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Climate change - general thread

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Offline nick

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« on: February 11, 2008, 20:39 PM »
Hi all,

I thought I'd start a general climate change thread where we can post news about Climate change in Spain, etc.

To kick off this from today's El Pais:

http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/2008/02/11/climate-change-to-affect-shellfish-in-galicia/

According to the Centro de Investigacións Mariñas of Galicia barnacle captures are likely to be favoured by alterations due to climate change, though clam and cockle farming will be hit.

Clams and cockles will be negatively affected by torrential rains as their principal beds lie at the mouth  of rivers. Heavy rains will bring a large influx of fresh water harmful to shellfish. High water temperatures will lead to proliferation of pathogenic agents which attack clams and cockles.

On the plus side, the production of barnacles has increased in recent years coinciding with a fall in ocean upwelling, though the article does not explain why. More soon when I understand this.

Any ideas on upwelling?
Nick
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Offline Jill

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 23:54 PM »
Up-welling is often caused by a meeting of currents. The currents don't mix, being of different temperatures and different salinities, and so one rides up over the other.
Up-welling can also occur when a current meets the continental shelf - and if we are talking about Galicia, that's probably the type of up-welling involved. Why it should have changed in recent years, I cannot imagine. The shelf hasn't moved much...

Up-welling brings nutrients to the surface. The nutrients are formed from "decayed matter" - the detritus of rotted sea animals and plants. When the current rushes up from the abyssal depths it carries the nutrients along. These nutrients then provide sustenance for phyto-plankton, and then the zoo-plankton feed on the phyto-plankton. This, in turn attracts small fish, and the presence of the small fish attracts larger fish... and so on.

Areas of up-welling are good fisheries and are also good places to find whales and dolphins. I wasn't aware that there was up-welling off Galicia. The waters there are not teeming with sealife...

I can't see why a decrease in up-welling, and a subsequent decrease in nutrients, should favour the growth of goose-barnacles. One would have expected the opposite.

Jill

P.S. Why are they expecting torrential rains to fall on Galicia? Have I missed something...?


Offline Dave

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 10:54 AM »
Hi Nick
Article on upwelling here, apparently it brings up nutrients from the deep, which probably what the barnacles feed upon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upwelling
regards
Dave

Offline Jill

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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 13:28 PM »
But the report apparently speaks of a DECREASE in upwelling (for reasons unspecified) and says that this decrease is beneficial to the goose barnacles.

Offline nick

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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2008, 21:05 PM »
Excellent answer there Jill (another example of the different areas of expertise on IBNat).

I went back to El Pais article and it definately talks about decrease:

"Por el contrario, la producción de percebe ha ido en aumento en Galicia en los últimos años, un incremento que coincide con una reducción de los afloramientos oceánicos."

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/cambio/climatico/favorecera/captura/percebe/Galicia/elpepusoc/20080211elpepusoc_11/Tes/

Perhaps we can continue to research this

On the other point Jill, Galicia is the only area predicted to possobly increase rainfall with climate. Whatever the case everywhere in Iberia is likily to suffer from more precipitaion in the form of torrential rain
 
Nick
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2008, 23:30 PM »
Jill ...... it also uses the word 'afloramientos' ..... I don't have a dictionary to hand but this word could mean algal blooms......... a reduction in these would associated with to less nutrients and lower sea temps....

SteveT

Offline nick

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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2008, 23:45 PM »
That's it Steve. My translation was WRONG

afloramientos oceánicos = algal blooms


Jill, Sorry to lead you down the wrong path there ..Still don-t understand what-s going on though

So how does the reduction of algal blooms help barnacles?
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 00:08 AM »
Greetings All,

I also got upwelling, which in turn gave me http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgencia as a synonym for afloramiento
and from there to Algal blooms aka red tide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide was but a short step and thence to:
Quote

Frequently, shellfish collected in areas affected by algal blooms can be potentially dangerous for human consumption, leading to closures of shellfish beds for harvesting.

Wasn't there a red tide somewhere off Spain's Med. coast a couple of years back?
Jill? Caesar?

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 00:12 AM »
Greetings All,
Just got this on mareas rojas from Nick's neck of the woods:
M@re Nostrum
Las mareas rojas
Publicado en CATALUNYA RURAL y AGRARIA num.47
por el Centre Nacional d'Aqüicultura
Traducción por Miquel Pontes
http://marenostrum.org/ecologia/oceanografia/marea/

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline steveT

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 23:32 PM »
I'm fairly sure algal blooms in seas are basically caused by warmer waters and more nutrients ( it's similar for fresh water too....but may be also be the result of the natural infilling of a lake/pond in its final stages ... ie becoming a stagnant swamp). They in turn could I guess cause, as has been pointed out, problems for other sea life by taking oxygen and  releasing waste products. Warmer sea temperatures and excess nutrients have a number of sources.

steveT




Offline nick

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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2008, 20:29 PM »
I wonder if the El Pais article should have a read " a rise" not a "reduction"?
Nick
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2008, 20:54 PM »
Another example here:

