[0:00] I'm David Torcivia.
[0:02] I'm Daniel Forkner.
[0:06] And this is Ashes Ashes, a podcast where we talk about the systemic issues of the world that way that we can or can't fix them.
[0:12] Today we'll talk about the ocean what is the ocean how do we depend on it what are some of the important changes occurring to our oceans and the consequences some of these changes are having and will have it what that might mean for us as human beings.
[0:26] So Daniel, exactly how big is the ocean?
[0:30] David the ocean is so incomprehensibly day. I mean in terms of surface area right the ocean is 71% of the Earth's surface and growing because of rising seas.
[0:41] It's true, it's a good point.
[0:43] But also in terms of depth. Right I mean if you took Mount Everest and you put it in the deepest part of the ocean you still have a mild between the summit and the surface of the ocean. And that's just one point right but I mean overall the average depth of the ocean is like five times as great as the average height of all that so it's a massive place. I mean there are storms that happen out in the open seas and the waves they create are so powerful. At the energy in these waves is equivalent to 10000 nuclear bomb explosion. Let's just massive it's hard to wrap your mind around how big the ocean is.
[1:24] Okay so we got that it's big but I mean is it empty to.
[1:28] The ocean is extremely diverse yes there are empty parts.
[1:32] Which is something we'll get you in a little bit.
[1:34] There are areas that are less populated than others there's a Tropics so see Arctic there's even you know volcanoes spewing molten lava on the ocean floor in different areas.
[1:45] What are the things that I found that's that's really interesting about understanding just how Dynamic and enormous the ocean is is it something we talked about before these are these currents that are happening underwater. Things like at The Gulfstream there's other ones all around the world book because Americans are most familiar with that one. I'm in the scope of these are just mind-boggling Lee huge so I mean we all know the Amazon River it's enormous river the largest river in the world that pumps out just need nor Miss amount of water. But that's absolutely nothing compared to the flow of the Gulf Stream what are these giant underwater Rivers I mean it's moving a hundred times as much water as all the other rivers on Earth. Combined, it was three hundred times faster than the Amazon and all this is happening under the water where we can't see it and it really drives the current sat rise the Ocean than just drives our weather as a whole again this is one of those scope things it's it's amazing how much is it going on how huge these numbers are, and how much of an effect it has on everything because.
[2:39] Yeah those layers in the ocean are just so fascinating and it's caused by so many different things you have layers that are based on the amount of light that can penetrate the surface so you have. Well let layers and you have dark areas you also have different layers based on salinity the fresh versus the salt water. The heat causes different layers warmer at the top colder at the bottom. And as you might expect with all this diversity in terms of how the ocean is structured you get a plethora of ecosystems in different species that coexist in different parts of the ocean.
[3:14] Yeah as far as I understand it some of the largest Forest which is something I really think about on land but really do exist on your water as well so for Setter like kelp forest seaweed Forest. I need a huge enormous very important ecosystems that are just a little bit outside of our side.
[3:29] Yeah they were the kelp forest really blew my mind I watch an episode of Blue Planet 2 and there's this one scene where they zoom in on Waters in the north is very icy and cold water. And when you go down into the water in the winter it looks like nothing's there it's very dead very cold but then the Sun comes out in the spring. Are starfish that start X greeting spores and species just come to life seemingly out of nowhere. Sea cucumbers come out of the Rocks they stretch out like 10 arms to collect the starfish spores and then they feed their mouths one arm at a time and this kind of circular pattern. And all these plans come out and these giant kelp forest grow and you have this diversity of fish that begin to interact underneath a lush green canopy and it truly looks like a forest underwater.
[4:19] Yeah I seen some of those episodes everyone here you should really check it out blue planet to some of the inventory is just absolutely amazing with with this world that we never typically see or think about, be at this diversity in the oceans it's amazing and there's a huge amount of Life there depending on the statistics you're looking at it anywhere from 70 to 90% of all life on Earth is in the ocean to sound I'm glad it's not the rainforest its indices. And it's an incredibly important part, Abu thar Global ecosystem and our economy and our society at large for a number of reasons one and you don't from the economic aspect that these fish and he's Fisheries provide with us but also you know very basic things like the oxygen we breathe most of that comes from the ocean.
