Ecosystem changes

Healthy coral reefs naturally produce sediment -- in fact, that's what atolls are made of.

Are atolls rising to keep up?

Atolls are often only around two meters (6.6 feet) above sea level, but sea levels could rise by more than that by the end of this century, according to prevailing climate models. Four atoll nations -- the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Maldives, which are together home to more than half a million people -- were the most vulnerable on the planet to climate change but under threat was also those in the Caroline Islands, Cook Islands, Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Society Islands, Spratly Islands, Seychelles, and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Infographic explaining why fish are expected to shrink.

Warmer weather shrinks fish

This is the findings of a new study in Global Change Biology by the University of British Columbia. The reason for this future decline in size stems from the fact that fish are cold-blooded animals, and are thus unable to regulate their body temperatures.

“When their waters get warmer, their metabolism accelerates and they need more oxygen to sustain their body functions,” said co-author William Cheung, associate professor at the Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries and director of science for the Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program.

Project Baseline: Conserving through Citizen Science

Dr Todd Kincaid, Director of Project Baseline, collects sample from Hollywood sewage outfall, Florida, USA. Photo courtesy of GUE.

Project Baseline works by organizing and mobilizing a global network of highly skilled and passionate divers to create a lasting visual legacy of underwater environmental conditions one photo and one video at a time. Their images, descriptions, and data are moved into an online database designed to render their observations accessible to the world. Their images create a baseline for environmental quality.

Common Lionfish

Proposed bill to ban lionfish sales in Florida

Tallahassee lawmakers are joining spear-wielding divers in an attempt to control Florida’s ever-increasing lionfish numbers. If passed, the two proposed bills would halt the public’s ability to purchase lionfish for aquariums and raising them for sale would become a level two felony.

All of the details of the bill have not been decided. I’m saying let’s get rid of them. Put an end to lionfish in aquariums.

—Sen. Greg Ever