Extreme Temperature Diary-Wednesday November 20th, 2019/A Big Kink In The Food Chain…What Happens When Fisheries Die

Wednesday November 20th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉

Main Topic: A Big Kink In The Food Chain…What Happens When Fisheries Die

By now we all know that oceans are getting more stressed, becoming open sewers in most instances for plastic pollution and many other toxins. Perhaps what’s worse is carbon pollution induced ocean warming. Anthropologist and sociologists are beginning to coordinate what they know about current coastal societies around the planet with climatologists, making some very disturbing forecasts. These scientist are trying to answer the following question as it relate to our stressed oceans. Given that a worldwide population of more than 7-9 billion is apparently unsustainable, when and where will the great “human die off” begin and, at first, from what region of Earth?

This last question is perhaps the biggest question of our time. Perhaps more suffering than ever occurred from World War Two may be at hand if poor societies, which mainly subsist on fishing, cannot adapt to a world in which there are not enough fish to feed families. Can the poor among these mostly Asian people adapt, going mainly towards a vegetarian diet without widespread starvation occurring? This last question is a big unknown.

The following Washington Post article linked by Desdemona Despair relates the influence that climate change is just beginning to make on affluent Japan’s sushi industry, but read in its entirety one can see how disruptive overall trends are becoming around Asian countries, which for thousands of years have depended upon the oceans for food:

Sea surface temperature in the Sea of Okhotsk, 1880-2018. Graphic: John Muyskens / The Washington Post
Sea surface temperature in the Sea of Okhotsk, 1880-2018. Graphic: John Muyskens / The Washington Post

By Simon Denyer and Chris Mooney
12 November 2019

SHIRETOKO PENINSULA, Japan (The Washington Post) – Lined up along the side of their boat, the fishermen hauled a huge, heavy net up from swelling waves. At first, a few small jellyfish emerged, then a piece of plastic. Then net, and more net. Finally, all the way at the bottom: a small thrashing mass of silvery salmon.

It was just after dawn at the height of the autumn fishing season, but something was wrong.

“When are the fish coming?” boat captain Teruhiko Miura asked himself.

The salmon catch is collapsing off Japan’s northern coast, plummeting by about 70 percent in the past 15 years. The disappearance of the fish coincides with another striking development: the loss of a unique blanket of sea ice that dips far below the Arctic to reach this shore.

Map showing average surface sea temperature in the Sea of Okhotsk, compared with the late 1800s. Data: Berkeley Earth. Graphic: John Muyskens / The Washington Post

The twin impacts — less ice, fewer salmon — are the products of rapid warming in the Sea of Okhotsk, wedged between Siberia and Japan. The area has warmed in some places by as much as 3 degrees Celsius since preindustrial times, making it one of the fastest-warming spots in the world, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the nonprofit organization Berkeley Earth.

That increase far outstrips the global average and exceeds the limit policymakers set in Paris in 2015 when they aimed to keep Earth’s average temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

The rising temperatures are starting to shut down the single most dynamic sea ice factory on Earth. The intensity of ice generation in the northwestern Sea of Okhotsk exceeds that of any single place in the Arctic Ocean or Antarctica, and the sea ice reaches a lower latitude than anywhere else on the planet. Its decline has a cascade of consequences well beyond Japan as climate dominoes begin to fall. [more]

The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific

Let’s all follow news about fisheries worldwide very carefully. Sure, people could adapt their diets more to a mix of grains, fruits and vegetables, but land areas where these are grown will also be stressed from global warming, perhaps putting a big limit on supply. This is why many speculate that the great “human die off” may begin in Asia. This is all food for thought…a dark intended pun.

Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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