[4:57] Yeah we really depend on the ocean in so many ways like you said our economy we get oxygen from the ocean and it absorbs a lot of our greenhouse gas emission and helps curb the effects of global climate change.
[5:10] So that's one of the most important parts of the ocean floor said we just don't think about and that there isn't even a lot of studies done about there's a lot of modeling that that's what it took the stuff to account. But now it's turning out that it's our understanding at this is is basic at best and we're still learning a lot even now but the ocean is hugely important, in this climate change question that's happening right now I didn't understand just how much energy is coming down into the ocean every second when the sun is.
[5:58] And for long time we thought the ocean is so huge so massive so deep that all this energy that pumping in like yeah we know it's adding up to it but this is such a humongous energy sing. We're not going to have any measurable effect on it we thought that's the case with our pollution we thought that's the case with our Plastics and we thought that was largely the case with CO2 and climate change.
[6:17] 30 sing all this energy is coming directly from us or it's a combination of us and the Sun.
[6:22] Its energy that would normally be added because of our CO2 because of these greenhouse gases that we committed that catches you energy that comes from the sun of normally just bounce back off. Going to space and it radiates out into nothing, is now instead being caught by the ocean absorb it and acting as a sort of giant heat Reservoir and for long time it's been actually really good thing the ocean has been warming slowly but it's kept this heat that would normally just be going into our atmosphere, and preventing it from from cooking us black a better term I mean if this heat that went into the ocean when instead straight into our atmosphere and so the ocean would be looking at not,
[7:11] Mind boggling to try to understand is how much energy do she has absorbing prevented us from cooking in the problem is is that why is we've been warming this up the rate of warming starting to slow and we realize that because of this all of our calculations about how quickly we are warming from climate change, are slightly off because the ocean has been absorbing more than we thought and now it's that reaches sort of a equilibrium and there's less mixing and stuff going on with some people talk about in a moment, the capacity of the ocean to heat, is getting less and I mean some more of this excess energy isn't going into the ocean but it has to go somewhere and that somewhere is our atmosphere and that's part of the thing that this climate changes did it it goes on is warming it's going to get faster and way more dramatic.
[7:51] So all. If I understand this correctly because the ocean has been absorbing so much of our greenhouse gas emissions.
[8:07] Reflected from these greenhouse gases so it's both lessening how much CO2 we have in the atmosphere and then also catching some of the extra energy that's reflected from these greenhouse gases.
[8:18] And so if it if the oceans ability to do that declines that means the gases that we are admitting will have a greater effect on our atmosphere directly.
[8:29] Right that means we wore more quickly and we warm way more than we thought.
[8:33] Okay so as the ocean is gradually warming what is going on how does that affect that you can systems within the ocean how does that affect the way the ocean operates.
[8:42] Well with any system that's as complicated as the ocean the answer is it's very very complicated but we can sort of break some stuff down and take a look at it. So we can understand first we can't think of the ocean is this monolithic giant thing. Oceans complicated it has lots of levels there's different regions of it there's different oceans cold Parts react differently to warm parts and as we go deeper into a different layers react differently. So thinking of it as like a centralized single being doesn't work so well we have to break it down into different sections and stuff. Tumultuous warming at the current is occurring on the top section the ocean and the heat capacity of those layers is really extraordinary so I'd like the first 10 feet of the ocean just to put in perspective like not very deep at all this is very shy lotion.
[9:30] We're talking enormous amount of systems that can hold enormous amount of energy which is why we see those enormous ocean storms is giant weight and so normally the energy would just sit there right and it in a perfect system it would slowly sink its way down and then equally be mixed and whatever. But the oceans complicated there's layers of heat layers of salinity layers of these currents moving in and out of it and so all these different layers going to be mixed by these into currents. These are things like the Gulf Stream the Kuroshio current. He's very important underwater rivers that act as giant conveyor belts moving water from one particle bars low oxygen too high at the gym, and in different salinity levels and just acting as giant turning engines that keep the water very mix, and prevent the ocean from becoming extremely stratified which has a number of problems which will talk about in a little bit but as this ocean warms, Timmy's parents are disrupted we're seeing this in in a number of major important ocean currents occur Co current Goldstream a mock these things that would normally Global engines driving this mixing are Soma starting to slow, and we think most of that is from one warming in the higher levels and to the melting of ice and dropping these very cold listen Linda T Waters into the deep ocean during office natural conveyor belt. And it has a lot of profound effects.
