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More On Algae

[The following two pieces illustrate how CO2 is omitted in some very important issues. They both concern the same thing, algae. Sorry for the reptition. I should combine them into one. Also, they were inspired by some difficulties at local lakes and the Hood Canal and may be too inclusive. (I ask you to be lenient and do some editing on your own). While ignoring CO2, the authorities try to blame local septic systems, so they can control us. Notice how they always mention nitrogen and phosphorus as being responsible. The truth is carbon is necessary for growth. Claiming that nitrogen and phosphorus feeds the algae is akin to claiming that vitamin and mineral supplements feed us].

A Bloomin' Half-Truth

Have you ever observed a lake in bloom? Bloom is a plant that takes in carbon dioxide, CO2, and gives off oxygen during photosynthesis. Remember how we were told CO2 would be good for the trees and create a "lush environment?" It must be good for the bloom too.

What about the bloom? Does it take CO2 out of the air or out of the water? Where does the oxygen go?

We are told that when the bloom dies, it drops to the bottom where it then decomposes and takes oxygen out of the water. The water is then lower in oxygen, killing the fish, etc.

Well, the water is then lower in oxygen. That's the half-truth. And, a half-truth is as good as a lie, probably better. But, that's not what kills.

CO2 is the product of decomposition. The oxygen level is not the issue. Once the CO2 level reaches 2.5 to 4.0 percent (this is for respiration in air not water - - - in water the measure is milligrams per liter, so a conversion is needed), the fish will suffocate. They will not be able to use the oxygen there even though it would be enough to sustain them.

The decomposition process requires much more time than the growth takes. If the CO2 for growth comes from the water, the net after decomposition is zero - - - as much came from as goes back (and the same is true for oxygen). In any case, there is no good reason CO2 is never discussed in those bloomin' pieces we see all the time in the media. (There is almost a media blackout on any discussion of CO2 other than up there, in the atmosphere).

Have you ever seen any measurement of local CO2 levels? No? Why not? Let me assert that the local CO2 level is at least 800 parts per million. Remember, you are dealing with a gas that is one and one half times heavier than air, displaces air, and does not readily disperse. You've seen dry ice, frozen CO2, used to make fog. Have you noted how it initially goes down? What do you suppose the CO2 level is that last micron above the surface of the water?

With a greater concentration above, not as much CO2 can leave the water, and less oxygen would be able to enter.

Do you have a theory why global CO2 dominates the discourse or why certain interests need "global warming?"

Pond Scum

There are two sides to the carbon dioxide, CO2, coin. It is difficult to reconcile the over attention to the global level with the virtual media blackout on the local level (in our homes, schools, offices, and communities).

A glaring example is the reporting of alga blooms in local lakes. You may have read or heard how the algae die, fall to the bottom, and decompose, thus reducing the amount of oxygen available to fish, etc. This is one of those "half-truth lies."

We're never informed that CO2 is created during decomposition. Even though there could be enough oxygen to sustain life, once the CO2 reaches a certain point, the fish will suffocate. Also, have you learned if there is no oxygen, there can be no further decomposition?

Or, have you heard that, before they die, the algae make oxygen for the lake (daytime)? They can also remove it all at night while making lots of CO2! Why would this be ignored while the decomposition on the bottom is promoted? Decomposition is a slow process and might not always be total.

The algae die without sufficient CO2, which is more important to their rapid growth than temperature. (Optimum temperature for growth is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so don't buy the argument that "global warming" is responsible). Do you recall when we were told CO2 would be good for us because it was good for the trees and would lead to a "lush environment?" If the algae are creating a problem, it is probably because extra CO2 is good for them too.

CO2 is one and one half times the weight of air, displaces air, and does not readily disperse. You have seen dry ice, frozen CO2, fog. Have you noted how it initially goes down? Does the local level where we make CO2 have to be much higher than the atmospheric level? What might it be the last millimeter above the water? Could it mean less oxygen entering the water and more CO2?

If you consider just the photosynthesis where the algae fix carbon, there must be a surplus of oxygen until the last is decomposed. Adding more material to the bottom can't increase decomposition once there is not enough oxygen. Did it occur to you that low oxygen on the bottom is normal? Why do you think many artifacts survive so long on the bottom in near pristine condition?

The "low oxygen" problem seems to be excess live algae respiring (when not enough light for photosynthesis) caused by an abundance of their favorite food, CO2, forced on us by certain lower than pond scum types.

Any ideas why they need "global warming?"

Copyright © 2008, 2009 Donald L. Beeman. All rights reserved.