Hello, Hello!! Welcome to the beginning of the END MWAHAHAHA
An update for all you lovely patient people! I will be opening the last pre- holiday commissions up this
Friday, September 24th
before I make some changes to my commissions pricing.
As a heads up, I'm going to be testing a new pricing model, and adding in pieces like notebooks and dice trays to my commissions sheets, so please don't be shocked if there are some major changes!
I still want to be accessible to you wonderful people, but I need some changes to make sure I can continue to do this for a long time!!!
Thank you so much! See you Then!!
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Scientists have long known that reefs are in peril, but a new study published today in the journal One Earth quantifies coral losses around the world. The in-depth analysis reveals half of coral reefs have been lost since the 1950s. Scientists say climate change, overfishing and pollution are decimating these fragile ecosystems and putting communities and livelihoods in jeopardy. Their study, which is among the most comprehensive assessment of reefs and their associated biodiversity to date, underscores the rapid pace of global coral collapse.
“Coral reefs have been in decline worldwide—I think that's pretty commonly accepted,” says Tyler Eddy, a research scientist at Memorial University of Newfoundland who co-authored the study. “We didn't necessarily know the magnitude of how much, when we looked on a global scale, that reefs had declined.”
Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots that provide habitat for fishes, protection for coastal communities and generate billions of dollars for fisheries and tourism. Part of the reason corals are dying is that they’re ultra-sensitive to changes in water temperature and acidity, says biologist Mary Hagedorn, who wasn’t involved in the study.
“Corals have skeletons, which makes them seem like rocks,” says Hagedorn, but they are animals with symbiotic partners. Coral polyps rely on colorful algae, called zooxanthellae, which live in their tissue and produce food the corals need to survive. When the polyps are stressed by changes in light, water temperature or acidity, they break that symbiotic relationship and expel the algae in a process called bleaching. Corals have a short window to regain their symbiotic algae, but if corals are stressed for too long, their death is irreversible. “There is not a reef on earth that has not been touched by some aspect of this global and local threat,” says Hagedorn.
Most coral assessments focus on specific regions or reefs, but Eddy and his colleagues from the University of British Columbia wanted to more complete assessment of coral losses. They used a combination of databases containing thousands of surveys of coral reef cover, marine biodiversity records and fisheries catch data to assess how each factor changed over time. They were particularly curious what dying corals meant for a reef’s “ecosystem services”—including providing habitat for diverse marine species, protecting the coast from storms and serving as a source of food and livelihood.
In addition to finding that half of living corals have died since the 1950s, researchers discovered that coral-reef-associated biodiversity dropped by 63 percent. Healthy reefs support thousands of different corals, fish and marine mammals, but bleached reefs lose their ability to support as many species. The scientists also found that catches of coral reef fishes peaked in 2002 and have been declining since then despite increasing fishing effort. And the study showed that the loss of coral species wasn’t equal across reefs—certain corals are proving more sensitive than others, leading some biologists to worry that some vulnerable coral species will be lost before they can be documented or preserved.
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