[10:47] So I think the way the warming kind of Stratus buys the ocean like you're talking about it affects the way the ocean holds oxygen right.
[10:55] So that top layer as it gets warmer warmer water can't hold as much dissolved gas so a lot of oxygen leaves.
[11:05] So like when you have a cold drink it stays.
[11:15] Losing oxygen.
[11:16] That's interesting because warm water holds dissolved solids easier than colder water but.
[11:21] So I guess that's one effect going on but then the other effect of the stratification is that. Part of this mixing process that you're talking about because warmer water rises and separates from colder water. That top layer which also gets the most oxygen because it's interacting with the air would normally circulate that oxygen to lower levels just buy natural mixing but the stratification prevents that. So there's a big part of the ocean that's not getting as much oxygen as I normally would.
[11:50] Yes and this is one of these really unforeseen consequences something that's invisible but has huge effects on the inhabitants of the ocean we get these things and the mid-levels are called oxygen minimum zones, there's also other ones called hypoxic cylence where there's literally no oxygen and end things that happen to wonder into these suffocate. It's weird to think about things in the ocean is having like different pockets of oxygen levels. But it's really not so different when you think about it as we climb mountains and we get higher right there's less oxygen available to us for the same thing happens in the ocean as you go deeper there's less oxygen. Normally that's okay because fish live in these certain vertical regions where that they oxygen levels in the pressure in the light are appropriate for them. But as these oxygen minimum zones merge and then expand and they expand not just just like out horizontally. But also vertically and it starts compressing the space at these these ocean inhabitants live in you see it in some places fish that would normally dive down. 300 feet or or even deeper you know 300M diving deep it all their living much closer to the surface because if they win any deeper it literally suffocate to death because there's not enough oxygen in this area. You seem to matter changes in the way of fish behave and I has a big effects as you compress the living area of these these animals it's our living closer together part of their lives next to pray and it has profound effect on ecosystems and food chains.
[13:19] Yeah these low oxygen areas I think have expanded by more than 1.7 million square miles in the past 50 years so it is having a profound effect and not just those species that are living at the top layer like you said that are getting compressed. But there are mid-layer fish these fish that kind of live in these dark areas of the ocean and they only come up at night to eat phytoplankton. But because their environment is getting a little bit more oxygen-starved they have to come up more often for oxygen and are often exposed to the light where it's much easier for prey to take advantage of them. Some of these fish are the backbone of of marine food chains and as we see more species that are on the bottom of the food chain get devastated for various reasons. It will affect the ability for larger species to survive which could have even bigger consequences for us.
[14:08] Right in these areas are expanding dramatically and expanding quickly to the point that a lot of scientists, who weren't even aware this would be a problem just a decade or two ago are shocked to find these the size of these Fisheries shrinking and moving around and literally displacing fish in two parts are in two places at they would never have lived before, and wishing Intermatic worldwide decrease in the amount of oxygen that's in the ocean as a whole. And it has huge unforeseen consequences for the future by 2100 we're supposed to see a 7% decrease in total oxygen level. Remember this isn't just across the board.
[14:54] Were there lots of animals in NM fish living everywhere we're so me getting huge blue wet deserts where life literally can't survive because there's no Oxygen for them to breathe.
[15:04] In addition these shifts occur in microbial ecosystems as well I think a lot of microorganisms that are moving and shifting to these low oxygen areas. These microorganisms that thrive on these types of areas produce nitrous oxide right which is really bad for our atmosphere in terms of its effect on global warming.
[15:22] Yeah I'm even worse they were placing these phytoplankton and other small microorganisms that would be creating oxygen and making this problem worse so becomes this cascading failure this feedback loop, which is the deadly word that we keep coming back to when we discuss any sort of these climate change things to make the problem worse and to make things get worse faster than we expected. But that's not all there are worse things going on in the ocean.
[15:47] So this this is all related to the process of deoxygenation right removing oxygen from the ocean and that's like one of three major processes going on in the ocean right now right this triple threat.
[15:59] Of of climate change natural processes here.
