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#232833 - 03/19/07 03:20 PM Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef
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Surveying climate change impacts on Central America’s coral reefs
19 Mar 2007
Placencia, Belize – A WWF survey shows that rising temperatures, altered rainfall and coral bleaching are among the main threats to Central America’s Mesoamerican Reef.

The survey, conducted in this small coastal Caribbean village, recorded first-hand testimony from local inhabitants about the impact climate change has had on their marine resources, and by association, on their way of life.

“This is the first time an assessment of this nature has been carried out in the reef region,” explained Nadia Bood, a WWF scientist studying the Mesoamerican Reef.

“Placencia was chosen due to its close geographic location to the reef and the fact that the village’s main source of income is strongly tied to the coastal area, particularly from fishing and tourism.”

Many of the villagers surveyed believed that coral bleaching and overfishing have significantly reduced fish and lobster populations. They believe that responsible fisheries management and stricter control of off-season fishing regulations and illegal fishing are needed to reduce the destruction of the reef system.

The climate change “witnesses” also asserted that the climate is not as predictable as it used to be, with storm systems and rainfall becoming increasingly severe and unpredictable over time. During storms and hurricanes, erosion has been a problem for the peninsula and has been even more of a concern for surrounding islands, where rising sea levels are also having an impact.

Certain locations in Central America and southern Mexico are already prone to extreme weather events such as intense storms and hurricanes, as well as flooding and landslides.

“The results of the survey bring to light that climate change is a serious problem that affects livelihoods directly,” added Bood. “This study shows how crucial it is to take immediate actions toward reducing the effects of climate change effects.”

The survey complements other scientific work WWF is carrying out, including a report with The Nature Conservancy to assess the physical status of coral reefs throughout the Mesoamerican Reef. Based on preliminary findings for Belize, deeper offshore reefs appear to be more susceptible to bleaching effects. Many of these reefs are those which fishers and marine tour operators depend upon for their livelihood.

• The Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second largest barrier reef, stretches more than 700 kilometers from the extreme north of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico down through the Belize Barrier Reef, the Caribbean coast of Guatemala and the island complex of the Bahía/Cochinos Cays adjacent to the northern coast of Honduras.

• The WWF survey, conducted with assistance from the US-based Edelman Public Relations firm, interviewed 22 villagers from Placencia, Belize, which lies just 30km off the coast from the Mesoamerican Reef.

#232848 - 03/19/07 04:33 PM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: Marty]
Fisheries Management - right on.

"The results of the survey bring to light that climate change is a serious problem" UHHH...sooo....WHAT? Whats the point? Climate change "witnesses"? Who are they?
Nonsense article except for the overfishing and management parts.

#232979 - 03/21/07 10:28 AM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: ]
Otteralum Offline
Agreed Rykat. I think that global warming is very real and very dangerous, but it's quite humorous to call interviews with 22 people an "assessment."

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

#233090 - 03/22/07 09:17 AM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: Otteralum]
sweetjane Offline
i am neither as well read or informed as either of you, but my impression was that the opinions of 22 villagers was the "survey". the "assessment" appears to include and/or relate to studies and reports done by WWF and TNC, plus the survey.

i dont necessarily see the humor in it. if something was (possibly) occurring in the town you lived and made your livelihood in all your life, and you were surveyed about it, i would think you would like your opinions taken seriously. just a thought.

#233198 - 03/22/07 10:48 PM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: sweetjane]
SJ, I don't profess to be well read on any topic (matter of fact I thought WWF was World Wrestling Federation) but the article above either in inconclusive due to missing information or makes no sense.
How would the villagers possibly know that climate change is responsible for negatively affecting their way of life ie marine resources?
"Climate is not as predictable as it used to be"? HUH?
Rising sea levels?
I would certainly take their opinions seriously but before I can believe in SOMETHING so important a few FACTS would be useful.
This article throws out a lot of suppositions based on...nothing.
Had they stayed with the initial premise of over fishing,illegal fishing and a lack of a cohesive fisheries management program, this article would have made sense. As written....Oscar Mayer! JMHO

#233231 - 03/23/07 10:49 AM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: ]
sweetjane Offline
ry, pal, i am not disagreeing with you, well, not totally. i do agree the issue might be a poorly written article which is confusing to dicipher (sp?). yes, more facts would have been helpful. some facts including results of increasing population, industry, pollution and/or tourism would have been nice too.

it does not say the villagers referred to 'climate change'. it only said they thought coral bleaching and over-fishing...blah blah.

i wonder if this assessment is still ongoing, with some actual facts to come? if not, it is inconclusve.

yet, here in PA, i believe the climate IS changing, or at least shifting. used to be 'white christmases' happened a lot. certainly at least COLD ones. the last 2-3 years it was over 50* in dec & jan, it didn't get cold until feb. i do not ever remember that happening before. perhaps a fluke, a natural cycle, perhaps not. just an example.

