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TTC Special: War in the Caribbean against climate change

TTC Special: War in the Caribbean against climate change

By Frank Martin

TTC Service.- A collective effort in the Caribbean Sea faces climate change, which is silently damaging marine life.

One of the Caribbean projects against climate change will assist in research, monitoring, and designing adaptation strategies in the hope that corals of the Mesoamerican reef and its coastal communities will be able to withstand warmer sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, sea level rise and coastal flooding in the decades to come.

According to an Earth Institute article in the web the Mesoamerican reef in the Caribbean Sea has welcomed over 500 species of corals, fish, and other sea creatures.

The reef are Linked to commercial and recreational activities from fishing to snorkeling and the marine wildlife boosts in the countries whose coastlines the reef touches.

Marine and climate scientists from Columbia’s Earth Institute and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are exploring ways to protect this valuable Caribbean ecosystem, the second largest barrier reef in the world, from the potentially disastrous effects of climate change.

Scientific studies indicate that Warm-water coral reefs—composed of stony corals, algae, and other organisms—are classified as a “unique and threatened” ecosystem that is especially vulnerable to temperature change, according to a recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The investigators added that the biodiversity supported by the Mesoamerican Reef is important for the fishing and tourism industries.

In the Caribbean suffer already a rise in sea level, stronger hurricanes, longer dry seasons and shorter wet seasons. As a result, climate change is expected to lead to changes in the economy, environment and population of the Caribbean.

The coral reefs project will help protected area managers and communities to understand the impacts they’re already facing, what they will look like in the future, and how they can develop adaptation responses to address them.

Ocean warming brought on by higher air temperatures is equally hazardous to the Mesoamerican coral reef. Extended periods of 30-degree water temperatures—just a cut above the average temperature of the Caribbean Sea—can cause the corals to become “stressed” and release algae from their tissue. When that happens, the corals, which derive 90 percent of their nourishment from algae through photosynthesis, can starve to death.