Posted on May 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Coral reef ecosystems are facing serious threats from global warming as well as local impacts. Photo courtesy Renata Ferrari.
Study says concerted global and local action required
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A detailed new study supports the idea that protecting coral reefs from local impacts like over-fishing and polluted runoff is a key part of any strategy to try and bolster reefs in the face of climate change.
The researchers concluded that, even though coral reefs are in decline, their collapse can be avoided with concerted global and local action.
“People benefit by reefs’ having a complex structure—a little like a Manhattan skyline, but underwater,” said Peter Mumby, of The University of Queensland and University of Exeter. “Structurally complex reefs provide nooks and crannies for thousands of species and provide the habitat needed to sustain productive reef fisheries. They’re also great fun to visit as a snorkeler or diver. If we carry on the way we have been, the ability of reefs to provide benefits to people will seriously decline.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, University of Exeter, University of Queensland | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New global assessment predicts significant damage to majority of reef ecosystems unless greenhouse gases are curbed drastically
Staghorn coral. Photo courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Most coral reefs are likely doomed unless humankind acts quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new global assessment of global warming impacts published last week in Nature Climate Change.
“Our findings show that under current assumptions regarding thermal sensitivity, coral reefs might no longer be prominent coastal ecosystems if global mean temperatures actually exceed 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level,” said lead author Katja Frieler, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Without a yet uncertain process of adaptation or acclimation, however, already about 70 percent of corals are projected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030 even under an ambitious mitigation scenario.”
The threshold for protecting at least half the world’s coral reef ecosystems is estimated at 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the study conducted by scientists from Potsdam, the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland in Australia. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Coral bleaching, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University of Queensland | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 18, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A 1 degree change in ocean temps could force some species to move hundreds of miles to find suitable habitat
Marine species are facing serious challenges as global temperatures rise.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — an increasing number of ocean-dwelling species are responding to global warming by changing their distributions and the timing of life cycle events such as breeding, spawning and migrations.
And marine life may need to relocate faster than land species, as well as speed up changes in the timing of major life cycle events — despite the fact that global land surface temperatures are increasing three times as fast as ocean temperatures.
“Analyses of global temperature found that the rate at which marine life needs to relocate is as fast, or in some places faster, than for land species,” said Dr Elvira Poloczanska from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Climate Adaptation Flagship. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, Summit County news | Tagged: climate change, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Environment, global warming, marine biology, University of Queensland | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 18, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A new study suggests hurricanes come in clusters. IMAGE COURTESY NOAA.
Findings could help forecasters, insurance agencies and resource managers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —A study of hurricane tracks during the past 100 years suggests that tropical storm activity is clustered rather than random, with short intense periods of hurricanes followed by relatively long quiet periods. The trend was most pronounced in the Caribbean, with strong clustering in Florida, the Bahamas, Belize, Honduras, Haiti and Jamaica.
The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could have profound implications for hurricane forecasting and for monitoring impacts of tropical storms to coastal ecosystems and human populations. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, Hurricanes, Summit County news | Tagged: Caribbean, climate, coral reefs, hurricanes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Summit County News, University of Exeter, University of Queensland, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 18, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Researchers say their study shows cultural transmission not unique to humans
Humpback whale songs are shared among populations worldwide. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Humpback whale songs change over time, and move across oceans in distinctive patterns, according to Australian researchers, who recently published their findings in the online journal, Current Biology.
At any given time within a population, male humpbacks all sing the same mating tune. But as the pattern changes, catchy versions of the song spread across the ocean, almost always traveling from west to east.
“Our findings reveal cultural change on a vast scale,” said researchers Ellen Garland. Multiple songs moved like “cultural ripples from one population to another, causing all males to change their song to a new version.” This is the first time that such broad-scale and population-wide cultural exchange has been documented in any species other than humans, Garland added. Listen to some humpback whale songs documented by the researchers here. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: Current Biology, Environment, French Polynesia, Humpback whale, humpback whales, marine biology, Pacific Ocean, Summit County News, University of Queensland, Whale song | 1 Comment »