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Subject: Re: Floating atmospheric regulators
From: Gary Sharp <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 23 Jun 2007 10:19:10 -0700
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Bill Trevor et al

These sorts of 'almost statements' about the ocean's role in CO2  
dynamics cannot be strictly limited to the upper few meters of the  
ocean - or to the fundamentally poorly understood roles of both the  
upper water column, coastal phenomena or worse, poorly understood  
episodes of Algal Blooms  -

I got into a long debate about all these pseudo-concepts back in the  
late 1970s-early 1980s with Dick Barber at gatherings in Lima Peru -  
where the 'locals' certainly knew and understood more than those  
'outlanders' that showed up to "prove another point". It started me  
working to get the 'local' science out into the western world of  
'shallow' and 'equilibrium thinking'.

It seems that everyone was wandering around 'explaining' the massive  
upwelling off Peru and related coastal phenomena - without actually  
having been out there - and measuring all that was necessary.

The Group Effort (ICANE- 1979 workshop report available from Lima)  
led by Trevor Platt and Canadian colleagues along with some La Jolla- 
based sampling wizards - in the previous years showed that there were  
no simple rules - and that repeated or so-called replicate's were  
simply never the same off Peru's coast - as the gear quickly clogged  
due to super abundant neustonic biomasses - and got really weird as  
you moved offshore into the real wind-blown chaos.

Then there was the issue of the So-Called Oceanic Desert in the  
Western Tropical Pacific - where over a million tons of high-end  
trophic level and physiologically super-active tropical tunas were  
caught every year - What was 'supporting' that huge biomass and its  
routine growth?

Well, eventually, Barber and Francisco Chavez set up a project - and  
'went fishin' - to discover that the per meter-square production in  
the Great western Pacific Ocean Desert region was continuous down to  
over 350 meters - within the deeper regional mixed layer - and was  
often equal to that in the upper ocean off Peru... ???

Guess which are has the greatest 'fallout' in the long run,  
sequestering CO2?

Meanwhile, the major source of nearshore and waterway anoxia after an  
algal bloom is the absence of O2 when the sun goes down - and the  
massive rate of CO2 due to the algal respiration san sunlight - most  
often a short day (winter) phenomenon in freshwater or inland  
waterways. This generates a lot of bacterial biomass - and indeed can  
cause massive sequestration - all about seasonal weather and the  
initial cause of these bloom events -

Lots of these topics were covered in the 1983 FAO Expert Consultation  
- all leading to 'Looking Forward!'
Rather than rerunning Olde Myths and computer gamers' nonsense.

Live and Learn!
--
Gary Sharp
  Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
  780 Harrison Road, Salinas, California 93907
  <http://sharpgary.org>
  831-449-9212
[log in to unmask]

  "The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses
  to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism
  is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin."
  Thomas H. Huxley



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