[16:02] And I guess one of the other person sees it's really connected to this warming process is acidification of the ocean.
[16:08] Yeah that's that's the big one here in the one that's maybe the most surprising or biologist and researchers.
[16:15] Carbon dioxide that goes into the ocean lowers the pH overall pH level of the ocean by producing this carbonic acid. Which has huge implications for are coral reefs fish by the Plankton's excetera that we really rely on.
[16:32] Yeah and I don't want to undersell just how much of a tragedy this is the largest extinctions in all of the history of Life on this planet. I've been because of ocean acidification. Some of the largest ones of these killed 95% of all life on Earth and right now as best as biologists and geologists could tell, the ocean is getting acidic faster than at any other point in the entire history of the planet we might be on the cusp of one of the greatest extinctions ever.
[17:01] So we're creating the same conditions that led up to I guess one of the worst Extinction periods on planet Earth is that what we're looking at then is a mass extinction and marine biology.
[17:12] Yeah I'll number biologist and number scientist even the UN is concerned about this in a writing lots of reports on exactly the subject. It's not something that we're trying to oversell and make traumatic and stuff but we really might be sitting here watching the start of one of the largest mass extinctions ever. I really don't want undertale this in the literature and that scientists are putting out also really disgusted is at the beginning of a major mass extinction.
[17:39] Tom really curious to know how exactly, species dying off in the ocean might affect us on land but but maybe it would be good to have an understanding what a certification is in the first place we haven't really gone over exactly what that process is and how it's affecting life in the ocean.
[17:54] I'm in the process is very simple and historically it's never happen as quickly as it's happening right now, tell part of the ability of animals to evolve around this just isn't there because his changes happening in too short of a time but we'll get to that in the moment so the basic component of what's happening is there are a number of sea creatures. Half shell.
[18:18] Whatever but also lots of little microorganisms things that we can't see you or that are are are difficult to see without a microscope and these microorganisms depend on the shelves and lots of them have early-stage process the other life where they have shells to the show.
[18:40] This kills the animal and a lot of these animals Specialties microorganisms are the the single like base level of these food chain and as you cut out the bottom of the food chain.
[18:58] Remember seeing this most dramatically in the coral reefs right now.
[19:01] As a core restore these incredibly important parts the ocean right there very diverse the very beautiful. The Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern Coast of Australia is too huge tourist destination because it's so colorful there so many different species there and so many of the Fisheries that we have come to depend on for food.
[19:20] Are supported by these corals and it covers less than 1% of the ocean floor so it's amazing how important it is given its small size.
[19:29] And they're being threatened by this acidification the acidification is a roading their shells and a lot of reefs have disappeared and the Great Barrier Reef itself is decaying and will probably disappear if we can't do something to stop the acidification going on.
[19:43] Yeah unless I looked in 2017 over 93% of that we had been bleached and large parts. Over 80% severely bleach meaning to the point where that these Coral may never recover may die we should know if that is certifications in just part of what's causing is coral bleaching it's it's a to full effects of 1D certification, literally is dissolving the structure that holds the squirrels together the sodium carbonate that holds the structures is dissolving in the water, which makes it difficult for the small animals that live on this that creates the colorful and Coral in the algae and stuff to survive cuz he's nothing to grab onto. But they're the one two punch of this is also the warming of the ocean when we see these flashes of warmth especially during El Nino years, those raised temperatures and we're talking only a degree or to Celsius wreck is Cole Reeves, the algae that lives on these sunlight can survive and this symbiotic relationship that happens between the coral algae and and all the creatures of the reef is wrecked and the steady-state disappears and we see this bleaching effect. Answer this is a really great example of how all the systems are interconnected and interactive way so we don't initially consider the ocean absorbs are carbon dioxide, that keeps us from warming too much since it's over 30% of our carbon dioxide, saving us but the same time it's causing this acidification problem the Ecstasy that's coming in anyways is increasing stratification the ocean which causes deoxygenation, the warming water itself is also contributing to damaging of the animals that live in the ocean this specially this is coral bleaching and stuff.
[21:16] Until we see this effect of this causes this but it also leads to that and then this other thing over here ties into this and makes it worse and somebody's have profound effects, and it can really get out of control in ways that we we haven't considered and one of these really important really deadly ways that these things in her.
