Category Archives: climate change

Powering conservation on Cousin Island, Seychelles: Please support our Indiegogo campaign

Nature Seychelles and ClimateCaring have just launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to raise much needed funds for solar installation on Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles. Read More »

All in a day’s work

Watch this video of the Reef Rescuers ( Nature Seychelles’ Coral Restoration project on Praslin Island) as they perfom their daily underwater tasks. It’s all in a days work!

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Reef Rescuers Fishy Cleaners

Here is another video from the reef rescuers on Praslin. They say:

“During our mid-water coral nursery monitoring, we have a little help from fishy cleaners.

In this video, a school of Forktail Rabbitfish (Siganus argenteus) is busy at work eating the algae that compete with our nursery corals, providing a helping hand (or mouth) in our daily cleaning maintenance. Due to the location of the GoPro camera, you can almost feel you are a rabbitfish in the school. A parrotfish gets too close to the camera for identification, but it seems an Eclipse Parrotfish (Scarus russelii). Towards the end, the boat engine scares away the school.”

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Reef Rescuers Humphead Parrotfish Encounter

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Here is nice little video from the reef rescuers on Praslin. The reef rescuers say “During our coral nursery monitoring visits, we often encounter solitary or small groups of Humphead Parrotfish, Bolbometopon muricatum. These peaceful giants come for a free meal when we clean the nurseries from algae and barnacles. We feel fortunate to share our diving time with such charismatic megafauna.

The Humphead Parrotfish is the largest species of parrotfish in the world, with record size of up to 1.5 m long, weight over 50 kg and maximum lifespan of at least 40 years. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, classifies the Humphead Parrotfish as threatened due to overfishing.”


And here is an article about the project from Deutche Welle: Nursing Indian Ocean coral reefs back to life

Zwazo 22 tackles climate change

Zwazo 22 carries stories on climate change adaptation and mitigation

Zwazo 22 carries stories on climate change adaptation and mitigation

It’s difficult to talk about climate change without a touch of desperation. The news we hear is grim. From failed talks, to extreme warming events in our seas, species in danger, floods, droughts and crop failures. The world is indeed in peril.

But slowly this harsh reality is beginning to be tempered with stories of hope. We hear now about activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The latest Zwazo – number 22 – brings you some of these stories.

The end of year even came with a ray of light from the climate talks in Cancún, Mexico. For although progress was not made on emissions reductions, there was still enough steps forward to warrant optimism for the next round of talks in South Africa. These talks it is hoped will finally nail down a globally binding agreement on long term actions to address climate change.

Outcomes from Cancún such as REDD+, which is a deal to protect tropical forests, the Cancún Adaptation Framework, which was established to enhance action in adaptation, and financing adaptation and mitigation through the establishment of the Green Climate Fund, were widely applauded.

With regards to biodiversity and climate change, many steps are being taken at home and in the region to help species and ecosystems respond to climate change. We bring you some of these stories.

Some of them have been engineered by ourselves such as the project to re-stock dead corals in selected sites in Seychelles and to make the nature reserve we manage carbon neutral. We hope these steps will inspire others to respond with more action.

Concern has also been raised about the effects of climate change and its impacts food security in the Seychelles. We highlight Seychelles response in this issue.

A free copy is available for download from our e-library and from Issuu.

The above is part of the editorial from Zwazo Number 22. Zwazo is the Creole word for Bird.

Climate change and sea level – More beaches or fewer islands?

Don’t hold your breath; climate change is here to stay, says Nirmal Shah, in this article in today’s Seychelles Nation.

Sea-level rise will submerge most of our low-lying areas, including entire coral islands – this is the conventional wisdom.

But a new study by 13 scientists at the University of Colorado and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the United States, published on June 11 in the online Nature Geoscience journal, says the opposite.

The paper – entitled Patterns of Indian Ocean sea-level change in a warming climate – states that since the 1960s there has been a substantial fall in sea levels around Seychelles and the south tropical region of the Indian Ocean including Zanzibar – a surprising conclusion.

