Coral reefs are facing an unprecedented threat from global carbon emissions, chiefly because of hotter oceans and acidification as the atmospheric gas dissolves into seawater.
Coral exists in a mutually beneficial relationship with zooxanthellae algae, which live inside the coral’s polyps. The algae use the coral’s waste products and provide the nutrients to feed them through photosynthesis. Higher sea temperatures force the coral to expel the colorful algae and, if this process is prolonged, the coral starves.
During a coral bleaching event, reefs lose so much zooxanthellae that they become white and experience massive die-offs. Ocean acidification exacerbates the problem, eroding the reef, forcing corals to expend more energy building their calcium carbonate skeletons and slowing their growth rate.
The average global temperature is already 1°C hotter than in preindustrial times. In addition, climate change is intensifying periodic weather phenomena, such as El Nino warming events, increasing the temperatures reefs experience and reducing the recovery interval between bleaching events.
Climate models predict that global heating will likely continue over the coming century because our carbon emissions are expected to continue rising. About 75 percent of tropical reefs were hit by bleaching during a global ocean heatwave from 2014 to 2017.
Half of tropical coral reefs have been lost during the past three decades and, even if temperatures were kept no higher than 1.5°C, between 70 and 90 percent of reefs would be lost by the end of the century.
I think it is fair to say there is a widespread sigh of relief among many Americans — particularly those of us focused on foreign policy — that the chaotic and unpredictable Trump years will soon be over. Mr. Trump brought little real knowledge or experience to his foreign policy, and it showed. He also — in my humble opinion — did not err on the side of expertise in his choice of top foreign policy officials. Nor was he particularly open to listening to advice. All in all a poor set of traits for overseeing the complex foreign policy
After more than eight years of talks, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed on Nov. 15, combining the individual free-trade agreements signed between ASEAN member states on the one hand, and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on the other. Under the leadership of ASEAN and China, most observers did not expect the RCEP to provide a high degree of openness, and the announced agreement lives up to these expectations, containing few surprises. All products covered by the RCEP tariff reductions are agricultural and industrial products, but reductions of agricultural product tariffs are very limited, for example covering
While the nation grapples with its falling birthrate, it is also imperative to address how parents are raising their children. The phenomenon of “dinosaur parents” — who lash out at teachers, store staff or people on the street when confronted about their children misbehaving — has been an issue for a while, but there seems to be an uncomfortably high number of incidents making the news lately. On Saturday, a preschool teacher on an online forum wrote about a mother who often visited the school and screamed at the staff for various reasons — including her child being late to school
On Nov. 14, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) commented on the nation’s low birthrate, claiming that young people would surely have children if only they married first, and that the low marriage rate among young people is the cause of the rapid aging of Taiwan’s society. The Taipei City Government therefore proposed to offer subsidies to couples willing to marry. Ko’s comment stirred up a great deal of protest. As a sociology student, I would like to remind the mayor that his remarks not only decontextualized the population aging issue, but also oversimplified the low birthrate problem. First, a look at systemic