Ocean and Coastal Policy Program News

Research Maps Countries that will be Most Impacted by Large-Scale Coral Reef Loss

New evidence from Duke environmental researchers points to the devastation coral reefs could face in the next few decades—which would affect human populations around the world. ”Some scientists have held out hope that there would be reef areas that could escape the harm of climate change, but we find that most reefs will be affected by either warmer seas or more acidic oceans,” said Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Linwood Pendleton. “2016 has been one of the worst years in memory for coral bleaching. This fact is demonstrated by this year’s bleaching event that affected nearly all of the Great Barrier Reef.”

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Transitioning to a 'Blue Economy' can Reshape the Ocean Landscape

In The Hill, the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin and the World Bank's Pawan Patil write that as we enter a period of uncertainty in both international and climate policy following the United States presidential election, identifying a concept that can help find the wins between the economy and the environment is even more important. In the ocean, policymakers are asking if this may be achieved, in part, under the new concept: Blue Economy. 

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Coral Decay: Scientists Pinpoint Regions Where Declining Coral Reefs could Impact People the Most

Rising carbon dioxide levels amplify the risk of elevated sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, and these two global stressors may severely harm warm-water coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend on them. PLOS One Research News features a Q&A with Linwood Pendleton, senior scholar at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and lead author of a new study that uses an indicator approach to identify where coral reef-dependent people were most likely to be affected by rising CO2 levels by 2050. 

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One Of These Conservatives Should Be Trump's EPA Chief

There have been lots of rumors about who President-elect Trump is going to pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In truth, at this point, no one knows who is going to lead the Trump Administration’s EPA. Forbes provides a list of individuals they would suggest who are knowledgeable about environmental policy, who are fiscally responsible, and who care about the environment. Among them: Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Board of Advisors Chair William K. Reilly. 

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Coral Reef Ecosystem Threatened By Rising Carbon Dioxide

Oceans might be vast, but it has some of the most vulnerable ecosystems today. Much of the oceans' resources aren't managed very well. One of those that are vulnerable is corals, as coral reef ecosystem is threatened by rising carbon dioxide. A study by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale has noted that a number of places would be at risk by rising sea temperatures. 

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Study Outlines Risks to Territory Linked to Loss of Coral

New research published Wednesday warns of dire consequences for humans in low-lying areas of the world with large coral reefs, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, reports the Virgin Islands Daily News. The research, published in the scientific journal PLOS, was written “to understand where the effects of climate change and ocean acidification would affect the most people,” said Linwood Pendleton, a senior scholar at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions who is a lead author on the report.

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Climate Change’s Impact on Coral Reefs Threatens Millions of Lives

Hundreds of millions of people depend on coral reefs for “jobs, livelihoods, food, shelter, and protection for coastal communities and the shorelines along which they live.” Implementation of the Paris Agreement would help to preserve these shallow, warm-water ecosystems from the devastating effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The two primary environmental stresses that place these people at risk are elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and ocean acidification. The Boston Globe reports on the research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS that explains the science behind this global threat.

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Coral Vulnerability

NRDC writes about how coral reefs worldwide are threatened by rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, and humans will acutely feel this loss in a high carbon future. Who is likely to be most harmed by coral reef loss from these global stressors is the subject of a recent analysis published yesterday in the journal PLOS One.

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Why the Death of Coral Reefs Could be Devastating for Millions of Humans

Coral reefs around the globe already are facing unprecedented damage because of warmer and more acidic oceans. It’s hardly a problem affecting just the marine life that depends on them or deep-sea divers who visit them. If carbon dioxide emissions continue to fuel the planet’s rising temperature, the widespread loss of coral reefs by 2050 could have devastating consequences for tens of millions of people, according to new research lead by the Nicholas Institute's Linwood Pendleton and published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One.

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High Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Threaten Coral Reefs, People

As atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels rise, very few coral reef ecosystems will be spared the impacts of ocean acidification or sea surface temperature rise, according to a new analysis. The damage will cause the most immediate and serious threats where human dependence on reefs is highest. A new analysis in the journal PLOS ONE led by Duke University and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, suggests that by 2050, Western Mexico, Micronesia, Indonesia, parts of Australia and Southeast Asia will bear the brunt of rising temperatures. Reef damage will result in lost fish habitats and shoreline protection, thereby jeopardizing the lives and economic prosperity of people who depend on reefs for tourism and food.

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