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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  July 31, 2015 2:30am-3:01am EDT

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our common life. i'm ray suarez, that's "inside story". the taliban confirms its leader is dead and names a successor. peace talks are put on hold. i'm darren jordon in doha, ahead, debris found in the hunt for missing malaysia airlines flibility mh370 sent to france for testing. british workers move in to
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and crumbling away "america tonight" sheila macvicar in the south pacific with a die off and the threat it poses to all of us. thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. tonight a look at the oceans and the threats beneath the service. coral reefs are like a rainforest beneath the ocean. it sustains the fish and people too. alarming data shows unless carbon dioxide can be brought under control, what is known as coral bleaching, a die off of the critical underwater creatures could set you have a chain of environmental disaster. "america tonight"'s sheila macvicar travelled to the south pacific's marshall island for a first hand look. short. >> yes.
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>> reporter: on the boat. this is a dive master. located in the vast pacific ocean between australia and hawaii, imaginero is a populous of dozens of atolls making up the marshall ined. the way to make his living, taking tourists scuba diving among some spectacular coral reefs in the world. >> this is a place you have come to for a long title. >> how many years. >> nine years. >> but last year's they were shocked at what he saw when he returned to this favourite spot. >> i saw breaching october. >> when you say bleaching coral, white? >> very white. >> and normally it should be full of colour. >> green, purple, red. no more now, >> reporter: that is happening
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in all of these places. >> yes. we had a major bleaching event starting in the marshall islands in in fall. it was part of a global event that's been developing over time. and as warm waters moved into the area around the marshall islands in, it really stressed the corals, and they are in bad shape. into mark is coordinator of reef watch at noah, the national oceanographic d atmospheric administration, and an expert on the ecology of coral. >> coral is interesting, because they are animal, vegetable and mineral. so you have an animal, and microscopic algae are living inside the tissue. when temperatures get too high, the corals will expel the algae, spit it out into the water column and goes from having a nice algae and tissues to
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spitting them into the water, a few remaining. coral is lighter. algae gives the coral its colour. most turn white when they kick it out. they have ripped the guts out. and they are starving. this is a stressful event. . >> as we descend below the waves and explore the reef. there are none of the tell-tale whites that signify distress. and still the live coral. instead, interspersed between gardens of healthy coral, we see the skeletal remains. trained of all colour, many covered with lair of algae. others collapse
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and crumble to the sea floor. he was showing us places where the coral bleached and it's gone beyond bleaching into basically being covered in fungus. almost like a mould, and crumbling away. it should been a spectacular coral garden, and still beautiful coral there, but you can see that there's so much damage. i fish a lot. one morning as i was going out i see a line of white in areas where you see live coral. >> reginald white is chief meteorologist at the office on imaginero. when it's a temporary event. it can regenerate or back to normal life. otherwise you see the death of
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the coral at certain levels and depth. that is alarming. most of the families in india, depend on a subassisting economy. this is the food source. >> if the coral dies. >> food sources goes with it as well. first it's the rising temperatures - as it continues, experts worry the results could be disastrous. >> there are half a billion people who rely on coral reefs as a primary source of food. >> scientists use a large array of environmental satellites to take the temperature of the earth's oceans, what is happening in the marshall islands in appears to be growing into a global event. >> the bleaching now is in kiribati along the area along the equator, we have the
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south-east coral china area, with a lot of warming going on right now in the philippines, and some bleaching has been reported from the philippines and parts of indonesia. the marshalls are seeing a little returning again. and over to the gall app goes america. >> in the months ahead noah models predict the bleaching would head a lot closer to home. >> we'll see the thermal stress heading to hawaii. this will be the second time that they've had mass coral bleaching in the islands in. >> twice in two years. >> well, we are seeing here that the caribbean - the northern caribbean areas likely to be hit. the western atlantic gulf of mexico, we are looking at a chance of bleaching in cuba, in the bahamas and florida. >> and what does that tell you
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about what is happening with the climate. what is happening with the earth's temperature. we are seeing heeding of the pacific issues, indian, and the atlantic ocean. the amount of heat held in these oceans is huge. and it's something that has been growing continuously. >> as the oceans temperatures rises, it's taking less and less to tip the earth's coral reefs over the edge. >> this is the third time that we see what looks like to be a global event. >> reporter: the third time ever. >> the third time ever. by around mid part of this century yip, as much ass 90% of the -- as much as 90% of the core although reefs may see temperatures causing coral bleaching every year. >> can they recoverage. >> when this started every year, no. >> aiken had a glimpse into the future when he dove to suspect a
