From “Climate Control and the Oceans”: Without a clear picture of how the ocean is overturning and without an accurate time scale for interacting with the atmosphere, oceanographers and meteorologists alike cannot adequately explain the general mechanism of Earth’s climate. Now humans with their carbon dioxide producing industry have become another unknown modifying factor. The influence of this new and geologically unique factor can work in several directions. It could be heading towards a new ice age, or it could spawn another great tropical era like the one that prevailed when coal and oil were mined. The interactions are so involved that experts don’t yet know how to classify them. You are certain of one thing – this influence is at work on a scale that dwarfs all previous changes man has made.
From “A Sterile Sea”: The modification begins. “Humans, a terrestrial organism, affect the chemical composition of seawater more than any other species that live 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 from natural continental sources and 4,000 tons from fungicides and industrial processes enter the oceans annually; lead in the oceans from automobile fuel is “roughly equivalent” to that from sedimentation; Pesticides, “a new and novel addition to the marine environment,” are widespread today, as are radioactive species; and humans have introduced two new elements: sanitation and accidental pollution from human trafficking. Perhaps half of all these pollutants are introduced into the oceans through activities in the United States