05/23/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins . . . underwater. Many are unaware, but the crystal-clear seawater below the Keys is the third-largest barrier reef in the world. It has a vast history, as well. Many enjoy scuba or snorkel, but historically, the reef has been a bane to shipping . . . and pirates.
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.