Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Why the fish-frown, Atlantic silverside? 

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center published "Acidification increases sensitivity to hypoxia in important forage fishes," yesterday in the Marine Ecology Progress Series. This is the kind of lite reading I do for you.

What they concluded is that silversides are f%cked. (Not their words.) They're sitting Moby-ducks. (Also not their words.)

I'm going to keep the math simple (not for you, dear reader, but for me. I need math so simple a silverside or second-grader could rise to the occasion). Here's the simple math: as CO2 rises from our burning of fossil fuels, the ocean acidifies. (Bill Nye on Climate 101.)

As the ocean acidifies, oxygen is depleted and... duh. obvi., the silverside without oxygen dies. (Like us without oxygen.)

Why I care about a little fish: C'mon look at its cute little face! That wry downturned smile! Also because small species like sardines, anchovies and silversides are "essential food for birds, marine mammals, and other fish." They're the foundation of the marine food chain.  And the successful marine food chain is what brings ya yum yums like lobsters. And a non-stanky Baltimore inner harbor.

I got the quote (below) from Donovan Hohn's Moby-Duck: "the true story of 28,000 bath toys lost at sea, and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author, who went in search of them." It's a great read.

Thoreau said,  "There are more consequences to a shipwreck than the underwriters notice."

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