Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Terrible damage to aquatic ecosystems

The situation is worse than we thought – not only in the case of coral reefs, but also in freshwater fish populations.

A new study has shown that in contrast with earlier beliefs, the microorganisms that build coral reefs can die out in a matter of days rather than months due to the warming of the seas.

In a joint study by the University of Newcastle in Britain, Australia’s James Cook University, The University of Technology Sydney and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists used CT scans of coral reefs to analyse the impact of heat waves on the coral, and they were surprised to see extremely rapid dissolution of coral skeletons.

The situation is tragic not only for coral reefs: a study by the Leibniz Institute in Berlin has shown that since 1977, freshwater megafauna has declined by 88 percent. The highest declines were observed in the Indomalaya (South and Southeast Asia, the southern part of China) and the Palearctic (Europe, North Africa and most of Asia) realms, and the larger fish species are particularly affected: the populations of sturgeons and salmon have dropped by 94 percent. Overfishing and the radical reduction in the number of free-flowing rivers are the two main threats.

The latest studies show that aquatic wildlife is declining much faster than previously thought
Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: AFP

Corals back from the dead discovered in the Mediterranean Sea

For the first time ever, living polyps were discovered in Mediterranean coral colonies that were previously thought to be completely dead by researchers who published their finding in the periodical Science Advances.

Oceans absorb massive quantities of carbon dioxide

The oceans play a very important role in controlling Earth’s climate. New research has shown that the planet’s five oceans absorb much more carbon dioxide, one of the gases responsible for the greenhouse effect, than previously thought.

Temperatures in Israel increase by 0.25 degrees Celsius per decade

According to a study published in the International Journal of Climatology, Israel’s average temperature has been rising continuously since the proclamation of the Middle Eastern state in 1948, but over the last thirty years the rate of warming has also increased.

Temperatures increase much faster than global average in the Mediterranean region

Temperatures are rising much faster than the global average in the region of the Mediterranean Sea, and this represents a threat to the food and water resources of the region, researchers have warned in a new study.

Fates, faces, contrasts

The news about climate refugees are alternating sequences of frightening numbers and apocalyptic landscapes that obscure the real face of the problem: the disfigured human fates.

Climate change causing great damage to UK wildlife

More than a quarter of all mammals are threatened with extinction.

Several hundred temperature records broken in 2019

Between 1 May and 30 August, higher than ever temperatures have been measured in 29 countries, on almost 400 occasions in the Northern Hemisphere.

The perishing glaciers of the Alps – shown from a special perspective

The French falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers has surveyed the glaciers of the Alps using a camera attached to a white-tailed eagle.

The Polarstern sets off on a unique expedition frozen to an ice floe

The ice floe that the German research boat will be attached to as it drifts around the Arctic for almost a year on the most important Arctic expedition ever has been selected.

September 2019 the warmest so far

Data from European climate researchers indicates that this year’s was the warmest September since the Copernicus Climate Change Service began keeping regular records of meteorological data in 1981.