A country that depends on its coral reef to attract visitors, as Belize does, has every reason to pay attention to the various sciences paying attention to those reefs. Mostly marine biologists, perhaps, but also economists. Geeks and wonks are heroically gathering information, processing it, publishing it and if not for The Nature Conservancy’s efforts some of us might not ever see it.
The August, 2017 issue of Marine Policy, an academic journal, carries the article “Mapping the global value and distribution of coral reef tourism” by the scientists Mark Spalding, Lauretta Burke, Spencer A. Wood, Joscelyne Ashpole, James Hutchison, and Philine zu Ermgassen and TNC’s Cool Green Science has a summary in common language. Also they complement the academic illustration above with one of their own:
If it’s true that people reveal their true values by how they spend their money, coral reefs are very valuable indeed. In fact, according to a new study in the Journal Marine Policy coral reef tourism generates $36 billion (U.S) in global value every year. Continue reading
Corals worldwide are losing their colors, they are getting bleached. We’d discussed how stress due to global warming and climate change is forcing corals to drive out the zooanthellae that give them their colors. And now here’s more evidence on how human lifestyles are affecting life beneath the waters.
New research about sunscreen’s damaging effects on coral reefs suggests that you might want to think twice before slathering it on. Reports about the harmful environmental effects of certain chemicals in the water have been circulated for years, but according to the authors of a new study, the chemicals in even one drop of sunscreen are enough to damage fragile coral reef systems. Some 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions wind up in coral reefs around the world each year.
Yet another effect of global warming and changing ecosystems. Corals worldwide are at risk from a major episode of bleaching which turns reefs white.Although reefs represent less than 0,1% of the world’s ocean floor, they help support about a quarter of all marine species. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the livelihoods of 500 million people and income worth over $30bn (£19,6bn) are at stake.