If you live in a low-lying area, the prospect of sea level rise is not a welcome one. But if you rely on a sandy shoreline to keep water at bay, new research says you could be facing a one-two punch that will make the future even more threatening. Scientists with The Nature Conservancy recently published findings gleaned from looking at some 60 years of wave energy data, which found that waves have been getting stronger in recent years compared to decades past.

A new study published today in a toxicology journal has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sunscreen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs and threatens their existence. Oxybenzone is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, and pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sunscreens and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage outfalls and from coastal septic systems. 

Most people – certainly ones willing to look at the facts – agreed that sea level is rising. How much is often open to discussion, but when does that discussion turn damaging? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world body for assessing the science related to climate change, was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

In a little over a month’s time, negotiators from around the world will gather in Paris to try to reach a final and globally binding agreement on a new treaty on climate change. It is no exaggeration to say that achieving this is of existential importance to the Caribbean.

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