SIDEBAR

Scientists intentionally acidify sea water to show just how screwed coral reefs really are

An experiment carried out at One Tree Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef offers a stark warning of the growing risks that corals face as the oceans become more acidic with time. Ocean acidification due to the burning of fossil fuels could pose a severe risk to the integrity of these marine structures, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. For the study, marine scientists pumped carbon dioxide-infused seawater across a patch of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to simulate how acidic the oceans will likely be in the next few decades and almost certainly before the end of the century. The experiment allowed scientists, for the first time, to step outside of their laboratory and directly observe how an acidified ocean can eat away at coral skeletons. In this setting, the research team found that the heightened acidity suppressed coral reef growth by around a third, compared...
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Is this the end of Reefs, is conservation doomed?

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As a marine professional since the late 80's I have been privileged to work in remote locations with amazing aquatic flora and fauna... but lately my heart weeps every time I go into the water. Diving in remote locations of the Red Sea or now more recently in the Caribbean where it all started for me, I discover underwater deserts where there once was thriving eco systems. Each time I do my best to understand the reasons behind it, and why o why conservation efforts fail. And regardless of where I am the reasons are always the same, NGO's charged with protection have turned into the business of protection, and a political tip toe. Politicians keep up the appearances but bow to the quick and easy fix which will further their careers and fill their pockets... From Egypt to Curacao with no exceptions. Tourism locations who are actually depending and...
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Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water tested in global study

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The bottled water industry is estimated to be worth nearly $200 billion a year , surpassing sugary sodas as the most popular beverage in many countries. But its perceived image of cleanliness and purity is being challenged by a global investigation that found the water tested is often contaminated with tiny particles of plastic. "Our love affair with making single-use disposable plastics out of a material that lasts for literally centuries — that's a disconnect, and I think we need to rethink our relationship with that," says Prof. Sherri Mason, a microplastics researcher who carried out the laboratory work at the State University of New York (SUNY). The research was conducted on behalf of Orb Media , a U.S-based non-profit journalism organization with which CBC News has partnered. Mason's team tested 259 bottles of water purchased in nine countries (none were bought in Canada). Though many brands are sold internationally, the water...
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'Game changer': New vulnerability to climate change in ocean food chain

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“Ultimately our study reveals the possibility of a ‘feedback mechanism’ operating in parts of the ocean where iron already constrains the growth of phytoplankton,”said Jeff McQuaid, lead author of the study who made the discoveries as a PhD student at Scripps Oceanography. “In these regions, high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 could decrease phytoplankton growth, restricting the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2 and thus leading to ever higher concentrations of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.” Phytoplankton off New York. The micro-organisms help remove carbon dioxide from the ocean. Photo: NASA Andrew E. Allen, a biologist at Scripps and JCVI and the paper's senior author, said that while the genetics of common animals such as rats or rabbits was well known, the same was not true of marine microbes that play important roles in the global food chain. The researchers inserted a mutated copy of a gene into phytoplankton cells...
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#Plastic is one of the most enduring materials we make; it takes an estimated 500 to 1,000 years for it to #degrade, but 50 percent of the plastic we produce is used once and then thrown away. Eight million tons of plastic ends up in the #ocean every year. #oceandebris #plasticpollution #sustainability #goblu3 Facts like this are plentiful, but you get the idea. So, a call to arms. Here are some very easy things to give up in order to curb your contribution to the problem.
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#Scubadivers may be more aware of the threats facing #sharks — but we also feel helpless about what we can do. It’s a sobering statistic: Up to 25 percent of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with #extinction, according to the #IUCN #SharkSpecialistGroup (SSG). Using the #IUCNRedList of #ThreatenedSpecies criteria, the SSG says that of the 1,041 species assessed, 107 rays and 74 sharks are classified as threatened.