SYDNEY, Australia — Kim Cobb, a marine scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, expected the coral to be damaged when she plunged into the deep blue waters off Kiritimati Island, a remote atoll near the center of the Pacific Ocean. Still, she was stunned by what she saw as she descended some 30 feet to the rim of a coral outcropping.
“The entire reef is covered with a red-brown fuzz,” Dr. Cobb said when she returned to the surface after her recent dive. “It is otherworldly. It is algae that has grown over dead coral. It was devastating.”
The damage off Kiritimati is part of a mass bleaching of coral reefs around the world, only the third on record and possibly the worst ever. Scientists believe that heat stress from multiple weather events including the latest, severe El Niño, compounded by climate change, has threatened more than a third of Earth’s coral reefs. Many may not recover
Q: How does algae kill fish and other marine life?
The US theme park operator SeaWorld says it is ending its controversial orca breeding programme.
The trash is building up from this weekend at beaches along Biscayne Bay. At our usual shore diving site, you can now see trash blowing into the water and birds attempting to eat styrofoam and other garbage items. The Spring Break celebrations are taking their toll on the local wildlife and eventually trash makes its way to the ocean where it can take hundreds of years to break down. More likely, however, is that plastic bags and other items are mistaken for food and ingested by local marine life, causing harm or death.
Please help us raise money and awareness for keeping our beaches and oceans clean!
"A radioactive isotope linked to water from power plant cooling canals has been found in high levels in Biscayne Bay, confirming suspicions that Turkey Point’s aging canals are leaking into the nearby national park.
Data collected by the Ocean Conservancy's International Clean-Up reveals the top ten trash items found by volunteers. Out of sight, out of mind leads straight to the ocean.
"With tourist season just around the corner, Florida’s beach communities would normally be preparing for a happy, healthy summer. Instead, they’re reeling from polluted water that is likely to inflict severe damage to the local economy and environment.
A “catastrophic” outbreak of disease, not mud churned up by the $205 million “Deep Dredge” at PortMiami, killed coral in Government Cut, according to a report issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In case you need further evidence that mankind is doing a remarkable job of destroying the planet, consider this: If we continue our ways, the world's oceans will soon be home to more plastic than fish.
"Plastic pollution is one of the greatest burdens to the environment. Believe it or not, enough plastic is discarded every year to circle the globe four times. Even worse, it is estimated that 50% of the plastic on this planet is used only once before being thrown away.
James Balog, an environmental photographer for the Extreme Ice Survey and documentary Chasing Ice, was able to capture stunning images of glaciers using time-lapse photography in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Over relatively short periods of time, glaciers have been shown to virtually disappear, melting away into waterways below.
He and his team also found that in the past decade or so, glacial ice has been receding at an alarming rate when compared to historical values of glacial recession. If the world continues ‘business as usual,’ there may not be many glaciers left in the decades to come.
If you live hundreds of miles away from the coast, it probably never occurs to you that the plastic bag or cup lid that you toss into the gutter might make its way into the Atlantic or the Pacific. But somewhere between 40,000 and 110,000 metric tons of plastic waste generated by Americans ends up in the ocean, according to a groundbreaking study published earlier this year in the journal Science.
The sunscreen that snorkelers, beachgoers and children romping in the waves lather on for protection is killing coral and reefs around the globe. And a new study finds that a single drop in a small area is all it takes for the chemicals in the lotion to mount an attack.