NEW FOSSIL SPECIES FROM JAMAICA RELATED TO THOSE IN MEXICO—02/09/13
Ostracodes, 65-million-year-old fossils found in Jamaica have been described by researchers as showing affinities to species in Chiapas, Mexico. Scientists at the journal “Micropaleontology” believe this indicates that the landmasses of North and South America were connected in the past. Researchers agree that the Caribbean region has a very complex tectonic history.
REEFS ERODING IN CARIBBEAN—02/11/13
Many of the coral reefs in the Caribbean are beginning to erode, and their erosion could have an impact on people of the region, say researchers from the University of Queensland. Coral reefs are built when corals produce and accumulate calcium carbonate, which is critical for their maintenance and continued growth. Researchers found that the amount of new mineral being added by the reefs is far below the rates measured in recent geological time frames and could be as much as 70 percent lower. Because the reefs provide fish habitat and natural barriers to storm surges, their decline has implications for humans in the Caribbean.
XYLEM GETS CARIBBEAN DATA CONTRACT FOR CORAL REEFS—02/12/13
Xylem, the water company whose pumps aided in the cleaning of tunnels in New York after Hurricane Sandy, has been awarded a contract to provide marine monitoring buoys for researchers in the Caribbean Sea. the buoys will collect data related to climate change. They buoys are solar-powered and will be placed off the coasts of Barbados, Belize, St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago. Their monitoring technology will measure water quality in hopes of finding ways to protect coral reefs from further degradation.
SPANISH, FRENCH CARIBBEAN NATIONS TOPS IN INTERNET USE—02/14/13
Spanish and French nations in the Caribbean have taken the lead over English-speaking Caribbean nations in the use of the Internet and social media. This has been attributed to the much larger populations in these countries. In 2012, the Caribbean had an estimated population of about 41.5 million people, of which about 14 million were Internet users. This reflects an Internet penetration of 32.4 percent, leaving considerable room to grow. Of this amount, about seven million users are on Facebook.