For those who live amongst the pines apparently pollen allergy, particularly from the arizonica, is going to be high.  This is due to the high temperatures in January.  Full report in Publico today in the health section.  The hottest January since 1971 - on average 1.7deg higher. Partway responsible is a large anticyclone that has sat over central Europe which has impeded the cold air from the north.  I gather Madrid spiked about the first of February for the allergy.
SueMac
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Offline nick

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 11:33 AM »
http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/2008/02/18/spanish-drought-worsens/
Spain is suffering its worst drought in the October-March semester for 60 years, with a national average of just 177 mm compared to the normal value of 316 mm. Only the unlikely event of very heavy rains over the next two weeks would save the period from beating the record. The prolonged drought over the last three years is the worst since reliable records began. El Mundo
Nick
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 13:05 PM »
Hi Nick
I have to say we are on our third day here of drizzle with more to come I believe. Everything looking very wet including the dogs.
SueMac
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Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2008, 13:39 PM »
Yes we have had on and off rain in the Els Ports for the last week, and more heavy rain predicted for the whole of the next week.

Simon

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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2008, 13:45 PM »
Hi Nick et al,

I’m probably skating on weak ice here but in general excessive ‘blooming’ by sea algae, or fresh water algae for that matter, normally means death to ecosystems based on transient microbial life forms as the flowering algae filter out the sunlight; hence no photosynthesis, hence no phytoplankton and hence nothing in the larder for stationery filter feeders like goose barnacles.
In fresh waters this excess is usually due to excessive nutrients, from over fertilising farmland, filtering through into the water systems. Although the first ‘symptom’ is often seen as oxygen starvation, which kills the fish population, this shortage is a result of lack of photosynthesis oxygenating the water.
In the open sea I guess there’s a degree of slack in the system of oxygenation due to the sheer volume of water; the fact that to some extent oxygen may pass into the water due to the mechanical action of the waves (the useful oxygen isn’t ‘dissolved’ in the water, it’s actually ‘mixed’ in gaseous form as minute bubbles of ‘breathable’ air); and the fact that the fish can simply swim away to another place.
As I said above, I imagine it’s not the lack of oxygen but local dearth of nutrients that would be caused by excess algae that would inhibit the barnacles. But why the algae should vary off the Galician coast I have no idea. In the North Sea excess algae floration has occurred in recent years but I think this is exacerbated by that sea being relatively a ‘closed’ system – hardly the case at Finisterre I wouldn’t have thought!

Regs

Simon

Offline steveT

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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2008, 01:56 AM »
Dear all,

There's loads out there on algal blooms ....... it's an area I know little about .....but they are monitored and studied....I've only scanned a few articles.....for the basics....

The algal blooms of the bay of Biscay apparently start in Spring, when enough sunlight provides the  cold nutrient rich seas, the energy to produce these algal blooms. Some of these  phytoplankton are actually toxic to marine life....perhaps this is how algal blooms effect percebes/goose barnacles.

steveT

Offline nick

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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2008, 19:42 PM »
Yes, I've been slow on the uptake here.

Algal blooms are toxic and kill many other species. Therefore, their reduction will help them---

But, why wil climate change lead to a fall in algal blooms off the Galician coast. Increased storminess?
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2008, 01:24 AM »
From the Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/18/climatechange.carbonemissions1

Pyrenean snowfall could be cut by half

Graham Keeley in Madrid The Guardian, Friday April 18 2008 Article historyAbout this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on Friday April 18 2008 on p21 of the International section. It was last updated at 00:20 on April 18 2008. By the end of the century skiing holidays to the Pyrenees could be a distant memory, according to a study which says snowfalls could decrease by half.

Spanish scientists from the Pyrenean Ecological Institute predicted that temperatures in the mountain range in eastern Spain and south-west France could rise by between 2.8C and 4C by the start of the 22nd century. At the same time, snowfall levels could decline by between 30% and 50%.

The study also claimed that the slopes above 2,000 metres may see snow for only four to five months, whereas today they are covered for up to six months.

The report, published in the International Journal of Climatology, also claimed rainfall levels could go down by between 10.7% and 14.8% a year by the end of this century.

Researchers said the predictions, which cover the period between 2070 and 2100, were based on possible rises in greenhouse gases. They used six climate models which accurately estimated conditions in the Pyrenees between 1960 and 1990.

Juan Ignacio López-Moreno, a geographer, who led the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research team, said that in the best-case scenario, if emissions were low, by 2100 average temperatures could rise by 2.8C. However, if emissions rose, temperatures would increase by 4C.

López-Moreno said this could have major implications for the Pyrenees.

Meanwhile, the European Union of Geoscientists warned this week that glaciers and mountain snows were melting earlier in the year than usual, meaning water will have already evaporated when millions of people need it in the summer.
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 11:01 AM »
Thanks for that, Nick,
And as San Glorio is halfway between Galicia and the Pyrenees, to anyone with "dos dedos de frente" (En. anyone?), such news bodes badly for projected ski resorts. Although, of course, where there's money to be made is in the project, not in the actual exploitation of the resort ... :dancing:
Earthday-inspired pessimistic regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266