Why one single cruise will lift your
carbon footprint to incredible highs





Protest with Solutions. A Peiran Advisory.



There are so many factors involved in Climate Change but the base of it all must be the Sea. It has finally become obvious that it is caused by a Human interaction with vital life Elements. This interaction takes place at a meeting point which is a place of great importance, the surface of the sea. More than 60% of the World's Oxygen is produced on the surface of the Sea, twice as much as the rain forests. At the moment of evaporation water molecules undergo a change, during which, a tiny microbe living just under the surface of the sea consumes a single H of the H2O which releases the O into the atmosphere.


There is only one thing that can inhibit this tiny microbe from doing it's work and that is a stop in evaporation. Evaporation stops when the water surface is sealed from the air by floating films of oil based substances. We are all stunned when we see an oil rig leaking oil or an oil tanker sinking and the damage to the environment is headline news. However, as bad as they look such disasters are containable and damage repair is only a clean up cost problem as heavy oil and petroleum product spills does it's enormous damage to wildlife and coastal environments but not to the surface of the sea because heavy oil coagulates and clumps together limiting dispersal.


So what is it that is causing a crisis in the oxygen producing microbe on the sea surface? It is an oil spill of a completely different nature, unseen, continuous and increasing. It's a film of oil so thin and fine that it is often unseen. Where does it come from? It comes from many sources including rivers and waste out-flows. However the main culprits are Cruise ships. At any given moment there are many hundreds of Cruise ships cruising around the oceans with a cruising population of about half a million people, plus crew, taking the total on board to almost 1 million people. Effluent from these Cruisers has now passed a billion Gallons, most of which is poured into the sea. Fortunately 95% of this waste including Human solid waste eventually arrives on the bottom of the sea and re enters the food chain. The problem is with the easily dispersed liquid 5% most of which comes from the showers.


A survey shows that Cruise ship holiday makers shower much more than usual, to an average of 2.6 showers per day. Crew showers averaged 1.5 per day with an on-board average of 2.2 x 1 million = 2.2 million showers. Each passenger would have brought on-board their own particular favourite shower gel, shampoo and essential oils etc. As all these nice smelly bubbles go down the shower outlet they are shortly afterwards found on the surface of the sea. As they hit the cold salt water they immediately spread out. They are so light. As the ships wake becomes calm these oils spread out to about three times the width of the ships wake. Depending on weather conditions this almost invisible oil slick can remain in place for 3 to 4 days which is how long it takes for half of it to evaporate and the other half to coagulate or sink under the surface liberating the surface allowing the tiny microbe to go back to work making oxygen.


At the same time this fine film acts like a mirror reflecting sunlight from entering the sea which has a secondary effect oh may other types of microbes who are doing other stuff. It is easy to document this phenomena, simply follow a cruise ship and watch what happens. So this then is a newly identified part of the Climate change cause. The simple solution is to stop the on-board use of shower gels and soaps that are oil based or damage the tiny microbes that keep us breathing and substitute these oils with bio-degradable soaps. This means that there must be an international law against the use of land use shower products at sea. The soap producers must come up with a product that conforms to the environmental requisites of the sea. We must do this and all other remedies to allow the tiny oxygen producing microbe to do it's work. This will allow an increase in Oxygen levels which in turn will lower CO2 levels and create a basis for re-balancing climate change.


OTHER MICROBES.


The Sea is a soup of Microbes, the microbe mentioned above is but one of many, in one liter of sea water are billions of microbes. They are all going about their microbe business and like the oxygen producing microbe they all have a reason for being and a job to do. You can't see them unless you use a microscope but they are there in uncountable numbers. There are hundreds of different kinds of microbes, some eat each other, some seem to live forever others are the font of the food chain and eaten by krill and filter feeding creatures. If the oxygen producing microbe has making oxygen as it's job then many of the other types of microbes will have jobs that until now remain unknown and some of these jobs will be as important as making oxygen. Sea water is heavier and more dense than fresh water which is why we float more easily on the sea than in a swimming pool. This is due to salt and a myriad of other dissolved elements and of course the billions of microbes. The more dense the sea becomes the less evaporation that takes place, with less density the sea evaporates quicker.


Therefore a significant increase or decrease of the microbe world population causes an increase or decrease of evaporation and Climate change. Until we know more clearly the diverse workings of this incredible world of sea microbes we will be unable to calculate the effect on them through the dumping of stuff in the Sea. So until we do understand the microbes we should ban the dumping of anything, never mind how insignificant, in the Sea. Obviously in the Microbe world there is a form of inter-microbe relations, whilst some microbes eat others some work together or cooperate. An example can be found at the sea shore, some rocks are bare yet next to a bare rock you may find a similar rock seemingly covered in slippery green slime and not nice to touch and perhaps even smelly. This is because three different kinds of microbes have gathered and bonded together on that chosen by them rock in their trillions. This causes a transformation in the microbes which produces a slime which sticks to the rock like glue.


This slime is one of the building blocks of life on this planet since billions of years and this group of microbes continue to do this their job. The slime they produce forms the basis for vegetation to root onto and without it sea weed cannot take hold. Another microbe, large enough to be visible, lives just under the surface of the sea and is a predator of the slime making group. This microbe lives where the sea meets a certain type of rock and eats the slime forming on the rock. As it scrapes the slime off the rock it also scrapes away some rock. Over millions of years this microbe has carved away at rocks and a study of the rock will show a history of sea levels over a 300,000 year period. With Climate change discussions ongoing about sea levels, perhaps it's time to take another look at this particular microbe and it's long history of visibly recording sea levels. The Victorian era was the birth of holidays by the sea. It was believed then that a dip in the sea was beneficial for ones health, since then we have been dipping ourselves in the sea non stop and perhaps it has done many of us some good. When we happily splash about we don't know that in every single drop of water there are thousands of microbes and if bathing in the sea is a positive thing for healthy living then it is because of the millions of microbes that are constantly on ones skin whilst bathing in the sea. Some of these microbes are not so friendly to us.


Apart from the occasional tiny microbe bites, all kinds of viruses, harmful bacteria, worms and many unknown elements are all mixed in with the good microbes. Luckily the quantities of say viruses, the most harmful, are so minute our immune system handles them with no problem even when swallowing some sea water. Present observations suggest a serious increase in the microbe population due mainly to a lack of filter feeding predators such as Coral, Mussels, shell fish and shrimp to name a few. This lack of predators is mainly due to over fishing, destruction of habitats and Coral loss. Everything in the sea is a link in the chain of life, take out one element and the chain is broken.


We don't know what jobs the majority of these microbes do but we must understand their incredible importance to the entire life system of the planet. When a cruise ship pumps effluent overboard be it raw or treated the effluent will take some time to arrive on the bottom as most will have been consumed by the microbe and krill worlds. Which of the microbes will benefit from this sudden free meal? No one knows but it is obvious that the effluent eating microbes population will increase dramatically and have an effect on other microbes. The balance of the Microbe World is so fine that whatever is dumped in the Sea, be it radio active waste, toxic waste, shower gels, oil or anything that is not a natural element will cause a change in the balance of the microbe world that one day will cause a change in our world.


Cruise ships give people an experience of the sea but they must do so responsibly and not allow anything toxic to get into the sea, after all they depend on their very existence on the sea.