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#1 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:01 AM

I like to specialise in cold (temperate) water photography, however....

Here in North Wales we are having HOT weather and the seas are warm too. Last Sunday my computer registered 20 degrees C throughout 2 long dives. I'm told that off Sarn Badgig (Cardigan Bay) the surface temperature has been up to 23 degrees C.

As if this wasn't enough I'm seeing fish species in the area which I've never seen during the last 20 years. In case anyone is interested these include both northerly and southerly species both of which seem to be having distribution expansions.

The joy of digital photography means that even a poor shot can help identify unusual fish.

Is anyone else seeing odd things out there?
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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:15 AM

I'm in the Med at the moment. And everyone here says that the water is unusually warm here too. And last summer the coral was bleached widely in the Caribbean. And super powerful hurricanes and cyclones seem unusually common.

Yet, I wrote an article recently commenting (breifly at the end) about the link between lifestyle choices CO2 emissions and the environment and one American reader actually took the time to send me 3 emails full of links that global warming is a myth and that I shouldn't write about such things.

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#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:23 AM

ummm..... its warm here too! :rolleyes:

but raining more than last year...

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#4 3@5

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 03:49 AM

I'm in the Med at the moment. And everyone here says that the water is unusually warm here too. And last summer the coral was bleached widely in the Caribbean. And super powerful hurricanes and cyclones seem unusually common.

Yet, I wrote an article recently commenting (breifly at the end) about the link between lifestyle choices CO2 emissions and the environment and one American reader actually took the time to send me 3 emails full of links that global warming is a myth and that I shouldn't write about such things.

Alex

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

mmh were his initials g w b by any chance?

anyway seriously:
i was towards marseille last week end and the sea water temperature was 29 degrees C. that is way above any normal temps. there was a piece on the news last night saying that in that part of france, the med is more than 3 degrees above its normal temperature. you can imagine long term consequences...

another factor that is not helping ins the following:
- electricity consumption is way higher than normal. to be able to sustain this demand the french electricity company has been authorised to release from its dams into the rivers water that's 3 degrees warmer than usual as well. again what are the consequences...

consequences of all these, well i don't know, but if it's short term, probably not much, but long term well ask that american what he thinks....
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#5 KenByrne

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 04:02 AM

You can't write off global warming and I don't think it's a myth.

However the last couple of summers where pretty poor so I don't think you can assume that this summer is the shape of things to come. I think we have to wait to see what the next couple of years brings.

In the meantime we should try to do our bit to reduce CO2 production and apply pressure to government whenever the opportunity arises.
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#6 John Bantin

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 04:43 AM

I was in Pensacola recently and they are still rebuilding. A few more hurricanes will maybe make the Americans start to think something might be happening with climate change but no President is going to tell his people to cut consumption and be able to stay in office.

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#7 LChan

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:36 AM

I just got back from the Galapagos.
the water is unusually warm. 77 degrees water temp in Wolf and Darwin.

I was told by the guides there that when it get too warm (like the last el nino), the entire ecosystem is endangered. Birds don't nest, Iguanas die because of the lack of food. Warmer temp may also have less nutrients for the pelagics.

not good.
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#8 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:37 AM

Just wanted to clarify. The fish that I am seeing are generally full grown, and they aren't species that I would expect to travel large distances (pipefishes, gobies, blennies and small wrasses) so they are not as a result of this one hot summer. Before digital it was difficult to deal with a grabbed shot of odd small fishes, but now even a poor image can be optimised to yield information and help with identification.

The thing is, I'm suddenly finding a good number of 'unusual' species - either my skills have suddenly improved substantially (unlikely) or there are more of these creatures about. It might even be worth trying to get a project up and running with simple to gather data (name of fish, location, date and (Importantly) confidence of correct ID) which might be useful in the future. The beauty of digital is that revisiting old (poor) files can yield info too (as I've discovered) and as Exif info is embedded then date is automatically included with the picture.
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#9 james

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:16 AM

Hi Gang,

I hate to post in this thread - being from Texas and all - but remember, I'm originally from California :-)

Let's not just pile on the Americans - we aren't the ones responsible for global warming. We are ALL responsible for global warming. In the next 20 years, we are going to have to look to the developing powerhouses of India and China. In the last 5 years, China has gone from a net exporter or oil and gas to a net CONSUMER.

All of these people whether they are Americans or not want the "American Dream" and to most people in the developing world, this means a car and an AC unit - both big greenhouse machines...:-(

I'm not apologizing for America - we are the biggest energy consumers per capita, but for how long will we hold the infamous #1 title?

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#10 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 07:54 AM

The blame game is a pointless exercise, after all who started the industrial revolution? Nothing is as straightforward as it seems and the time-lag in the global warming equation may make everything academic in the long run, however.....

I started this thread to see if there was interest in looking at possible changes in the marine environment. Digital underwater photographers may have a useful role to play in looking out for (and photographing for precise identification) unusual species. I specifically mentioned small fish, as, whilst they are mobile, they are unlikely to move huge distances in one go and may occur due to planktonic movements or gradual distribution shifts. Either way digital images can yield useful information with only the location needing to be added to the Exif data to make them effective.

