Can We Save Our Corals? Using Investment Planning to Conserve Coral Reefs

By now, most of us have heard the news that climate change is threatening our oceans. Rising carbon dioxide levels due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are warming our oceans and causing a multitude of other adverse effects on our planet. In particular, these changing environmental conditions are wreaking havoc on the world’s coral reefs. Meanwhile, conservationists around the world have been working to mitigate coral reef degradation, with little overall success. However, a recent study describes a new approach taken from investment theory that could shed a hopeful light on coral conservation efforts.

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Habitats are a work of art: habitat mosaics and fish production

Biodiversity is continually being threatened by human activities, and it is vital that we protect it. Conserving biodiversity means conserving species and the habitats they live in. We know that habitats vary through space and time, but does this variation impact fish production in the long term? Brennen et al. explores this question using Pacific salmon species in an Alaskan watershed.

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Climate Change and Inequality: The Missing Link.

In the most recent IPCC report, scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach 1.5o C between 2030 and 2052, if it continues to increase at the current rate. To curb this warming, and the host of environmental plagues with it, we must completely halt our carbon emissions by 2050. That’s 30 years. But who is actually on the front-lines of climate change? And why do some people draw parallels between climate change and inequality? Is the key to all of this solving both at the same time?

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In a climate crisis no one is safe, but marine species are getting hit twice as hard

Our world is undergoing a climate crisis, which threatens every living thing on the planet. A study by Pinsky et al. (2019) has found that marine species are more vulnerable to warming than terrestrial species which may change the course of conservation management and deployment of conservation resources.

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Melting Moves Marine Mammals

As glaciers melt, the species who live there are faced with a dilemma – retreat into the little remaining habitat or find some way to adapt. Movement data from populations of ringed seals and white whales before and after a major sea-ice decline provides insight on how each species has responded to habitat loss. One of these species has chosen retreat, while the other has learned to adapt.

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Improvements in Water Quality Offset Climate Debt in UK Rivers

By analyzing over 20,000 samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates, researchers were able to show that shifts in macroinvertebrate communities corresponded to improvements in water quality from 1991 to 2011. The improvements in water quality have created a “credit” that could have offset the climate debt created by rising temperatures. Local improvements can potentially offset global climate impacts, but for how long can this trend continue?

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Islands and Alleles: How genetics can help protect endangered species

When talking about diversity in the natural world, we often think of the bright colors and bold patterns of fish gliding among a reef, or the variety of flying, creeping, and crawling critters found in the layers of a rainforest canopy. However, diversity even within a single species is an important indicator of a population’s health and stability. This type of diversity can be invisible to us when contained in the form of genes that control which traits organisms possess. In this study, scientists helped us to see the invisible diversity of an endangered skink and learn how to more effectively conserve this diversity.

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