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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Thursday 10/16/2014 The kettle top is rattling!

We've all peeled a bunch of potatoes and put them on the stove to cook. Always on high as we get the rest of the meal going. And what is it that quickly draws us back to the stove before the potatoes boil all over the stove top? The kettle top starts to rattle just before it boils over so you rush to the stove to turn down the heat.

I think our New Hampshire seacoast is starting to rattle from our ever warming sea. It is time to turn the heat down. Just two weeks ago a Gulf of Maine Institute Report shows that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99 percent of this world's seas. Yes climate change is impacting the waters right in our own back yard more than anywhere else.

We are just a couple of days away from this fall's King Tide when we will see first hand the pot boiling over into back yards and buildings all along our coast. Bad luck may brew up an east wind sending ever more sea water to inundate place not touched by the sea before. Yes the cover is rattling.

And there are plenty of other signs that something bad is brewing in this excess carbon heated pot. One needs to look no further than the loss of the Northern shrimp fisheries this past winter in the Gulf of Maine. A total loss of a 12 million dollar a year commercial fishery. Yes with the Gulf temperatures up on average a half of degree a year since 2004 shrimp no longer can successfully reproduce here.

To the south of us in Long Island Sound more than a decade ago a warming trend brought record lobster catches. All was well until the Sound became too warm for lobsters and now over 90 percent of the lobster population has disappeared. Maybe it is no coincidence that as the Gulf of Maine has warmed there has been annual record catches. Just where is that tipping point that our lobsters too run out of steam.

I happen to help a friend check his traps down out of Portsmouth and have for a couple of decades. Last summer climate change bit me. Yes I saw the pot rattle when we pulled a trap only to discovered a weird looking fish in a trap. So I went to nudge the fish over a bit to take a picture. That's when it took a chunk out of my finger. It turned out to be a Gray Trigger fish, as in the tropical kind, that use their teeth to eat coral. Yes, I was bit by a Gray Trigger fish in Portsmouth NH! In fact we caught two that day. Other tropical fish are being reported as well recently.

Yes the kettle top is rattling and we definitely need to turn down the heat. And that is just what the EPA's newly proposed rules to cut carbon from new and existing power plants would do. Lets all get behind this effort to keep our sea from boiling over.


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