Thursday, August 10, 2006
Underwater Ghost Town
Cape Perpetua Lookout
Originally uploaded by gentlemanrook.
However, just off the coast, a 2,100 square mile area of the ocean that used to also be rich with life is now completely dead:
In years past, the reef a few miles from Oregon's Cape Perpetua was a small underwater gem. It was favored by the quillback, black and canary rockfish, which darted among boulders bedecked with sea stars and anemones.The cause:
On Tuesday, underwater video cameras remotely operated from this research vessel sent back a starkly different view — a reef barren of fish but littered with what researchers estimated as thousands of carcasses of decaying crabs.
Worms, normally dug into sea sand, drifted dead along the bottom.
"It's just a wasteland down there," said Francis Chan, an Oregon State University marine ecologist aboard the Elakha. "I didn't expect to see anything quite like this."
These crabs and worms died because they proved too slow to move away from an extraordinary swath of oxygen-depleted water.
Scientists call this a dead zone.
The Pacific Northwest dead zone results from strong northerly winds that allow the cold water to surface without any mixer winds from the south. This produces a series of upwellings that pile too much oxygen-poor water into the coastal zone.
Researchers at OSU said the erratic wind patterns of recent years are consistent with changes predicted in computer models that attempt to simulate the effects of global warming. But they caution that at this point it is unclear what — if any — link the dead zone has to climate change.
"We can say that what we are seeing is totally consistent with the changes predicted by the models," said Jane Lubchenco, OSU marine ecologist.
Sad. Very, very sad.
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I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.
People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.
A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:
". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .
"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .
"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.
"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank
For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing
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