‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse 

‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse”

We have been warned.”

By Julia Conley

The acidification of the Earth’s oceans, which climate scientists warn is a dangerous effect of continued carbon emissions, was behind a mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to a new study.

Small-shelled marine organisms survived the meteorite that struck the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, according to researchers at the GFZ geosciences research center in Potsdam, Germany, but the subsequent sharp drop in pH levels in the ocean caused the marine life to go extinct.

“We show ocean acidification can precipitate ecological collapse,” Michael Henehan, who led the study, told The Guardian.

Researchers examined shell fossils in sediment dating back to the time period just after the meteorite struck the planet, which showed that the oceans’ pH dropped by about 0.25 units in the 100 to 1,000 years after the strike.

“In the boundary clay, we managed to capture them just limping on past the asteroid impact,” Henehan said.

But, the newspaper reported, “It was the knock-on effects of acidification and other stresses, such as the ‘nuclear winter’ that followed the impact, that finally drove these foraminifera to extinction.”

“We have been warned,” climate campaigner Ed Matthew tweeted with a link to the research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Today, climate scientists warn that the continued burning of oil, gas, and coal is causing ocean acidification that, left unchecked, could cause a pH drop of 0.4 units.

If policymakers are able to help limit the warming of the globe to two degrees Celsius by ordering that fossil fuels be left in the ground and shifting to a renewable energy economy, the ocean’s pH level could drop just 0.15 units.

“If 0.25 was enough to precipitate a mass extinction, we should be worried,” Henahan told The Guardian.

As Common Dreams reported in July, MIT researchers also recently turned their attention to ocean acidification as well. The researchers released data showing that today’s carbon levels could be fast approaching a tipping point threshold that could trigger extreme ocean acidification similar to the kind that contributed to the Permian–Triassic mass extinction, which occurred about 250 million years ago.

 

Source: ‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse | Common Dreams News

Acting ‘On Behalf of Life,’ Extinction Rebellion Defies Blanket Ban on Climate Protests in London 

Acting ‘On Behalf of Life,’ Extinction Rebellion Defies Blanket Ban on Climate Protests in London

“They take these actions to protect an establishment that is criminally negligent in its inaction on ecological and climate breakdown. We rebel against a broken system.”

by Jake Johnson

Activists with the global Extinction Rebellion movement vowed to remain in the streets demanding climate action after the London Metropolitan Police Monday night imposed a city-wide protest ban that lawmakers and human rights groups condemned as “chilling and unlawful.”

“We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace, with ferocious love of life in our hearts. We act on behalf of life. Our international rebellion continues.”
—Extinction Rebellion

“Imposing a blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests is an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Allan Hogarth, head of advocacy and programs at Amnesty International U.K., said in a statement. “Under U.K. and international human rights law, the government has an obligation to facilitate the exercise of these rights.”

Extinction Rebellion U.K. quickly signaled that it would refuse to comply with the police order, which the group said is legally “dubious.”

“They take these actions to protect an establishment that is criminally negligent in its inaction on ecological and climate breakdown,” the group tweeted late Monday. “We rebel against a broken system. We act on behalf of life.”

George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian and supporter of the Extinction Rebellion movement, said the “truncation of the right to protest” by London police “intensifies the moral case for taking action.”

“My plans have not changed,” tweeted Monbiot, who said he intends to get arrested Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Extinction Rebellion campaigners returned to the streets to continue their peaceful protests and non-violent civil disobedience as police gathered in Trafalgar Square to block demonstrations.

Government have banned protests from the whole of London by putting a section 14 over the area.

We are here as people of faith to say that when laws are unjust “we must obey God rather than any human authority.”

Please pray. It feels very vulnerable being on the ground today. pic.twitter.com/caFI5MqPJg

— Christian Climate Action (@CClimateAction) October 15, 2019

Extinction Rebellion’s demonstrations Tuesday are part of the movement’s two weeks of direct action that kicked off last Monday.

According to the London police, there have been more than 1,300 arrests since the two weeks of demonstrations began.

“It ain’t over ’till it’s over,” Extinction Rebellion tweeted Tuesday morning in response to the protest ban. “We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace, with ferocious love of life in our hearts. We act on behalf of life. Our international rebellion continues.”

Source: Acting ‘On Behalf of Life,’ Extinction Rebellion Defies Blanket Ban on Climate Protests in London | Common Dreams News

‘Humanitarian Catastrophe’: Civilians Flee as Turkey Launches Trump-Sanctioned Military Assault on Kurds in Syria 

Humanitarian Catastrophe’: Civilians Flee as Turkey Launches Trump-Sanctioned Military Assault on Kurds in Syria

A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Turkish forces of deliberately targeting “civilian areas.”

By Jake Johnson

Rights groups and anti-war activists warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” Wednesday as Turkish forces invaded northeastern Syria and launched airstrikes against Kurdish targets, forcing civilians to flee in panic.

The attack comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump gave his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a green light to begin the operation by announcing the abrupt withdrawal of American forces from northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) warned in a statement Wednesday that Turkey’s assault “will spill the blood of thousands of innocent civilians because our border areas are overcrowded.”

On Twitter, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali accused Turkey of deliberately targeting “civilian areas.”

Fighters with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which leads the SDF, told CNN that hundreds of civilians scrambled to escape northeastern Syria as Turkey began bombarding the area:

In a statement issued before Turkey launched its attack, Amnesty International said “it is imperative that all parties to this conflict respect international humanitarian law, including by refraining from carrying out attacks on civilians and civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.”

“The international community must take measures to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by the Turkish authorities and pro-Turkey armed groups and Kurdish forces if yet another humanitarian catastrophe in northern Syria is to be avoided,” said Amnesty.

Source: ‘Humanitarian Catastrophe’: Civilians Flee as Turkey Launches Trump-Sanctioned Military Assault on Kurds in Syria | Common Dreams News