[21:37] And we're almost entirely dependent on these phytoplankton on these algae that live in these Waters and we've come to depend on it and life has come to depend on this but Recent research suggest that maybe we might not be able to depend on this going forward.
[21:52] This phytoplankton that you referring to accounts for like 70% of all the oxygen in our atmosphere right now these are the little microbes that live on the surface layer of the ocean that I guess we take for granted but. That's a huge amount of oxygen.
[22:07] Yeah and it's not just oxygen but these Alto blooms also have important, climate change fighting effects so when they bloom birthday pump all sorts of oxygen into the ocean which helps with with their deoxygenation problem but they also while they're blooming they alkass dimethyl sulfide. Which is the gas that goes up and and causes clouds to form above the water which is important for a global weather patterns cools down the ocean also reflects sunlight back into the atmosphere in and out into space, so it has that this anti global warming affect. And then beyond that even dimethyl sulfide acts against greenhouse gases so he's Aldo blooms which we mostly know is like something toxic that we will we can swim this lake or something because there's a toxic algae bloom. Which is sort of a defective of some of these feedback loops with between the moment. But they're very important for the health of the ocean and our survival as a species and fighting climate change even but that might not be something we can depend on.
[23:05] And one of the ways that we may not be able to depend on these phytoplankton is for their oxygen production I mean this study that you're talking about. Is a modeling paper write a tries to model what could happen to these Plankton as their environment warms. And it suggests that a certain warming temperature the ability for these phytoplankton to produce oxygen breaks down and they can't do it anymore. And it even suggest that if these Plankton can't produce oxygen like we've come to depend on them. We could experience the same atmospheric condition that mountain climbers do at the summit of Mount Everest just a sea level on land.
[23:46] So we would not be able to survive anywhere on the earth unless we had these oxygen masks right so that's a critical function that this phytoplankton serves us that we don't want to lose.
[23:57] Yeah exactly and I do want to caution this isn't modeling paper it's on the predictive study just saying well if these things worked.
[24:09] Turn 6 degrees Celsius warming of the waters I mean that's it it's a huge jump in the overall average temperature of the ocean but in small areas that's totally possible, and it's something that we might see with how much energy is being pumped into the system with the Lord mixing that's happening as the stratification intensifies and concentrates that energy adding into the top levels of the ocean you might start seeing this. And there's other feedback loops in here as well so like things on land even are expecting stuff in the ocean, as we see more CO2 in the atmosphere we're seeing Global Greening as they call it there's a lot more plants growing and this will be true up to a point and then it actually will roll back some which isn't tough discussion for another time. But this Global Greening has made that some areas that were initially desert or dirt are now covered in grass and this grass prevents erosion and so all the sudden these like very important rich. Minerals and dirt that would be caught up by the wind and blown into the ocean if the ocean and active as seeds. Or the nutrients at these algael blooms require in order to bloom. So they aren't there and so we're seeing less Aldo blooms in the ocean that means less dimethyl sulfide that means less clouds and that means less oxygen in the ocean and climate changes that much worse because of it.
[25:23] It's lots of these unforeseen feedback loops or something small and one part ties into something else and causes a problem here which reinforces the other problems that's really the main problem of modeling these complex systems, and trying to estimate exactly how bad climate change is going to be and every time we find one of these feedback loops and we realize it's not in our models. We find that even our most dramatic models just aren't catastrophic enough.
[25:48] There are so many things in the ocean there's so many.
[26:01] I think of but it supports 50% of the world's Fisheries right this food source that we depend on and it's a huge sink for carbon.
[26:11] A patch of seagrass I mean it literally just looks like grass that you would see on your front lawn so this is really incredible that a patch of seagrass. Can store 35 times as much CO2 as the same area of a tropical rainforest. That's incredible heavy sea grasses are declining by 7% per year so that's that means in 10 years half of all these grasses will be gone every 10 years. And we don't fully understand how all of these things are interconnected and what feedback loops are there.
[26:41] Wait why are these grasses dying.
