Once again, on December 4, 2016, a scientific team sailed to Cocos Island National Park. Eighteen experts left Puntarenas to continue the work that Conservation International has supported on this World Heritage Site for the past 12 years. In a project developed jointly with CIMAR of the University of Costa Rica, scientists specialized in diverse fields of marine biology have been dedicated to evaluating the health of the submarine ecosystems of the island.
Thirty-six hours are necessary to reach it, and although the planning of the expedition had begun several months ago, the crossing was dedicated to the completion of the preparations. All the members received safety instructions, they were informed about the working protocols, they prepared their diving equipment and became familiar with the ship and its crew.
Written by Eva Salas, marine biologist
We are a small country, but thanks to Cocos Island our territory is very large and is 90% sea. Who knows what is there to be discovered in the seamounts which are part of the island, or the more than 3,000 meters deep pit where the Cocos plate sinks under the Caribbean. Our small country has at least 3.5% of the marine biodiversity in the world … that’s a lot!
We’re lucky, it’s not just any country that has the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea so close! These two bodies of water were separated more than 3 million years ago, so if one looks underwater with a mask and a snorkel, one meets two completely different universes. The fishes look very similar, but there are some differences in the colors. Corals are nothing alike in the Caribbean and the Pacific. One wonders how they got there, how these species evolved?
Corals in the Pacific Ocean (Left),are very different from those in the Caribbean Sea (Right).
Written by Xurxo Fernández, journalist at La Voz de Galicia
It looked like paradise…
Very early, before the the boats filled with tourists arrive, a barefoot and shirtless boy pushes a wheelbarrow through the sand. He stops and starts picking up the trash that accumulated the previous day, zigzagging up to the dining table outside. He works meticulously to remove all waste from the access to the hotel, about ten meters wide. The section is short, so he is able to finish soon and he abandones the imaginary path. He moves away from the hotel and pushes his wheelbarrow to the sea.
When the first wheel touches the crystaline water, the boy turns thewheelbarrow nad throughs all contents to the ocean. Bottles, wrappers, food scraps, even a broken sandal, stay together briefly before separating according to their buoyancy. Most plastic floats back to shore, but out of sight. At least out of the sight of the tens of diving enthusiasts who will barely spend half a day on the island, before returning home. Continue reading
Compiled by Mónica Naranjo González
In the past COP21 they talked about how we needed to make the greatest efforts to keep the planet’s temperature from rising beyond 2 ° C. They even emphasized that it would be ideal to achieve a maximum of 1.5 ° C.
1.5ºC does not seem like much. What implications would there be if we reach 2ºC? Or even 4 ° C? Here we discuss some of the possible effects that scientific projections announced, according to the course Turn Down the Heat, from the World Bank.
Let’s begin with two things
The first thing to understand is that many of the impacts that we’re experiencing today are a result of a warming of less than one degree Celsius. Everything we perceive at this time will only intensify as we approach an increase of 2 ° C. Do you remember the storms in the Pacific in 2015? 2 ° C would be no party.
2015’s hurricane season in the Pacific was exceptionally intense. “Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena 2015-08-30 0930Z” by NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen.
El Niño. If you live in Costa Rica, you have to have heard about it. How much you know about it is a different story. What is it? When does it happen? Are we experiencing an El Niño right now? Why is it called El Niño? Why should I care? Let’s answer one by one. Continue reading