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Study: Certain Caribbean Islands More Vulnerable To Coral Bleaching Than Others

The French Caribbean territory of St. Barts could be more vulnerable to coral bleaching than island countries like Jamaica or Cuba, according to a new scientific study.

The study was published last week in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B.” Its lead author is University of California at Berkeley graduate student Katherine Siegel, who along with her collaborators utilized an amalgamation of data from 30 Caribbean islands to figure out which ones could be more vulnerable to coral bleaching.

The study looked at management, socieconomic and environmental factors to come to its conclusions.

According to Siegel:

“This study brings together data on 35 biophysical, ecological, socioeconomic, and management variables from 30 islands and creates important advances in understanding climate change vulnerability in the Caribbean.”

She added:

“We were surprised to find that independent islands have lower social-ecological vulnerability than territories. Territories — such as the Dutch islands of Sint Maarten and Saba — tend to be left out of global assessments of climate change vulnerability, but our results suggest that they need to invest in improving their ability to adapt to environmental changes.”

For more info on how the study was done, check out Science Daily.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.


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