Climate Change

By: Melissa Santiago

For the fourth week working on Marine Life and Global Warming I mainly focus on finding more information on the different factors that affect our marine life and also global warming.

Oceans cover about 70% of the earth and support an incredible variety of life, including the world’s largest mammal, the Blue Whale. The oceans are a significant source of oxygen for our planet and are instrumental in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. Marine species provide important ecosystem services such as the provision of food, medicines, and livelihoods. They also support tourism and recreational activities around the world. This is all changing due to the impact that climate change, ocean acidification, and human activities are having on marine life and global warming.

Climate Change

   Climate change is the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time. It includes precipitation, temperature and wind pattern. Some of the factors that affect climate change are the burning of fossil fuels and converting of land from forests to agriculture. The dominant product of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gas is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other substances are climate forcers because they force or push the climate towards being warmer or cooler. They do this by affecting the flow of energy coming into and leaving the earth’s climate system. Small changes in the sun’s energy that reaches the earth can cause some climate change. But what if instead of this climate changes occurring in a long period of time it occurs in a few years how will the things of this planet be able to adapt? To answer this question, life on this planet is not responding too well to this sudden change in the climate. Some species may not adapt fast enough, which might lead to their extinction.

 The change of the location of areas with high primary productivity  is caused by change in temperatures. Primary producers, such as plankton, are the main food source for marine mammals such as some whales. Species migration will, therefore, be directly affected by locations of high primary productivity. Water temperature changes also affect ocean turbulence, which has a major impact on the dispersion of plankton and other primary producers. Due to global warming and increased glacier melt, Thermohaline circulation patterns may be altered by increasing amounts of freshwater released into oceans and, therefore, changing ocean salinity. Thermohaline circulation is responsible for bringing up cold, nutrient-rich water from the depths of the ocean, a process known as upwelling (US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic, and Atmospheric Administration, 2013).

   Polar bears are one of the marine mammals that are most at risk due to climate change (Alastair, 2019). The biggest issue for polar bears related to climate change is the melting of ice as a result of increasing temperatures. When the ice melts, polar bears lose their habitat and food sources. Although polar bears have been known to eat more than 80 species of animals, most of their diet consists of seals, which are also endangered by global warming. There has been an increasing number of polar bear drownings because they become exhausted by having to swim farther to find ice or prey. Marine mammals have evolved to live in oceans, but climate change is affecting their natural habitat (Wikipedia, 2019). The rate at which climate change is occurring is too fast and doesn’t allow the animal time for them to evolve; adapt to the changes in the environment.Short-term climate change impacts on aquaculture can include losses of production and infrastructure arising from extreme events such as floods, increased risks of diseases, parasites and harmful algal blooms. Long-term impacts can include reduced availability of wild seed as well as reduced precipitation leading to increasing competition for freshwater. “World Bank estimates suggest the annual damage to countries within the Caribbean community caused by climate change will rise to US$11 billion by 2080 – a staggering 11 percent of the region’s collective GDP” (Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, 2017).  One of the many impacts of climate change is on food safety, for example through changes in the growth rates of pathogenic marine bacteria, or on the incidence of parasites and food-borne viruses. Climate

For the fifth week i plan on working on
Ocean acidification. How it’s affect the Caribbean region.

Project update- week 5

By Alaina Mathew

This week I decided to narrow down my topic by removing a certain area of study. Initially, I intended to map out houses, businesses and farming grounds that were affected by Hurricane Maria. I have come to realise, however that it would not be possible to map every house that has been damaged by the hurricane, since Salisbury is a large community. Moving forward, I will be focusing on mapping local businesses and farming grounds affected by the hurricane. I also began telling my project story through storymap using knightlab. I faced many problems as it was very difficult to pinpoint specific budings in the village of Salisbury since it’s a large area to cover. Even locating churches and restaurants posed a major issue. I came to a realisation that the Storymap DH tool was not able to execute my topic in the way that I desired. Initially, I had the intention to map multiple locations on each slide, under different categories. I was unable to do this because storymap creates an animation with a movement from locations (kind of like a timeline). This is when i decided to execute my project with a different tool. With the help of Dr. Esprit I was able to map my locations using Google maps. I created a rough draft of what i wanted in order to familiarize myself with the tool. It was much easier to operate and navigate than storymap. I was able to get clear images of the community of Salisbury, enabling me to pinpoint specifc locations without having to estimate distances. I was also able to add layers based on the category that i was focusing on. For example (one layer for businesses damaged by the hurricane, and another layer for farming grounds affected.) I intend to finish it within a few days.

