Come to hell or high water

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November 1960

Excerpt from “Climate Control and the Ocean”: Since there is no clear picture of how the ocean flips, and no accurate time scale for interaction with the atmosphere, oceanographers and meteorologists cannot fully explain the general mechanism of the earth’s climate. Now, human beings and the industries that produce carbon dioxide have become another unknown regulating factor. The influence of this new geologically unique factor may run in any of several directions. It may be heading towards a new ice age, or it may produce another great tropical era, as prevalent as coal and oil deposits were laid. The interactions are so complex that experts do not yet know how to classify them. One thing they are sure of is that this influence is working, dwarfing all the changes that humans have made before.

April 1969

From “The Sea of ​​Infertility”: Modification began. “Humans are terrestrial organisms that have a greater impact on the chemical composition of seawater than any species living in the marine environment,” said Edward D. Goldberg, professor of chemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. For example, about 3,000 tons of mercury enter the ocean from natural sources on the continent each year, and 4,000 tons come from fungicides and industrial processes; the lead input from automobile fuel to the ocean is “roughly equivalent” to the lead input from sedimentation; and pesticides, “recently entered “New species in the marine environment” are now commonplace, as are radioactive species; humans have introduced two new elements: sewage outlets and accidental pollution caused by human commercial activities.Perhaps half of all these pollutants were introduced into the ocean by U.S. activities

August 1980

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