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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 25206 times)

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AGelbert

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December 16, 2019



New Study Links Half of Ocean Acidification To 🦕😈🐍👹🦖 88 Polluters

Last week was not a great one for climate litigation, with New York losing its case against Exxon for securities fraud. But while the fossil fuel industry is trumpeting that ruling as the end of such suits, the fact that the case was narrowly defined as a financial fraud case means it’s not as relevant to the other ongoing suits as the industry might want you to think.

And there may still be more to come, particularly as the science linking polluters with impacts continues to sharpen.

On that front, a new study published last week in Environmental Research Letters attributes half of the observed ocean acidification to 88 major emitters from the gas, oil, coal and cement industries. As coverage at ClimateLiability mentions, several of those crazy 88 are already facing lawsuits related to climate change, including Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Total.

With this line of research, “scientists can now quantify how much more acidic the ocean has become as a result of each fossil fuel company’s products,” lead author Rachel Licker said.

To do this, researchers used the Climate Accountability Institute’s dataset of pollution from those 88 largest emitters, and then applied the methodology they used for a 2017 study linking emissions to warming temperatures.

But because acidification happens at different rates in different places, depending on local conditions, researchers had to get a little more precise. They used 3-D models to explore the differences in acidification, and focused on five regions where acidification and rising temperatures are impacting the coastal communities whose economic well-being depends on a thriving ocean.

In the end, the research found that not only are those 88 companies responsible for half the acidification, but nearly a quarter of the 25% increase in acidification observed can be blamed on the 20 biggest investor-owned or state-owned companies, including ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell.

And in case you were wondering, acidification is just as nasty as it sounds. As Scott Doney, the study’s co-author, explained, acidification “makes it more difficult for many marine organisms to construct their shells and skeletons.”

This means big trouble for some very delicious, and economically important, sea life. As Doney describes, the species at risk “form the foundation of the marine ecosystem food chain- including some types of plankton, algae, shellfish, and coral that may struggle to grow and survive in a future warmer, more acidic ocean.”

So while 🦕😈🦖 ExxonMobil et al are no doubt celebrating their New York win , they still have plenty to worry about. Although the shells of clams and oysters and shrimp are growing weaker, the case against polluters is only getting stronger.

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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