With coral reefs under threat, UN report urges coordinated protection measuresLast Updated on 2010-10-27 00:00:00UNITED NATIONS -- A new United Nations report urges a global partnership, backed by commitment and resources, to tackle the threats posed to coral reefs by climate change, including damage from increasingly severe tropical cyclones and ocean acidification.
About 20 per cent of the original area of coral reefs has been lost, with a further 25 per cent threatened in the next century, according to the report “Climate, Carbon and Coral Reefs” by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Tropical coral reefs cover about 0.2 per cent of the world’s ocean, contain about 25 per cent of marine species and are worth an estimated $30 billion annually to the global economy in terms of coastline protection, tourism and food.
For the past 20 years, they have been “under siege” from a growing global threat:... More »
Coral records show ocean thermocline rise with global warmingLast Updated on 2010-10-13 00:00:00The finding is the first real evidence supporting what climate modelers have been predicting as the effects of global climate change on the subsurface ocean circulation.
The report by researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Toronto was published in the latest online edition of the journal Geophysical Review Letters.
"We're trying to find a way to understand how the warm water in the tropical Pacific has changed in the last century, but more importantly during the last several decades," said Branwen Williams, who conducted this research while a doctoral student at Ohio State. Williams is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.
"The Pacific is really important since it serves as a strong driver and changes in this ocean can have a very strong impact on global climate and oceanography."
What plagues modelers and researchers alike is the limited... More »
MARINE BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION IN THE WIDER CARIBBEAN?Last Updated on 2010-08-13 00:00:00
The Wider Caribbean has a unique and alarming environmental history.
The decline of Caribbean coral reefs and their associated coastal ecosystems including seagrasses and mangroves has been in progress for at least several hundred years, pacing the explosion of the human population which began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Jackson, et al. 2001, Pandolfi et al.2003, Pandolfi et al. 2005). The recent period of rapid decline first came to notice 4 to 5 decades ago coincident with the start of my career in Panama and St. Croix. At that time if someone had told me that the relatively luxuriant coral reefs of the region would be as damaged and diminished as they are today in only 40 years, I would have thought that they were completely crazy. Yet this is exactly what happened and we now recognize this decline is not confined to the Caribbean but is... More »