[26:43] Weather dying from a number of reasons from the usual stuff you would think of and some of these feedback loops that we've been talking about our contributing to this decline in addition to very direct, actions that we're doing like our runoff from our agricultural Productions our Coastal development our land reclamation project oil extraction and the sewage that we put into the ocean all of these are combining two distraught, these feedback loops these natural feedback loops and directly causing the decline of some of these very important ecosystems that we rely on. And it really is incredible how some of these systems have balance themselves like in the seagrass environments you have sea turtles and they feed on the sea grass and then sharks will come to prowl these Waters to try to eat the sea turtles. What's really interesting is that. This is a good relationship because the shark causes the sea turtle to kind of move and change position as it tries to avoid being eaten. And then moving around it prevents the sea turtle from over grazing any particular patch of seagrass and preventing it from growing back.
[27:46] All these ecosystems are in a very steady, bound state in as soon as we start contributing into this stuff as soon as climate change that are pumping energy in as soon as we acidify the ocean is even more direct action cycle pollution are Plastics which is a conversation for another time. Starts disrupting we steady States then we have huge consequences to clients and fish the clients and environments the client in oxygen. That we have to worry about in that will have profound effects not just on the oceans but on us who are very dependent on the ocean.
[28:17] I mean how dependent are we on the ocean exactly.
[28:20] It's actually really hard to find data on just how dependent we are because I think it's something we take so much for granted that there's very little research done on Direct effects of it most of the numbers you find are things that are economic in nature like. X number of dollars extracted and Fisheries a hundred million tons of fish extracted very like generic basic stuff but I mean one of the most direct basic dependencies all we have is is at the source of food. Statistics you're very wildly but I mean over half the world is 20% dependent on the ocean. Or their protein needs and a smaller portion of the world of a billion a little over billion are 80% plus depending on the ocean as their source of protein you wipe out these pictures you wipe out the ocean and you have billions of people starving. And it's not just like an extinction-level thing but even small declines in the fishery stocks. Can meet increased prices which can put these resources out of the hands of people who need it and can have profound impact on her nutrition.
[29:21] So over a billion people depend on fish in a very significant Way for their food source I'm assuming this is the developing world right these poor regions Pacific Island Southeast Asia. These developing countries are the ones that could be most heavily affected by this.
[29:38] Yeah exactly like everything climate change-related impacts the poor the most and you're talking about totally wiping. Only. The nutrition source for these people but also the livelihood for huge amount of these developing nations were there holy or at least mostly depending on the ocean or their way of life. Everything from food to employment and even them in developed Nations like the United States, the people who are going to be impacted these fishermen are some of the most at risk their lots of them are Freelancers the margins already low and asti's Fisheries decline because of both overfishing because of pollution and also bees natural processes. Which is a natural but are caused by man-made global warming they're going to be at risk as well and then this industry is going to slowly die and it had have huge effects with domestically and abroad.
[30:26] And so what do we need to do here I mean lower our carbon emissions switch to renewable energy. Surely if we reduce our carbon emissions we're reducing the warming effect that will take place on the ocean to combat that warming right will be putting less carbon into the ocean which is contributing to acidification.
[30:44] Yeah I mean sort of so part of the problem is the scale of the ocean does thing that we thought was so humongous so we can never possibly affect it. Turns out we were wrong the same time it makes it really difficult for us to do things to fix these problems because the scale necessary is just so massive and so expensive that it might well be out of our reach, so some of this too is the climate changes is locked in a little bit there's lag in the ocean just Energy's and going anywhere and we can't exactly easily suck all this carbon out. Is first off we don't have the technology for that and second when there's nowhere to put it. So we are not going to change the state it's at and it this is going to continue for a few decades because there's lag built into the system it's going to keep getting worse, but we can make things less worse in the future going forward by switching to Renewables by putting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I'm in and making sure that these problems on the road don't get even worse than they are now. But there's very little we can do to affect these things directly with that said though there are some crazy plan.
[31:44] Crazy plans along the technological innovation that we might need to do.
