South Florida's coral reefs are getting ready for their close-up.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is teaming up with the Catlin Seaview Survey as part of the Australia-based project's ambitious effort to create a photographic record of the world's coral reefs.
Climate scientists largely agree that sea level is rising. The extent of the change is a far more complicated matter.
“Probably two feet. Three feet, possibly,” said David Enfield, a climatologist with the University of Miami and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. “As an extreme -- if for example we see an unexpected acceleration of the melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica, something else we’re not observing -- we could be seeing six feet by the end of the century.”
The future of some of Florida's smallest and most seldom seen inhabitants is under threat from climate change, and that could spell big trouble further up the food chain, scientists say. South Florida's coral and algae populations are declining as ocean temperatures rise and there's an economic factor to consider, according to researchers who study the coastal underwater ecosystems.