TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Fertilizer not CO2 is responsible for coral bleaching and ocean acidification, from all I see. Intelligent rebuttal wanted. Thanks

Fertilizers and coral bleaching
By Jim Ryan

Fertilizers spewing from the mouth of the Mississippi have created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fertilizers are creating the bleaching of the corals, the killing of shellfish and a lot more. The scientists are blaming the oceans problems on co2, but that's a lie.

Just look at the coral reefs around Cuba, that uses almost no fertilizers. No bleaching of their reefs and their reefs still grow the most sensitive corals.

With fertilizers creating the oceans problems, instead of co2 as the scientists, congress and media claim, when climate gate proved they were wrong, as they were getting ready to implement carbon sequestration, which is more bogus crap, all designed to increase taxes and give trillions more to the stock market.

You take everything from laborers, when labor is the only thing that makes wealth and you destroy any life laborers can have.
Congress, Wall Street and the stock market have destroyed laborers. Laborers will also be their downfall.

Can anyone here explain why Cuba, so close to America is not affected?

Hint-- the Gulf Stream !


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 20 2013: It is true that fertilizers run off causes serious ecological problems resulting in dead zones, but that is not because it causes the ocean to acidify. When there is too much nitrates and phosphates in the ocean it fertilizes the algae and causes a large algae bloom. Eventually this clouds the water and prevents sunlight from reaching deep into the water, which prevents photosynthesis. The algae beneath the surface begins to consume its stored energy, or decays and is eaten by the local microbes. This process uses the oxygen faster than it can be replenished and the oxygen gets depleted. This prevents all oxygen dependent life from living in the water resulting in a dead zone. Fertilizer does not cause acidification, it causes hypoxia.

    CO2, when dissolved in water does make it slightly acidic. If you don't believe me you can do a simple chemistry experiment at home. Take two bottles of water and dissolve equal amounts of baking soda in them. Tightly put a lid on one and leave the other to the open air. Then let them sit for a week. Measure their PH. The one open to the air will slowly get lower in PH as because of exposure to CO2. I admit that is a clumsy experiment, since it does not isolate the CO2. If you could find a source of pure CO2 such as dry ice then you could perform a better experiment.

    It is true that fertilizer run off is a huge problem that devastates ecologies and causes dead zones, but scientists are not lying when they say that CO2 is causing ocean acidification. They are separate pressures we put on the ocean from separate causes.

    TL;DR Fertilizer run off causes aquatic hypoxia. CO2 causes ocean acidification.
    • Mar 20 2013: To make this simple, if co2 were the cause, all coral beds would be affected equally. They aren't.

      Whatcha got now?
      • thumb
        Mar 20 2013: " if co2 were the cause, all coral beds would be affected equally. They aren't. "

        Not necessarily. Why do you believe that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are uniform? Might there not be is more CO2 in a city than in a forest? Predicting CO2 concentrations requires a strong understanding of weather patterns, CO2 producers and CO2 sinks that I honestly don't have. Similarly, the ability of water to dissolve CO2 is not uniform either.

        There are people who devote their lives to studying these very topics. Why accuse them of lying?
        • Mar 20 2013: I would ask you why you defend them, when you admit to knowing nothing of how co2 is distributed in the atmosphere and in the ocean.

          Then tell us why so much of the coral reefs in the gulf, the keys and east coast are affected, but not Cuba, 90 miles away.

          Why is the coast of Australia where most people are showing quite a lot of coral bleaching, compared to its opposite coast, where few live, if bleaching and acidification are due to co2?
    • Mar 20 2013: By the way Scott, the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi might just qualify as an aquatic hypoxia zone. :-) . It's also very acidic.
    • Mar 20 2013: Tell us Scott, how many different fertilizers will burn a person in high concentrations and why is that Scott?
    • thumb
      Mar 21 2013: The ocean around coral reefs is already saturated with CO2 as the calcium carbonate that the coral is made out of is partially soluble. It forms an equilibrium. Introducing more CO2 just pushes the equilibrium in the opposite direction causing deposition of calcium carbonate. Ocean acidification from dissolved CO2 can only occur in areas where there is little calcium carbonate present. Coral bleaching is a result of increased temperature and is unrelated to pH.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.