For the upcoming week, and the next, I intend to interview a few local farmers and business owners on the economic strain on farming and businesses since Hurricane Maria. In this way, I will be able to receive information from the direct source (primary source). I will also try to complete the storymap, and find alternative methods to present my data.

Carisealand Project update

By Shalian Shaw

For the past week I found it a bit tedious to work on my project. After visiting the office of the Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division, I now had the task of analyzing the information I was given and picking the information I may use in my project.

While analyzing, I identified the answer to one of my questions “How does the damaging of forests during natural disasters impact human survival ?”. One example of this is the deforestation caused by intensified natural disaster, due to climate change, puts many areas at risk for landslides. Because of this many people have to relocate.

For one of my other questions “Have any new species been observed in animals and plants in the past few years in Dominica?” I have not really found any information.

While researching I stumbled upon some info for another question “What examples are there of how wildlife adapted to the changing climate ?”. Although I did not quite find all what I was looking for. From the information that I was presented with I also realized that I may have to visit the office or perhaps even the archives for other important information that I did not obtain.

I also started gathering pictures throughout the last week, which was a relatively  easy task.

In the upcoming week I aim to continue learning more about the tools and continue assembling my project. I also intend on possibly revisiting the office or the national archives.

Food Maps Update 3

by Kieron Clunes

As I proceed further into my data gathering, my steady progress has been called to a halt. For the past few weeks I have been looking at the DEXIA client database of farmers. This database was at the very heart of my project as it provided me with not only the physical locations of the mass client farms under the Dominica Export Import Agency, but it also provided me with the relevant contact for the farmers in charge. If an interview was to be included in my project, this information would have been very vital to my cause.

However, I have just recently found out that there may be a great possibility that this information, i.e. the farms, their physical locations, owners and contact information, is out of date. Using the dates of publisment of the last few news articles on the website as the driving factor to my revelation, I have placed myself in a position where I must go out again in search of a more reliable source of information. I intend to make a visit to the main DEXIA building in search of my data and I hope to find more than I anticipated.

Food Maps Update 2

by Kieron Clunes

As I end the second week of my “Food Map” project, I can confidently say that I am beginning to get a hang of using the ArcGIS Mapping software. I’ve already completed many mini test projects to further confirm that this software will be able to complete the task I’ve set out for myself.

I’ve also learnt that the data I seek may already be collected and that I may have access to it. The Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) is a public sector institution and is responsible for the development of Dominica’s market for agricultural and agro-processed products. After doing some research, I have found the client database that belongs to DEXIA provides the exact information that I need with the inclusion of extra data that may help develop my project further. I intend to look more into the information provided to me in hopes of finally being able to implement this data with the ArcGIS software.

Project update #4: A forestry visit

By Shalian Shaw

During the past week, I did as much work as possible relating to my project. I engaged in some research pertaining to my project topic. I also visited the office of the Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division to investigate the changes of our forests over the past few years which may be a result of climate change.

At the office I was presented with two reports concerning the wildlife and biodiversity of Dominicas forests. One was “The impact of climate change on forest reserves and water sources.” . This contained some information which I already knew, but also had some information which was new to me. Particular things which interested me were the protected areas and why they were protected. For example the emerald pool is protected because a Parrot Research Team checks the developments of nesting parrots in that area. The other was a report on Dominica’s terrestrial biodiversity. This provided a lot of information about plants and animals endemic to Dominica. It included pictures of all the flora and fauna and it was fascinating to see some animals I had never even heard of before.

Once again while conducting my online research I found it quite difficult to obtain a vast amount of information about Dominica and by extension the Caribbean. After searching through numerous pages and even changing the search words I came up with very little, which was again frustrating. Most articles pertaining the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of forests and wildlife were based on studies done in the US.

In the upcoming week I aim to continue my research. I have to also try to learn more about the tools and start assembling my project. I intend on gathering pictures and selecting relevant information from what I have gathered.

Week 7: Rough Outline

By Rhesa Lawrence

This past week I did not do research for my topic; instead, I refined my research question and created a rough outline for my project. I have come up with sub-questions; to help me narrow down the information the I consider for my project, such as:

  • Is climate change played a part in the endangerment of the Crapaud (mountain Chicken).
  • What amendments to the law has the ministry of agriculture and wild life due to climate change in terms of regulations in the hunting season?
  •  What are the groups around the country are in place to help  the pass down of  our culture from generation to generation?

For this past week I have also created a list of prospective building that I have to visit in order to gather these and other information such as

  • Ministry for climate resilience
  • Ministry of culture
  • The library/ the information centre
  • And the Dr. Lennox Honychurch publications.

