Re: global warming and sea level rise

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 12:02:35 MDT wrote:
> In a message dated 7/16/01 11:11:31 PM, writes:
> >> When your friend talks about polluted oceans, does he specify
> >> what exactly it is that the ocean is besmirched by? Does he note
> >> that he is coated with some foreign matter when emerging from
> >> a swim in the sea?
> >>
> >
> >No specifics, I bet if I asked him he wouldn't have any facts to back
> >it up.
> There are certainly very polluted areas in the ocean (only a few worms
> can live in Santa Monica bay sediments) but the ocean as a whole isn't
> particularly polluted. The local areas are following the usual global
> pollution rule of getting cleaner in developed areas and dirtier in
> developing ones.

There are also areas like the 'Dead Zone' off the Louisiana coast, which
is often blamed on gulf oil/gas recovery operations, but is more an
effect of natural fossil fuel seepage.

You are accurate about the dirtiness of developing ones. A number of
years ago I audited an extension course at U of W dealing with issues in
international trade, especially the environment and labor. I don't have
the reference, but essentially the amount of pollution per dollar of GDP
peaks at a per capita GDP of around $10k (in a bell curve) and falls off
thereafter, until it levels off at something like two times the level of
a subsistence third world farmer when you reach about $20k gdp per

> The ecologists have concerns with the amount of fertilizer we're dumping
> in the oceans. While not exactly pollution, it tends to eutrophize the
> water (ie make it full of algae) and this could zap a lot of coastal
> communities. Jeremy Jackson claims, based on sediment cores,
> that our concept of bays a eutrophic is wrong; they weren't that
> way before farming.

Sure, but how far back? Back to the introduction of chemical
fertilizers? Back to the beginning of organized farming (~3500 BC)?

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