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Can We Still Breathe Tomorrow?

We don't have to worry about inhaling radiation from Japan, but as carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34%, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere--a situation that will lead to drought. And WE may not be breathing well either if we don't do something about the dying plankton in our oceans!

The amount of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton has declined markedly over the last century, probably due to rising water temperatures. Why is this a problem? Plankton Is not only one of the major fish foods, it produces HALF the oxygen we need to BREATHE! In BBC News, Richard Black quotes researcher Daniel Boyce as saying, "The plants need sunlight from above and nutrients from below; and as it becomes more stratified, that limits the availability of nutrients." An ocean with less phytoplankton in it will function differently--but we don't yet know exactly how. Black quotes marine biologist Carl-Gustaf Lundin as saying, "That's a service that humanity is getting for free that it will lose, and there would also be an impact on fish, with less fish in the oceans over time."

A recent study warns that there will be a prolonged drought in the Southwestern US, prolonged drought, lasting HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of years, leading to a greater likelihood of major forest fires, tree infestation and loss, and the need for strict water management. Meanwhile, plants that grow on land need to breathe too (and they breathe OUT the oxygen and we breathe IN). Geologist David Dilcher says, "The carbon cycle is important, but so is the water cycle." And scientists think that doubling today's carbon dioxide levels will dramatically reduce the amount of water released by plants. Take a deep breath (while you still can) and decide NOT to be passive but to FIGHT against climate change! You help us get the word out when you support this site and subscribe today!



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