Undercurrent, the scuba diving magazine for serious divers reviews dive resorts and scuba diving equipment "Best of the Web ... scuba tips no other source
dares to publish" — Forbes  
Authoritative   •   Independent   •   Nonprofit  
Join Undercurrent on Facebook Join us! Public Area Online Members' Area
Home Travel Dive Gear Health & Safety Environment & Misc. Free Dive Articles Seasonal Planner Blogs Forums Books News
Reader Reports Recent Issues Back Issues Featured Reports Special Offers Search Join Login RSS FAQ About Us Contact Links
Bookmark and Share
January 1998 Vol. 13, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

El Niño Watch

from the January, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

While El Niño is wreaking havoc El Niño Watch througout the world, perhaps nowhere are the effects more stark than at the center: Christmas Island, or Kiritimati, in the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Here scientists speculate they are seeing the connections between the increasingly frequent El Niño and the dangers of global warming.

Rising only 12 feet out of the ocean, Kiritimati was home recently to more than 14 million birds feeding off the fish among the rich coral reefs and in deep water offshore.

No more. The birds are gone, the fish are gone. And, with the water temperature at an amazing 98°F, the delicate Christmas Island reef — considered by divers as one of the best in the South Pacific — is dying.

Sea-surface temperatures have risen nearly 9°F. The normal easterly trade winds have collapsed and reversed to the west, causing sea level to rise nearly a foot.

The normal upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water from the deep Pacific has been stopped by the reversal of the trade winds. The warm water has killed food fish or driven them to colder waters to the north or south. The higher sea level on the almost-flat island, combined with daily monsoons of three inches or more, have inundated the ponds on the island that normally are loaded with brine shrimp.

“It is dramatic and sad,” says Professor Richard Fairbanks of Columbia University. “The whole system has collapsed. . . . At the rate it is bleaching or dying, by the end of February, most of the reef will probably be killed.”

(From the San Francisco Examiner and other sources)

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

NEW! Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account |
| Travel Index | Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Forums | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues | Login | Join | Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2016 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.