V RaptureChrist Newsletter
April 1, 2002

Global Warming

Global warming of the oceans is changing the ecosystem.  Many species of algae and bacteria increase when the ocean waters get hotter. 

Oceanographers have compiled more than 5 million ocean temperature readings taken  in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans from 1948 to 1996.

The oceans are warming up.Their study found that ocean temperatures below 300 meters have risen 1/10 of a degree Fahrenheit since the 1950s; but closer to the surface, where corals grow, the temperature of sea water has risen a lot more.

Scientists have found that the tropical phenomenom "El Niņo" can cause warming of the waters as far as the Indian Ocean.

Julia Cole of the University of Arizona and co-author of a report on coral growth rings, states:

"The temperature in the region over the last decade was warmer than during the past two centuries,"  "There are not many records of actual ocean temperatures, so adding ocean measurements to the pool, that's one more piece of information that makes a strong case that something unusual is going on."

The unusual occurrence is a global warming of seawater.  When the water in the oceans get unusually warm, coral starts to die.

"Many corals die when sea temperature exceeds 31 degrees centigrade (94 degrees Fahrenheit)," said Tim McClanahan of the Wildlife Conservation Society and a member of the research team. "The effects of El Niņo have killed many of the corals in the western Indian Ocean, despite being far from the center of the El Niņo phenomenon. Our study shows that we can expect more warming and coral mortality in the future..."

Warmer ocean temperatures cause bleaching of the coral. This is due to loss of a symbiotic algae that provides the coral with color and nutrition. The coral can recover if cooler waters prevent the death of the algae, otherwise we have a destruction of the coral reef.   One of the most important ecosystems on Earth are the coral reefs which provide habitat for 25 percent of marine species.

In April of 2000, a bleaching episode in Fiji caused damage to the tourism industry.  Gregor Hodgson, founder of Reef Check, an organization which provides annual surveys of coral reefs, says that bleaching has occurred in approximately 65 percent of Fiji's reefs. About 15 percent of them are dead.   "This is more evidence of the increased frequency of bleaching events that are the result of global warming," says Hodgson.

Another bleaching episode happened in 1998 due to El Niņo, which resulted in an increase of   2 degrees Fahrenheit in the temperatures of the oceans. This caused 15 percent of worldwide coral reefs to be destroyed,  said Hodgson.

"In order for the reefs to recover, water temperatures must drop," said Bruce Carlson, director of the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii, who witnessed the bleaching events in Fiji.

Beware of the Blob

A mass of slimy putrid black water is advancing down the Florida coast asphyxiating the delicate corals and sponges.  The "snotty", "sewage-like" black water is devoid of fish.

Black blob off the west coast of FloridaThe devastated sponges were observed on March 23, 2002 off  the coast of Key West by Ken Nedimyer, who collects specimens for the aquarium trade.     "The water was a creepy green at the surface and by the time I got to the bottom, it was really creepy and dark," said Nedimyer.   He noted that 50  to 75 percent of six species of rope sponge were wiped out.  Other marine animals such as corals and starfish are being decimated too.

"There's a real meltdown occurring down there right now," Nedimyer said.

Nedimyer's observations were so sober that the sanctuary dispatched its own divers to look for more widespread devastation.

In February, the black water covered an estimated 700 square miles, but reports of the incidence started since early January when fishermen observed an area of  black water where fish had disappeared and as they said, " floated large gelatinous globs and had spider web-like filaments running through it."

"The sponge die-off is another strong indicator that the culprit is an explosion of some sort of microscopic plankton, said Brian Keller, the sanctuary's science coordinator.

In the 1990's there were algal blooms in the Florida Bay, north of the Keys, and sponges  were among the first marine animals to be affected,  followed by seagrass beds.

The "black blob" has moved south against the Florida keys due to the movement of the Gulf Stream and the fact that the keys act as a barrier that impedes the escape of the "blob."

Another fact is that, from Naples to the Florida Keys, the larger continental shelf makes for shallower waters, therefore the volume of water in that region is smaller per square mile than on the east coast of Florida. These shallow waters are heated to higher temperatures than deeper waters on the east coast; also the contamination is faster.

Corals and sponges are needed to filter the ocean waters.These two -- higher temperatures and contamination with nitrogen are what is needed for the wrong type of algal bloom to flourish and kill the delicate marine animals whose main mode of nutrition is by water filtration -- the sponges and corals.

When the sponges and corals are gone,  the life of the ocean is gone. 

No wonder God said:

Revelation 16:3
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and EVERY LIVING THING in the sea died.

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