Ebadon and Rising Seas: Building a Climate-Change Research Station

Gathering dead coral, which was used along with coconut shells as part of the cement for the building of the research station.
Gathering dead coral, which was used along with coconut shells as part of the cement for the building of the research station.

The distant northwestern Pacific island of Ebadon is one of the most pristine locations left on earth. It is also facing rapid and imminent destruction from increasing storm surge and overwash events driven by man-made climate change. The people of Ebadon, who contribute the least to climate change, will be among the first to be driven from their ancestral lands because of it.

Seaweed at a North-Atlantic coast.

Unraveling the enigma of the Atlantic's seaweed blobs

Seaweed in the Atlantic

These sprawling masses of seaweed, often stretching for miles, have been observed in the Atlantic over the past few years. While such occurrences are not entirely new, their increasing frequency and size have raised concerns about their potential environmental impacts.

A recent in-depth exploration by BBC Future sheds light on the phenomenon, unraveling the complex factors behind the enigmatic seaweed blooms.

How corals are surviving climate change

For more than two years, researchers on board the French expedition ship Tara sailed through the Pacific, stopping at almost 100 coral reefs to take thousands of water and coral samples. The expedition ended in 2018, and the analysis of the massive amount of data collected has taken five years.

Now, the initial results of the data analysis have been published. The findings should help us to better understand the living conditions of corals, to check their health status and to open up new possibilities for nature conservation. 

Ocean oxygen loss may ultimately reverse

Ocean deoxygenation has detrimental repercussions. Fish, crabs and other significant species of marine life that are unable to flee these low oxygen zones may perish as a result. People who depend on them for food and employment may be subsequently impacted by their absence as many of these species are economically significant.

Additionally, there is a negative feedback loop at play: as ocean oxygen levels decline, so does its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. This may cause global warming to accelerate even further.

WMO declares onset of El Niño conditions

According to the WMO projections, there is a 90 percent chance that the El Niño event will persist over the second half of 2023. It is predicted to be at least moderately strong.

El Niño episodes typically last between nine and twelve months and occur every two to seven years on average. It is a naturally occurring climate pattern linked to the warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean's central and eastern ocean surface temperatures.

Coiba National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and marine reserve, Coiba National Park is found in the Gulf of Chiriqui in the western region of Panama. Immersed in the Tropical Eastern Pacific, it forms part of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR).

$20 billion in marine biodiversity commitments announced at ocean conference

At the start of the event, US White House climate envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry said that the meeting was “so incredibly important because it is a conference that is focused on action, not on talk. It’s about real commitments and real solutions.”

Huge sums

Nearly $6 billion in US commitments spread across 77 projects to protect the high seas in 2023 was announced by Kerry, including technical cooperation to foster “green shipping corridors.”

Humpbacks in the South Pacific
Humpbacks in the South Pacific. Home to some of the largest reservoirs of biodiversity on the planet, which support abundant fisheries, marvelous deep-water coral ecosystems and diverse marine life, the high seas are also throughways for whales, sharks and other migratory species.

High Seas Treaty: Historic agreement to protect international waters reached at UN after 20 years of negotiations

The legal framework provides a crucial mechanism in setting up vast marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas. The historic treaty plays a critical role in the enforcement of the 30x30 pledge that countries had made in December 2022 at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. The 30x30 target aims to protect a third of the sea (and land) by 2030.

The announcement by conference president, Rena Lee of Singapore, was met by a standing ovation from delegates, who had worked long days and nights to finalize the deal.

Motorboat in the Caribbean
Motorboat in the Caribbean (Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Coral reef fish breed better with less motorboat noise

They then followed the breeding of spiny chromis and discovered that 65 percent of nests on quieter reefs still had offspring at the season’s end, compared to 40 percent on reefs with a lot of motorboat traffic. On quieter reefs, offspring were larger, and each nest had more offspring by the end of the season.

Some juvenile fish on coral reefs exposed to motorboat noise have stunted growth and may be half as likely to survive as fish on quieter reefs, owing to the noise pollution altering their parents' caregiving behavior, said the researchers.

Bracenet, ghost diving, ghost fishing, Pascal van Erp, Healthy Seas, Benjamin Wenke,  Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, X-Ray Mag, XRay Magazine
640,000 tons of fishing nets are annually lost or dumped at sea. Bracenet repurposes some of this lost net in their bracelets

Bracenet donates €50K to Healthy Seas

The German-based enterprise makes ethical bracelets from recycled marine materials, ie diver-recovered ghost fishing nets. Every bracelet purchased raises funds to remove more of this plastic trash / rubbish from our oceans and coastlines. 

We donate a fixed amount up to €5 to 'Healthy Seas' for every product sold. Benjamin Wenke