climate change tagged posts

Dolphin reef playgrounds at risk from climate change

Pacific bottlenose dolphins treat their skin conditions in coral reef spas, a new study has found. The dolphins are regular customers at specific Red Sea reefs, where they rub up against certain types of corals that contain distinct active medicinal compounds, according to the study, published on Thursday in iScience. 

Repeated rubbing allows these chemicals “to come into contact with the skin of the dolphins,” Gertrud Morlock, of Germany’s Justus Liebig University Giessen, said in a statement. 

This could help dolphins prevent or treat microbial infections, Morlock added.

“Many people don’t realize that these coral reefs are bedrooms for the dolphins, and playgrounds as well,” co-author Angela Ziltener of the University of Zurich added. 

“It’s almost like they a...

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“Coral Extinction is Possible by the End of the 21st Century”

Coral reefs are complex, large underwater ecosystems that support marine life both as a form of food and shelter for fish. Over the years, the climate crisis has marked an end date for these vibrant marine structures, based on a new study in the Caribbean where marine ecologists warn that coral extinction is imminent if global temperatures continue to rise.

The new study followed recent research regarding the increasing risk brought by ocean warming to coral reef systems, placing them in the state of coral bleaching and eventual death.

Previous scientific papers have also revealed a drastic coral population decline across the globe, including in the Great Barrier Reef.

In addition to natural hazards, human-related activities such as overfishing and the use of explosive devices in...

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Australian authorities to buy out fisheries, citing climate crisis

The federal government will spend $20m to buy out fisheries in Australia’s south-east in part because the climate crisis is affecting population numbers of some species, making current fishing levels unsustainable. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority will buy back vessel permits in the south-east trawl fishery, which is the largest commonwealth-managed fin fish fishery in Australia.

It is the first time the authority has said it will conduct a buyout because of climate change and environmental factors, which are preventing the recovery of some populations.

The government announced $24m in the March budget for a structural adjustment package for the fishery, the bulk of which is for the buyouts to try to ensure its long-term sustainability.

The authority told a Senate ...

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‘Fifty-fifty chance’ of breaching 1.5C warming limit

The likelihood of crossing a key global warming threshold has risen significantly, according to a new analysis. UK Met Office researchers say that there’s now around a fifty-fifty chance that the world will warm by more than 1.5C over the next five years. Such a rise would be temporary, but researchers are concerned about the overall direction of temperatures. 

It’s almost certain that 2022-2026 will see a record warmest year, they say.

The Met Office is the UK’s national meteorological service.

As levels of warming gases in the atmosphere have accrued rapidly over the past three decades, global temperatures have responded by rising in step. 

In 2015, the world’s average temperature first went 1C above the pre-industrial levels, which are generally thought of as the temperat...

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Huge volume of water detected under Antarctic ice

Vast quantities of water have been detected in sediments that underlie a part of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The volume is equivalent to a reservoir that is several hundred metres deep. The water was detected below the Whillans Ice Stream, but its presence is likely replicated elsewhere across the White Continent. That being the case, it could be an important influence on how Antarctica reacts to a warmer world, researchers tell the journal Science this week.

Water at the base of glaciers and ice streams generally works to lubricate their movement. 

The transfer of water into or out of this deep reservoir has the potential therefore to either slow down or speed up ice flow.

Models that simulate future climate impacts will now have to account for it.

The detection was made...

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One Island Nation’s Plan To Take Climate Justice Into Its Own Hands

Palau’s waters contain some of the world’s richest marine biodiversity. Critically endangered hawksbill turtles and endangered Napoleon wrasse, which can grow up to six feet long and are known for the distinctive bulge on their foreheads, cruise through reefs home to hundreds of species of coral.

The country, an archipelago of over 300 pristine tropical islands popping up out of the Pacific, has tried hard to protect its natural gifts. In 2009, it forbade the commercial fishing of sharks, creating the world’s first national shark sanctuary. Species like dugongs and bumphead parrotfish are protected...

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Climate resilient microalgae could help restore coral reefs

Coral species exhibit different temperature tolerances. This is in part due to the composition of their microalgae symbionts. With a new method, researchers from Uppsala University were able to predict how individual microalgae might behave under future temperature stress and identify more tolerant coral symbionts. In combination with forthcoming single cell selection and growth experiments, the identification of climate resilient cells provides opportunity to help mitigate the effects of coral bleaching.

Coral reefs provide sustenance and income to an estimated half billion people, attract tourists, protect coastlines and are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on our planet. Despite their importance, more than half of the world’s coral reefs are now under stress, primarily due to cl...

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How high-profile scientists felt tricked by group denying climate change

A dozen scientists, politicians, and campaigners say they have been tricked into participating in online events promoting climate-change denial. The events were organised by the Creative Society, an international activist group that denies global warming is being caused by human activity. The overwhelming majority of scientists agree greenhouse gases – which trap the Sun’s heat – are causing a rise in global temperatures.

But the Creative Society alleges, without any credible evidence, a conspiracy and condemns what it calls the “CO2 fraud”.

The group told BBC News it “provides a platform for all ideas to be expressed” and rejected allegations it tricked anyone into participating in its events.

From ‘cosmic pulses’ to ‘corrupted scientists’

The Creative Society says it has su...

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COP26 promises will hold warming under 2C

The carbon-cutting promises made at COP26 would see the world warm by just under 2C this century, according to a new analysis. The study finds that if all the pledges made by countries are implemented “in full and on time”, temperatures would rise by 1.9-2C. However, there is far grimmer news on the idea of keeping warming under 1.5C. The paper finds there is just a 6-10% chance of staying under this key threshold.

When political leaders met in Glasgow last November, many of them brought new and improved plans to reduce their carbon emissions. 

Others, such as India, announced new, long-term targets to bring their CO2 output to net zero.

The focus of the meeting was to try to improve the pledges so that global temperatures this century don’t rise by more than 1...

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Scientists map Caribbean coral reefs to tackle climate change

Scientists have mapped coral reefs in the Caribbean to identify those most likely to survive climate change. Corals with the highest potential to escape destruction from marine heat waves are predominantly located along the northern shoreline of Cuba. And other promising sites are clustered around the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, eastern Jamaica, and the US state of Florida.

Coral reefs are wonders of the ocean.

Made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny creatures, they are one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet.

According to a recent IPCC report (top-level UN reports written by scientists), at up to 1.5C of warming, only 10 to 30% of coral reefs are expected to survive. If warming is above that, survival prospects plummet drastically.

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