climate change tagged posts

Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing ‘devastating’ tipping point.

The circulation of the Atlantic Ocean is heading towards a tipping point that is “bad news for the climate system and humanity”, a study has found. The scientists behind the research said they were shocked at the forecast speed of collapse once the point is reached, although they said it was not yet possible to predict how soon that would happen. Using computer models and past data, the researchers developed an early warning indicator for the breakdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (Amoc), a vast system of ocean currents that is a key component in global climate regulation.

They found Amoc is already on track towards an abrupt shift, which has not happened for more than 10,000 years and would have dire implications for large parts of the world.

Amoc, which e...

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First Marine Fish Declared Extinct Due to Humans

Java Stingarees are the first marine fish to be declared extinct as a result of human activity. This troubling news was released with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) latest update of its Red List of Threatened Species last week, along with reports of escalating climate impacts on freshwater fishes presented at COP28. A shocking quarter of all known freshwater fish species are currently at risk of extinction, with 20 percent impacted directly by climate change.

“Freshwater fishes make up more than half of the world’s known fish species, an incomprehensible diversity given that freshwater ecosystems comprise only 1 percent of aquatic habitat,” says Kathy Hughes, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Fish Specialist Group.

“These diverse species are integral ...

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The Undermined Aspect of Climate Change

The world’s oceans, covering an expansive 70% of our planet’s surface, are a lifeline for humanity and a cornerstone of Earth’s health. They are not just vast bodies of water; they are dynamic systems that regulate our climate, provide livelihoods for millions, and are home to a diverse array of marine life. In contemporary times, these critical ecosystems are under siege. Human activities, ranging from pollution to overfishing, are posing serious threats to their health and sustainability.

The benefits of oceans for humanity is as important as its very existence. Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming...

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Boom in unusual jellyfish spotted in UK waters

The number of jellyfish spotted in UK waters and on beaches increased by 32% in the past year, according to a survey by the Marine Conservation Society. The most commonly spotted were the huge barrel jellyfish – but rarer warm-water crystal jellyfish were also seen. Jellyfish populations vary naturally over time – but climate change warming the UK seas is creating favourable conditions.

A marine heatwave in June increased UK water temperatures by about 3-4C.

The world has warmed 1.1C compared to the pre-industrial period before humans began burning fossil fuels and a series of broken records this year is alarming scientists.

In August, oceans hit their highest global average temperature on record.

The Marine Conservation Society’s annual wildlife-sightings report is based on...

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Uniting the World to save our Planet

I am the founder and Director of Earthdive. 37 years ago I founded and organised a charity event called Sport Aid. 19.8 million people took part in 274 cities and 89 countries and delivered a ‘petition of blistered feet’ to the doorstep of the United Nations in New York. They demanded help for victims of the African Famine – and they got it! They raised US$35 million on the day and at a UN Special Session on Africa that followed, US$150m of African debt was cancelled.

It taught me that together, we can help change the world and now I need your help to unite the world again, this time to save our planet.

As a scuba diver I have witnessed the devastating effects climate change has had on our oceans...

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Surprising discovery could help reefs survive climate change

The factors affecting coral’s resilience—its ability to adapt to and survive environmental changes—seem to be more nuanced than scientists believed. In a study published Oct. 17 in the journal Global Change Biology, researchers reveal surprising findings about a species common to Caribbean waters. The discovery may help improve efforts to save corals from bleaching and other consequences of climate change.

A team led by Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Carly Kenkel at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences studied the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, to determine whether coral populations that have survived higher temperatures can pass their heat tolerance on to their offspring.

To the scientists’ surprise, the results showed the opposite: T...

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Dolphins, seals and whales managed by the US are highly vulnerable to climate change,

According to a study published in PLOS ONE, 72% of cetacean and pinniped stocks managed under U.S. jurisdiction are highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change. The research was led by Matthew D. Lettrich at NOAA Fisheries, in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.

Climate change could affect the distribution, behavior, and movements of marine mammals via warming ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, decreasing dissolved oxygen, declining sea ice coverage, ocean acidification, and salinity changes. Climate vulnerability assessments (CVAs) provide a framework for evaluating climate impacts over a broad range of species.

Prior to the study, no known CVAs specifically assessed U.S.-managed marine mammals...

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It’s time to put oceans to the test in the climate fight, scientists say

More than 200 scientists have signed a letter pushing for “responsible” research into ways to trap planet-heating carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans. They want to take urgent action on the climate crisis, while making sure they don’t trigger any new problems by relying on oceans to help in the fight.

Polluters have trashed the world’s atmosphere with carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. That blanket of pollution is already warming the planet and causing more extreme weather disasters. One way to keep climate change from getting worse is to take some of those historic emissions out of the atmosphere.

Oceans already do that for us, absorbing and holding around 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere. What if humans could supercharge that ability?

That’s what...

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How protecting our oceans will help us fight climate change

Healthy marine ecosystems and climate stability have always been closely interlinked. One affects the other, and we are seeing this play out on a planetary scale. Climate change is partly the result of the extended mismanagement of oceans, but the inverse is true as well. If we have concrete measures in place to preserve, restore and sustainably manage ocean ecosystems, nature becomes a powerful ally that breathes life into climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience efforts.

Average ocean surface temperatures broke several records in July, with no signs of slowing down...

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Ocean heat record broken, with grim implications for the planet

The oceans have hit their hottest ever recorded temperature as they soak up warmth from climate change, with dire implications for our planet’s health. The average daily global sea surface temperature beat a 2016 record this week, according to the EU’s climate change service Copernicus. It reached 20.96C. That’s far above the average for this time of year.

Oceans are a vital climate regulator. They soak up heat, produce half Earth’s oxygen and drive weather patterns.

Warmer waters have less ability to absorb carbon dioxide, meaning more of that planet-warming gas will stay in the atmosphere. And it can also accelerate the melting of glaciers that flow into the ocean, leading to more sea level rise.

Hotter oceans and heatwaves disturb marine species like fish and whales as they mo...

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