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CLIMATE: Wind-driven ocean upwelling kills oysters

Letter by Ken A. Schlichte, Tumwater on April 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm with 3 Comments »
April 16, 2012 12:07 pm

Researchers indicated in a recent article (TNT, 4-13) that huge oyster die-offs are occurring along the Northwest coast, but only when wind-driven upwelling events bring deep and naturally corrosive water containing more dissolved carbon dioxide up to the ocean surface.

These researchers have indicated in their other reports that this naturally corrosive water now upwelling along the Northwest coast has been kept at depth and away from the ocean surface for about 50 years – meaning that it was last exposed to the atmosphere a half-century ago when carbon dioxide levels were much lower.

These researchers have provided evidence that the upwelling of naturally corrosive deep ocean water that was last exposed at the ocean surface a half-century ago when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were much lower is primarily responsible for the recent huge Northwest oyster die-offs.

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  1. Frankenchrist says:

    Interesting theory but who are “these researchers?” Got a citation?

  2. Yet another misleading letter from Mr. Schlichte. He uses the words “naturally corrosive” to indicate that nothing has changed in the oceans. He is wrong and his reasoning is a subterfuge. It is the increase in dissolved CO2 in the oceans that is the problem because it is increasing the corrosiveness of ocean water. Wind-driven upwelling is fine, but it has nothing to do with the problem.

  3. CoolClearH2O says:

    The original TNT article included the following statement,
    “But only when the wind blew and drew corrosive waters from the deep just as oysters were spawning did the shellfish not survive to adulthood.”

    Hatchery, OSU Scientists Link Ocean Acidification to Larval Oyster Failure, in the Oregon State University link at http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/apr/hatchery-managers-osu-scientists-link-ocean-acidification-larval-oyster-failure, includes the following statements,
    “A previous study co-authored by Hales found the water that is being upwelled in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast has been kept at depth away from the surface for about 50 years – meaning it was last exposed to the atmosphere a half-century ago, when carbon dioxide levels were much lower.”

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