The Safina Center

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Nov 30th

Climate Change Sponges, Jamaica: Halfway

After a few days in New York enjoying Thanksgiving with my family, I’m now back in Jamaica. While I was away, Amber Stubler, a graduate student from Stony Brook University, was monitoring the experiment and making sure that water temperature, water flow rates, pH/CO2 levels and dozens of other factors were okay. The experiment is at the halfway point and I’m happy to report that it is going extremely well. Most of 360 sponge pieces or explants have survived. Two of the 6 coral reef sponge species I’m studying are comparatively less hardy, with a few explants dying, but differences in survival (and growth) between species are common. Although only halfway through the experiment, it does not appear that there are any major differences in survival between the 4 climate change treatments (see the blog “Climate Change Sponges, Jamaica: Experiment” below for descriptions). That is neither high temperature nor low pH seems to killing sponges, which is a very promising result for the future of coral reef sponges.

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Posted in:   Climate, Research

Nov 23rd

Fewer salmon mean hungrier grizzlies, unhealthy forests

Declining salmon runs on the west coast of North America have triggered a cascade of fishery closures over the last few decades. Now, biologists are interested in seeing how the loss of salmon is affecting one of their top predators;                           grizzly bears.                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Posted in:   Climate, Sea Ethic