the water), and when they do appear, we need to remove the blooms from the water so they can decompose in air or put the biomass to other beneficial use.

Albedo Effect

Home Page        Cutting Emissions        Daily Tips        Links        Decoder Ring        What's the Catch?        Blog        The Fine Print

This site is powered by renewable energy! (All material on this Web site Darryl McMahon unless otherwise indicated.)