The idea of producing useful images is attractive, to me at least.
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#11 wagsy

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:09 AM

I once heard that the world has not got enough resourses for countries like China / India etc to get to the level of the western word living...so something has to give or happen.... :rolleyes:

It has rained here heaps this year..very strange but the water is cold a 19 degrees in parts. I can remember it never rained here once for 11 months :lol:

My folks normaly crop around 10,000 acres of wheat but this year it just forgot to rain around their area....in fact same for the whole state except us here.
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#12 DeanB

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:33 AM

Apparently there is a giant sunfish swimming of the coast of England somewhere.. A mate just rang me to see if they were dangerous <_< Only if you try to sell them time-share, I said... :rolleyes:

What next manta's and Whalesharks...Fantastic. Let them come to us.

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#13 Rocha

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:29 PM

Just wanted to clarify. The fish that I am seeing are generally full grown, and they aren't species that I would expect to travel large distances (pipefishes, gobies, blennies and small wrasses) so they are not as a result of this one hot summer. Before digital it was difficult to deal with a grabbed shot of odd small fishes, but now even a poor image can be optimised to yield information and help with identification.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Paul, one thing that warming also does is change the ocean circulation patterns, so it is possible that the fish you are seeing were brought in by unusual currents that recently shifted. This phenomenon is particularly common along the African and European Atlantic coasts.

Luiz

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#14 PeterCatchpole

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:32 PM

The sighting is of at least 19 Mola Mola, off cornwall.

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#15 Rocha

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:38 PM

I'm not apologizing for America - we are the biggest energy consumers per capita, but for how long will we hold the infamous #1 title?

James

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The problem with the US is not consumption, it is the US's refusal to sign treaties like the Kyoto protocol and to raise its fuel economy standards and lower industry CO2 emission levels. Did you know that the average American car of today (which happens to be an SUV, yes, they are more than 50% now) burns more gas than the average American car of the 70's and 80's? So, not only are there much more cars now but they burn much more gas. And the government refuses to raise the standards (industry lobbyists are louder and richer than environmentalists I guess), so the industry doesn't invest in new and more efficient technology.

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#16 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:20 PM

" it is possible that the fish you are seeing were brought in by unusual currents that recently shifted"

Around Britain and Ireland we're seeing both northerly and southerly species possibly shifting - one theory is species spread as they are looking for appropriate conditions. Scarily the data that exists is scant and of the species I'm personally noting it is often negligible!

I read a piece in New Scientist (not a publication given to scare mongering) where the potential for a 9/11 of environmental disasters was mentioned. Trouble is, that as far as I can see, there is little research being carried out into 'warning' changes and yet many people are able to comment about the alterations that they are seeing. We really don't know what is happening or why, but data collection by us as digital underwater photographers may prove to be useful whatever happens. Even if at present there is no repository for such data, recording species name, loation and dat may be useful is a database later is established - as all this can be placed in or already exists in the Exif data, its not too onerous a task if you can be bothered.
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#17 kriptap

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 04:04 PM

North Wales, that's where I'm from too! but now in Cayman where the water is 86f at the mo, in the very shallows it 90f plus! we are such a low lying island that global warming is going to knock us of the map.

#18 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 07:47 PM

You may be interested in http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsst.shtml
Every Monday they post the average sea surface temperatures and deviations from normal in a GIF image. Much of the Pacific has been pretty normal this year but around the west coast of the British islands it is currently 2C above average. North Spain and West France coastal waters are up by 3C and off the Canadian east coast temperatures are up by 3 to 4C. Earlier this month temps were up by as much as 5C as shown in the attached image.

SSTanomaly010706.jpg

I have no clue as to how unusual this is but it seems to be a big difference to me. I think it would be extremely valuable to have a resource like REEF (http://www.reef.org/) for temperate climates where temperature changes appear to be most rapid. I believe they already cover the northwest coast of the americas. Having pictures would help but getting quantitative data on sighting frequencies will really reveal shifts over time.

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#19 colinrobson

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:11 AM

Paul

Within the UK the Seasearch organisation http://www.seasearch.org.uk is using data from divers to provide a data base which will provide at least some of the information you are talking about. I've been completing their observer forms for all my UK dives this year.

Colin

#20 Paul Kay

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 02:02 AM

Hi Colin

I'm on the Seasearch steering committee but Seasearch doesn't really address the question I was posing regarding distribution shifts - where small fish may be a very useful indicator of changing conditions. That said, I am talking to people about fishes and Seasearch - it may be possible to gather this data from Seasearchers too. There are already quite a few recording schemes in place but most are simply information gathering rather than having a specific aim. With fish a simple record of identity, date and location might (given sufficient records) show shifts in disribution over time BUT (and my reason for posting) many smaller fish are notoriously difficult to identify underwater - hence using digital cameras may be an ideal tool (not always) to help with identity (and of course record date of shot).
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