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coral reef during the bleaching of 2010. if there was anything that i could wipe from my memory, it's what that reef looked like. we seen core am, it's white. everything is white all over. we started looking at the reef, watching the fish. the fish were stunned. some of the corals were dying at that point. the difference between na and a healthy reef was so obvious. it was like nothing i had ever seen before, it was heart-breaking. >> aiken and other scientists say the fate of the earth's coral reefs hinges on talks in december. that aimed to keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius. if you condition on the route, with the emissions increasing at the rate that they are, corals don't stand much of a chance. if, on the other hand we keep
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the atmosphere to a 2 degree warming. then at least at that level the corals have a chance that there is a peak of stress, and the recovering will pick up because they are adapting to conditions. we hope. >> reporter: for those that depend on the coral reefs for their livelihood and survival, have. >> until all of the world unite in one force, in one voice and say let's find a way to reduce it. here. >> whether those bigger nations hear the plea remains to be scene. "america tonight"s sheila macvicar is here. it seems that the corals are like a canary in the coal mine, it's not just the marshalls, it's over the world. >> it is over the world. as we can show, on the map,
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where they are detecting rising ocean, they are seeing a coral bleaching event. last year, hawaii forecast release suggesting that this year there'll be more coral bleach of course, not just in hawaii, but florida and other parts of the caribbean, where it's rarely scope. >> when you think about the marshalls, the people in these communities are well aware of what is going on. is there anything they can do areas. >> they can do simple things to protect against the rising seas, build a higher seawall. it doesn't help when prospects for global warming suggest that over the course of the next 50 years, perhaps sooner than that, sea levels will rise so high, as long as nothing is done, this thael be under water recollects and become uninhabitable because of sea water that will kill off plant life. they can do little on their own.
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they don't have a big carbon footprint. they are looking - while they look to the sea, they see what is happening around them, to the coral, and the big spring coming in with increasing frequency and flooding of lands. they are looking to the big industrialized nations. with the u.s. they hope taking a lead role looking forward to the climate summit in paris. >> it seems that when we talk about cot, when people think of big flums of spoke, it's getting people to look beneath the as well. >> it's getting people to understand that climate change is not in the future. that for people of the marshall islands in recollects and the pacific islands, other island nations, bangladesh, coastal nations, china, they are countries and people living with the impact of climate change, and look to the future and see that if something it not done on a global scale, their lives will
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be immeasurably difficult, and the lands may become uninhabitable. there's one precedent in the south pacific island that brought land elsewhere, with an understanding that he may have to take his people and move to a new place. >> "america tonight"s sheila macvicar next - plastic in paradise. at first glance, this beautiful hawaiian beach may appear untouched, until you dig in and take a closer look. >> the plastics problem in hawaii, and what the islands in are doing about it now. later, how one of the tiniest creatures of the sea may issue the loudest warn about a danger in our water.
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>> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. >> if there were no cameras here, would be the best solution. >> this goes to the heart of the argument >> to tell you the stories that others won't cover. how big do you see this getting? getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> we're here to provide the analysis... the context... and the reporting that allows you to make sense of your world. >> ali velshi on target only on al jazeera america he works for demoea, the
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national oceanic and atmospheric administration. noah has been trying to keep the islands in clean. >> there's a flux of plastic. >> hawaii's northern island act like a fine tooth comb, filtering debris from the north pacific gir, a system of currents pushing the pacific and everything in them in a clockwise circle, creating what many call the great pacific garbage patch, where shape of all shapes and sizes is dense. close to 90% of that garbage is plastic. >> these guys will eat plastic bags and pieces of plastic, thinking that it's food. it will be lodged in the intestinal tract, and worse is leaching chemically out of the plastic. impacting the guys. >> jeff works with anfalse, affected by plastics at the sea life park.
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>> if we don't do something, and can't treat our environment better, it will have an impact, and this guy will be gone. snoop this plastic problem is not always evident. at first glance, the beautiful beach my appear untouched. until you dig in and take a closer look. sift the sand and you find tiny pieces of plastic from who knows where. having a devastating effect on wildlife. we found out something staggering. he developed a technique where he can u.f.c. ra sound living birds and he found that every bird had some degree of ingestion. >> i couldn't believe it. every bird that came through is coming through the doorway. >> fast-forward to a first from the island. hawaii the first state to ban it in the checkout aisle. besides that violate the ban
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day. >> next, the canary in the coal mine of our oceans, how a mohl usk may face a big warning about the dangers in our waters. >> there's a line of police advancing toward the crowd here.
