AirClim has co-published a 50-minute documentary and Caribbean music film about climate change in the coastal zones of the Caribbean Region.
The campaign film highlights the threat of global warming for coastal zones and especially for the second largest coral reef in the world, the Mesoamerican and Caribbean coral reef system, which stretches from Florida to Trinidad Tobago. The IPCC concluded in its fifth assessment report in 2013/2014 that the world’s coral reef ecosystems will be one of the first global ecosystems that will disappear with a global temperature increase of more than 1–2 degrees C. Several research articles published recently in “Science” and “Nature” have confirmed this very large threat.
In the study published in “Science” in July 2015, changes to the ocean, its ecosystems, and to the goods and services they provide, are evaluated under two contrasting CO₂ scenarios: the current high-emissions trajectory and a stringent emissions scenario consistent with the Copenhagen Accord of keeping the mean global temperature increase below 2°C in the 21st century. To do this, the scientists write that they “draw on the consensus science in the latest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and papers published since the assessment.”The scientists conclude that “warming and acidification of surface ocean waters will increase proportionately with cumulative CO2 emissions. Warm-water corals have already been affected, as have mid-latitude seagrass, high-latitude pteropods and krill, mid-latitude bivalves, and fin fishes. Even under the stringent emissions scenario (RCP2.6), warm-water corals and mid-latitude bivalves will be at high risk by 2100. Under our current rate of emissions, most marine organisms evaluated will have very high risk of impacts by 2100 and many by 2050. These results – derived from experiments, field observations, and modelling – are consistent with evidence from high-CO₂ periods in the paleorecord.”
“These impacts will be cumulative or synergistic with other human impacts, such as overexploitation of living resources, habitat destruction, and pollution. Fin fisheries at low latitudes, which are a key source of protein and income for millions of people, will be at high risk.”
“Impacts on key marine and coastal organisms, ecosystems, and services are already detectable, and several will face high risk of impacts well before 2100, even under the low-emissions scenario. These impacts will occur across all latitudes, making this a global concern beyond the north/south divide,”the scientists conclude.
Also in July 2015 the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA reported“unusually warm ocean temperatures cover the north Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and western Atlantic oceans. NOAA scientists expect greater bleaching of corals on Northern Hemisphere reefs potentially leading to the death of corals over a wide area and affecting the long-term supply of fish and shellfish.”
Earlier this year, NOAA reported on“coral bleaching in the South Pacific, including the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Fiji, American Samoa as well as in the Indian Ocean, including the British Indian Ocean Territory and the Maldives.”
In an article in“Nature” in 2012, scientists argued that“limiting global warming to 2°C is unlikely to save most coral reefs. Mass coral bleaching events have become a widespread phenomenon causing serious concerns with regard to the survival of corals. Triggered by high ocean temperatures, bleaching events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. Preserving >10% of coral reefs worldwide would require limiting warming to below 1.5°C (atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) range: 1.3–1.8°C) relative to pre-industrial levels.”
Link to film “1.5 Stay Alive” co-produced by AirClim.
Caribbean music and climate change in the coastal zones of the Caribbean Region.