The paper says that sea-level rise is not uniform across the world and is affected by changes in atmospheric or oceanic currents. The study combined actual sea surface measurements and satellite observations of the Indian Ocean sea level since the 1960s with climate-model simulations.

Sea-level rises have been much higher along the coastlines of East Africa, the Mascarene islands, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, the paper says.

The major instigator is the Indo-Pacific warm pool, a very large bathtub-shaped area of the tropical oceans stretching from East Africa to the International Date Line in the Pacific. It is known that the warm pool has heated up by about 0.5 degrees Celsius in the past 50 years.

But the two major atmospheric wind patterns in the Indian Ocean, known as the Hadley circulation and the Walker circulation, cause an uneven distribution of water levels across this huge “bathtub”, which explains the drop in sea level in some areas and the increase in others.

However, another group of scientists studying the same phenomenon have reacted to the paper this week and are claiming just the opposite.

Axel Timmermann, Shayne McGregor and Fei-Fei Jin of the University of Hawaii – who have a paper in press in the Journal of Climate published by the American Meteorological Society – have said they are astonished by these conclusions.

Their paper – entitled Wind effects on past and future regional sea-level trends in the southern Indo-Pacific – says Seychelles could see up to 10% more sea-level rise than the global average.

The main difference between the two studies is in their estimation of how wind patterns will change due to climate change.

The computer-generated climate models of Timmermann, McGregor and Jin, as well as those of  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, predict more warming near the equator and on the western side of the ocean basin. But in reality the observed warming has been on the eastern side.

There could be two reasons for this difference. Timmermann says the actual changes in sea surface temperature are due to natural variability in the ocean that cancelled out the human-caused changes predicted by the models.

The second possibility, says Weiqing Han, lead author of the Nature Geoscience paper, is that climate models are not very good for this part of the ocean, and we should expect the future to be more in line with the real changes we have seen so far – a pragmatic point of view, others say.

Whatever the case may be, don’t hold your breath. Climate change is here to stay; we just do not know what to expect – more beaches or fewer islands.

Climate change and sea level – do we gain beaches or lose islands? – 26.07.2010 Source: Seychelles Nation

Global warning – BirdLife’s 5 asks for Copenhagen

BirdLife is the world’s largest network of conservation organisations, and Nature Seychelles is the BirdLife Partner in Seychelles. BirdLife Partners from 19 countries are currently in Copenhagen working to ensure that a new deal is agreed that will tackle the global threats posed by climate change to people and nature.

“The BirdLife Partnership are asking the world’s leaders to agree concrete targets in Copenhagen over the next two weeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, said Melanie Heath – Senior Advisor on Climate Change at BirdLife.

Today marks the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen where Governments are meeting to agree action to tackle climate change. It is critical that a new global climate change deal is agreed before it’s too late.

In the last century the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by an average of 0.74°C. Temperature rises beyond 2°C are predicted to lead to catastrophic effects on nature, people and the global economy. “Climate change is happening”, added Melanie Heath. “In some places the average temperature has already risen well above the 2°C threshold. There is a window between now and 2015 within which it may be possible to significantly slow down or lower the expected increases in global temperatures”.

Climate change impacts including drought, crop failure, flooding, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events are already being felt across the world, with the poorest people and most vulnerable ecosystems hit hardest. Plant and animal ranges are already shifting poleward and upward, and studies suggest many species will not be able to keep up with their changing climate space.

“BirdLife believes it is essential that the Copenhagen outcomes recognise the vital importance of safeguarding biodiversity, ecosystems and the essential services they provide in climate change adaptation and mitigation”, said Melanie Heath.

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Countdown to Copenhagen: Maldives sends a strong message

In case you have not seen it, a very strong message has been sent by the President of Maldives to the world as we countdown to the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December: “Please don’t be stupid”. The message was sent during the premiere of the “Age of Stupid”, an environmental film set in the devastated future world of 2055 that asks the question, “why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?”

Here is the video from YouTube with the message. The Maldives’ low lying islands are threatened by sea level rise caused by climate change. Island States like the Seychelles are acutely vulnerable to climate change.

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See also the “Not stupid Campaign“.