[31:49] It's actually very technologically simple it's just a matter of scale so take something very simple and just expanded across millions of square miles of the ocean. I'm in order to make an effect on it one of these very popular ideas is called iron fertilization or we dump iron iron sulfate into these iron poor sections of the ocean to act as that feed to Causey Delta blue. And if we do this we dumping tons and tons of the stuff in the ocean we cause you to child's of worms then we can pump oxygen more to the ocean you're going to start seeing a lot of these next two years the next few decades, are usually very expensive and ready Norma scales and really they have such crazy profound side effects or unforeseen side effects this is one of those potentially unforeseen consequences thing, where maybe we think we're doing something good but because of the scale of this we've actually messed things up even worse discussion and in controversy over these going forward. But I imagine we'll eventually get to a point and maybe a decade or two where people just say fuck it were in a bad enough situation we need to do this anyway, because otherwise we're going to die for sure and so this iron fertilization is one of these processes and the hope is that. Doing this had enough of the scaling on 20 million square miles is the number I see quoted that it that it will have a measurable effect of climate change in on the health of the ocean as a whole. But who knows what side effects I will be in they've actually they started running experiments on this they located and and they are dumping iron sulfate in some areas to study. Small local vets.
[33:20] But we found over and over in the ocean with such a dynamic complicated system that small effects and localized areas don't necessarily playoff on a global scale.
[33:30] You know what's crazy to me is how so many of these climate related issues in our world are a result of a short-sightedness right that. Either we didn't want to see we weren't incentivize to see or because of the complexity involved all these delays and all these feedback loops that take a long time to understand because we have failed to understand.
[33:58] Causing all these problems it would seem like the solution is to just slow down and say hey we don't understand the environment we don't understand all these feedback loops. We need to stop putting so much energy into the system we need to slow our economic growth a little bit we need to slow. Are need to extract everything into just wreak havoc on our environment but. It seems like this situation has got to a point where even if we were to stop all their economic activity right now like you said a lot of this is baked into the system these delays are going to be resolved. And so we have been kind of forced into this corner where we have to try something drastic pump even more energy into the system in this kind of potentially over-reaction. But we don't really have a choice Stewie.
[34:43] Yeah and I think that's a danger with the geoengineering projects they're going to be AB such profound long-term effects but there's not to be the time. Or the political will to look into this and figure out just what those effects might be because the short-term need is going to be there it's going to be we need to fix this now so we don't die a hundred years to we need to fix this now so we don't die at this moment. And when that happens there's not going to be any time for long-term thinking and long-term consequences because I'm going to be stuck in the moment. And so much of our system like you said is focused on short-term short-term gains short-term whatever and there is no time to look into the future for these long-term consequences to see how were affecting stuff because of the system itself is dependent on infinite growth. We have to keep growing we have to keep producing or else it all falls apart even basic things have our social structure at our social safety net. Depending on this growth. And when you stop that growth even just limited to the same level not even increase again but say okay we've we hit a baseline going to stop here or going to suspend growth is going to be 0%. The whole thing falls apart. And when that's the case you know there is no fix there is no way to ship from short-term to long-term that's why we see you so much hope centered on things like renewable energy so that we can keep growing.
[36:07] You know he's renewable energy sources aren't carbon neutral, themselves if they were directly replacing cotton producing stuff then we'd be better off but a lot of them are additional energy added on to the system, and they require CO2 to make they burn fuel to make their electricity burn or to create this stuff and even these green Energy Systems added on, are still CO2 producing are still contributing the problem just less than they would be if it was a replacement but because it's adding on so it's just contributing to the problem.
[36:37] So the ocean is a very complex system and so is our our social economic and political systems are solutions going forward or not so simple.
[36:47] And yeah you know it I think it's easy to criticize the way our economic system has been going forward with this need for infinite growth. But like you said 0% growth isn't really the solution either. It is important to point out that not all growth is the same right it is seems like our economy has focused mostly on this type of quantity and physical growth right expanding of physical infrastructures expanding of population.
[37:37] Trouvaille prosesi so they're more efficient and more sustainable and how can we share the benefits of all these systems with everybody and not just a select few. So that's the type of growth we need to be looking forward to and I think if we focus on that type of growth this quality for our society we will be incentive izing solutions for these problems. That go beyond the mirror short-term profit incentive.
[38:03] I think that's a great vision for the future Daniel you going to learn more about the things we discuss today or listen to old episodes and find additional information visit our website at ashes ashes. Orgy or finest online on your favorite social media Network at ashes ashes cast.
[38:18] Once again thanks for joining us we've got a great show coming up next week that we're really excited about and we can't wait to share it with you.
[38:27] Bye bye.