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May 28, 2019
Fishermen like Jose da Cruz have made their living for decades hunting for crabs among Brazil's vast...
CAIRU, Brazil
The Wider Image: Brazil's mangroves on the front line of climate change
Fishermen like Jose da Cruz have made their living for decades hunting for crabs among Brazil's vast coastal mangrove forests, dense thickets of twisted plants in deep black mud that grow where fresh-water rivers meet the brackish Atlantic Ocean. Cruz's average daily catch is half of what it was 10 years ago. In that time, the water line has advanced 3 meters inland from where it used to be, according to Cruz. "Nature is upset. ... In Antarctica, it's melting, nature is melting," he said. "People, you have to have some awareness about what is happening. It's clear what is happening." Climate scientists lend credence to Cruz's interpretation of what he sees. Rising water levels, they say, are a sign of global warming, which also causes water temperatures to rise, killing off some marine life. Globally, scientists have warned that water temperatures are increasing far faster than expected, which drives rising sea levels. Climate change and human development are putting 1 million species, a large share of which live in marine environments, at risk of extinction, according to a report published this year. Mangroves cover 13,989 square kilometers along Brazil's coast - an area larger than the U.S. state of Maryland - and are a vital protection against climate change, according to biologist Renato de Almeida with the nearby Federal University of Reconcavo da Bahia. One acre (~0.40 ha) of the ecosystem absorbs as much or more carbon dioxide as a similar area of the Amazon rainforest, he said. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "BRAZIL MANGROVES" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/MANGROVE FOREST
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