#233271 - 03/23/07 03:14 PM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: sweetjane]
I really think most of what we remember from way back as well as the past couple of years, is anecdotal. Can remmeber huge snow storms when I was a kid, can remember Christmas in short sleeves. This past winter was mellow in Dec and January but do you recall how cold it was in October. Was nasty. Froze our ass** off in November on Andros for 4 days. Residents said they couldnt remember it ever being that cold so early in the winter. Think it is all relative - general trend slightly warmer...probably.
What burns my butt are the news casts and articles that blame any and all "odd" weather on global warming. Totally ridiculous.
When those tornadoes ripped through Florida a few weeks ago every dumb a** newscast had their resident tree hugger prognosticating how storms are intensifying, tornadoes will be more deadly, on and on and on. What crap.
Gee, in 05 at the end of the hurricane season for the next 4 months all we heard about was how horrific the 06 hurricane season was going to be. Came and went with a wimper, thankfully, but it is typical.
Have notices one thing though. Many of the meteorologists are not in bed with the environmentalists when it comes to storms/cause/effect. Most of them know better that the weather patterns are controlled more by the ocean currents movements than by global warming.
I am surely not an expert on global warming, but I do know that for every so-called "expert" that agrees with the man-caused premise there is an expert that disagrees with it.
I heard a lot of out and out LIES coming from the mouth of algore at the hearings he testified before several days ago. And when one disagrees it's like.....instant castration by(yeah, mostly the Left)the media and so called scientists. JMHO

#233343 - 03/24/07 01:46 AM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: ]
Rykat - there's a substantial difference between saying global warming is happening and that it is manmade. And whether what we believe we are seeing is "unusual" or is part of a repeating cycle. All these views exist. Am I correct in thinking that your position is that either you don't think there is any ongoing climate change, or that even if there is it's just part of a continuing cycle?

#233368 - 03/24/07 11:37 AM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: ]
sweetjane Offline
just a note: i wasn't talking that "i remember when i was a kid..." stuff when i said "used to be", i was talking 5-7 years ago. as far as october went, it wasnt cold here - my kids went trick or treating without coats.

i dont listen to meteorologists anyway - they cant get right what's happening tomorrow, let alone next hurricane season. it may be true that weather patterns are decided by ocean currents, but it isnt established whether the currents are changing due to industrialization either. i understand with damming, industry and so forth, the geography of river deltas, bays, etc are changing.
for every action, there is a reaction, a basic law of physics. even if the action is innocent or what man deems progress. for example, it is a fact that with ever increasing boat traffic in our oceans increasing the sound vibrations, the whales can no longer communicate by sonar across them as they have for a millenia. who cares? i do.

BTW, what is a "so-called scientist"? one either is or isnt one.

i suppose what bothers me about ry's posts is that there is never any middle ground, it has to be one extreme or the other. if something cant be proven 100%, it doesn't exsist. i think that if speculation and theory was discouraged, like in the dark ages, we'd still believe the universe revolves around the earth, and man would never have gotten off the ground. MHO, and i always have one. smile

#233378 - 03/24/07 12:57 PM Re: Climate change impacts,Central American coral reef [Re: sweetjane]
Interesting topic, "what is a scientist?". Strictly there isn't a definition, so RK can use the word as he wants. Taking it to mean someone who is actively working in research I suppose SJ is right, but as someone who's worked at the edges of formal scientific research most of my life (and in the middle of it for some time) I feel uncomfortable with restricting the word to that meaning. The truth is that anyone can apply the scientific method to the existing body of knowledge and come up with valid views, and in that sense I'm with RK - look at the substance, not the credentials of the person spouting their opinions.

An interesting and not unrelated question - can anyone come up with a one sentence definition of a river? Be careful - it's not as easy as it seems.

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