In the coming week, I hope to get information on at least one aspect of my research area. The rough outline that I have created will now help me keep on track with my research and help me remove all irrelavant information

How will we survive without our forests? Carisealand Project update

By Shalian Shaw

During the past week, I mainly engaged in research pertaining to my overall topic and main area of focus which is ‘The effects of the changing climate on the forests of Dominica in the past 10 years ’. I also thought about the direction I wish to go in with my project and how I would like to go about answering all relevant questions.

“Forestry, Wildlife and Parks, Forestry! In Our Face; All The Time!” an article by Ronald Charles who is the Assistant Forest Officer for the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division, was an interesting one to read while I did my research. The main question being answered in the article was whether Dominica can survive in the absence of our forests. He talks about the importance of our forests in Dominica and what will result from a deprivation of our forest resources.

Throughout the upcoming week I aim to continue my research and make myself more familiar with the tools needed to execute my project. I wish to delve in the specific technology of mapping and become familiar with it so that I face as few problems as possible as I progress.

At our last digital humanities class, Dr Esprit mentioned how her father was trying to get the public to realize how our water levels were decreasing and this somewhat inspired me. Because of this I actually hope to find out more about the decreasing water levels in Dominica as a result of losing much of our forest cover. I also hope to visit the office of the Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division to further look into the changes over the past few years.

I honestly feel like this might be a challenging task as I am not well versed in dealing with technology. I also have the task of managing my time and ensuring that my project and other school projects are given adequate time and effort.

Project Update

By Dinelle Dailey

Ocean acidification, the rise in sea levels and an increase in sea temperatures, just to name a few are some of the effects Climate change can have on the marine environment. Interestingly, with an interview already carried out with a marine biologist, points of interest arose. Through an answer to a question directed to him, Mr, Lawerence defined marine life as not only life underwater, however, it is also life around, adjacent to or within the tidal and intertidal zone of marine environments. This may include, organisms, such as coral reefs that live both on land and in water. Thus it is a point of focus to research about organisms which may often be bypassed because they are not underneath water 24hrs of the day.

Furthermore, after carrying out more research, this information was stumbled upon. According to ocean-climate.org “Each day, the oceans absorb about a quarter of the CO2 produced by human activities, causing a chemical modification of seawater that results in ocean acidification. The disso- lution of CO2 in seawater causes an increase in acidity (decrease in pH) and a decrease in the availability of carbonate ions (CO32-) which are one of the building blocks required by marine plants and animals to make their skeletons, shells and other calcareous structures. Ocean acidity has increased by 30% in 250 years, and could triple by 2100. It threatens species such as oysters and mussels, and will also have an impact on marine food chains. Our understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on marine life is still only rudimentary.” This passage raises awareness for individuals to at least have an idea of the threats global warming has on marine life specifically.

For the upcoming week, plans are in place to focus on obtaining more information about coral reefs and their importance addtionally, focus will be made on getting pictures of coastal areas before and after Hurricane Maria

What is Fish migration?

B. Melissa E. Santiago

Topic:Marine Life and Global Warming

For the past week I mainly focused on doing research.I tried to figure out which digital tool would be best to use for the project so that it can have the effects I’m looking for.I also got the names of some fishermen which I can interview to find out the direct impact of the change in marine life and how it is affecting them.

From websites such as https://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/the-heat-is-on-global-warming-and-the-caribbean/

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisheries_and_climate_change i learnt that  global warming seems to be increasing with each season that passes. The Caribbean islands are vulnerable since we mainly depend on marine life for our source of food and income. But we also have to note that the change in marine life is not only due to global warming but also human activities such as over-fishing. It is said that the ocean has being one of the things greatly affected since it had taken up about 50% of anthropogenic CO2 . This affect the level of oxygen thus the life of organisms in the ecosystem contaminated. The  increase in the level of CO2 is a factor that contributes to the acidity of the ocean. The rise in acidity affects the production of organisms shrimps and corals by a process called  calcification. Corals reefs provide an ecosystem for one quarter of marine life. The death of coral reefs lead to fish migration. Fish migration is the moving from one part of a water body to another. There are many factors which contribute to fish migration but the rise in the temperature of the sea water due to global warming has now become one. This migration would then affect fishermen and everyone who benefits from this marine life directly or indirectly.

Throughout my week of research most of the information has included the caribbean region and a few spoke about the larger islands but one of my main issues is getting information oN Dominica’s marine life..

This coming week I plan on interviews a few individuals on how global warming affects them and their opinion on how we can help decrease it rate.