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>> ferguson: city under siege. >> it isn't easy to talk openly on this base. >> and america's war workers. >> it's human trafficking. >> watch these and other episodes online now at >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development...
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teens. the incredible journey continues. >> i've been asked to keep my voice down cause we are so close to the isil position >> who is in charge, and are they going to be held to accout? >> but know we're following
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the research team into the fire >> they're learning how to practice democracy... >> ...just seen tear gas being thrown... >> ...glad sombody care about us man... >> several human workers were kidnapped... >> this is what's left of the hospital >> is a crime that's under reported... >> what do you think... >> we're making history right now... >> al jazeera america shellfish farm. >> yes, this is the hatchery where we grow, under control continue, our lavi. >> they oversee what may be a prolific nursery. on any given day hundreds of millions of sea creatures begin life understand his watchful eye. 20 million lava per tub. >> yes. >> that's incredible. >> we, between these tubs here, to the end there, we have about 600 million lava this week. >> reporter: a marine biologist
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raises oysters for the taylor shellfish company. taylor is located in shelton washington and is the largest producer of shellfish in the united states. processing 60 million oysters every year. these oysters begin life in tanks filled with sea water. the lava so small they can only be seen with a moirk scope. >> when the little lar vie leave here, they have little shelves on them. >> yes. >> now, the newly born oysters are under threat from a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. it doesn't get as much attention as melting ice caps or rising sea levels. ocean acidification is one of the most serious effects of greenhouse gas emissions. nearly a third of carbon emissions are absorbed by the ocean. 22 million day. >> what do the emissions do to
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the chemistry of the water. >> the co2, carbon dioxide, dissolves in the water, and it doesn't stay at co2. it becomes an acid. and this will be a crucial development. >> juve mile oist ors, that acid can be lethal, preventing them from forming shelves. it's not just oysters at risk. lobsters, crabs and clams. this government website offers an illustration of the problem. projecting by the year 2100, in water that acidic, this sea creature dissolve. >> who knows how far this will go. if it affects our fishes, what other species will do.
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>> the great grandfather harvested oysters. >> see that. >> diaroundy and her cousin are the fifth generation of taylors to work here. much like farmers planting a crop, the taylors use juvenile oysters to seed the vast beaches. here, they'll grow into adults, ready to harvest. according to the tailors, ocean acidification cost them dealer in lost production. >> what it meant for us is it didn't have oysters to plant on the beach. >> there was a period of time off. >> yes, it bail the norm. we correlated that to the corrosive water coming into hatchery. >> reporter: so we are standing
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in an oyster bed farmed by your great-grandfather. responsibility. >> absolutely. it gives you a sense of pride, and responsibility to the places that we farm, and to make sure that we can form for another five generations. >> reporter: the taylors say if there's anything, five generations in the seafood business taught them, it's to persevere through good and bad times. they are not taking the latest misfortune laying down. they decided to fight the issue of climate change head on she and her father travelled to washington to lobby congress and reached out to the scientific community looking for a solution to prevent oyster die-offs. >> what i have here is a forecast. what we have here is an oceanographer. officers.
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>> it's a model of ocean circulation. mccrayedy has been working on a way to predict the ocean level. >> ocean acid iffic aches is not yefrl. surface. >> are you optimistic that this on. >> yep, i am. it's like the models used for whether forecasting. how are you forecasting. armed with real-time data. ben ware made adjustments - treating his water to reduce his acidity. can i look. >> sure. you make this any day. kind of like you are adding tone to the water. it's not quite the same kem cam.
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but similar. that is what we are doing. while they believe the method is helping oysters survive. it has not eliminated die offs. after good years, oyster lava are again dying in large numbers. there's more research done. showing that it is more serious water. >> we have been around for 120 years, and we want to be around for 120 years. this is a global issue. this is something all the world oceans are going to have to deal with at some point. >> important to us, it's important to a lot of other people. we don't know all the effects happen. >> as one-year-old nia taylor carries the torch, the tailors hope leaders are paying
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attention so kids like nia have a legacy to observe. that's "america tonight", tell us what you think. at talk to us on twitter and facebook, come back, we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow.
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>> a palestinian toddler is burned to death after suspected israeli settlers set fire to his family home. the israeli army is calling it a terrorist attack. hello. welcome to al jazeera, live from doha. also to come on the program. several high ranking members of the afghan taliban are disputing the appointment of the group eels negroup'snew