Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Coral Reef Update, 3

Coral Reef Update, 3

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, March 18, 2017/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, video, marine life, sustainability, environment, climate change, Archive Pick of the Week

                    Blached Staghorn Corals with Damselfish (credit: ARC CoralCoe)

This post on coral reefs originally appeared in June of 2016. It is re-posted now because a 2nd episode of  bleaching is occurring for the second year in a row on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The consequences to the reef system looks increasingly critical as sections of the reefs now appear to have died as the latest research indicates. Marine scientists continue their work to understand how best to restore the damaged reefs but still say:

"this new bleaching highlights the importance of global action on climate change. It’s vital the world acts to implement the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"

We once thought that impacts from climate change were decades away but what is happening to marine and coral ecosystems are proving that not to be the case. Time is short to implement effective changes in the direction of reducing atmospheric carbon pollution if we want to sustain healthy environments for marine and human life alike. the Editors. 

Coral reefs are experiencing a major episode of bleaching this year. The impact to Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has received the most attention but coral ecosystems everywhere are struggling from a toxic combination of high water temperatures, induced by climate change, and a strong el nino. Corals are a natural symbiosis between a tiny marine animal and a single-cell plant. Bleaching causes the symbiosis to break apart turning the once vibrant reefs into ghostly skeletons with dazed reef fish and smothering algae.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute developed a BioInteractive animation to help explain this coral symbiosis and the consequences of a bleaching event:

In one specific reef situation from Lizard Island in the far north of Queensland, the Australian Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoralCoe) conducted surveys that showed portions of the Great Barrier Reef as being more than 60% bleached. An underwater video from the marine national park shows the extent of bleaching and the watercpollution from the bleached corals and their released algae.

What is not yet known is whether the corals will re-establish their symbiosis and the bleached reefs recover. It won't take long to tell.

WHB

Print

Number of views (1378)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Animal Shelters Monday, September 11, 20170

Animal Shelters

Compassion for animals was shown during Irma's wrath.

Where's The Ocean Gone? Saturday, September 9, 20170

Where's The Ocean Gone?

A seafloor sucked dry.

Surging Storms Friday, September 8, 20170

Surging Storms

New environmental satellites map weather events.

Irma & Jose Together Thursday, September 7, 20170

Irma & Jose Together

Two hurricanes viewed in real-time data.

As Irma Approaches Wednesday, September 6, 20170

As Irma Approaches

Hurricane Irma is arriving 1-week after Harvey!

Endangered Species...Individual Actions Sunday, September 3, 20170

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Individuals involved directly in species conservation.

Juno as Monet Friday, September 1, 20170

Juno as Monet

Jupiter as an impressionist painting.

Remembering the Joy before the Deluge Thursday, August 31, 20170

Remembering the Joy before the Deluge

Remembering good times before the bad.

Parking Lot Wednesday, August 30, 20170

Parking Lot

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

A 1000 Year Rainfall Event Tuesday, August 29, 20170

A 1000 Year Rainfall Event

Harvey is breaking all rainfall records and it's still raining.
What Climate Models Show & Predict Sunday, August 27, 20170

What Climate Models Show & Predict

Weather events are amplified by climate change.

A Monumental President Saturday, August 26, 20170

A Monumental President

Two new national monuments were designated.

Here Comes Harvey Thursday, August 24, 20170

Here Comes Harvey

Hurricane Harvey carrying a 'waterworld' of rain.

Environmental Space Monitoring Wednesday, August 23, 20170

Environmental Space Monitoring

Volcanic eruption seen from space.

Tetons in Totality Monday, August 21, 20170

Tetons in Totality

A national and local eclipse festival.

Night Vision Thursday, August 17, 20170

Night Vision

Tracking ice cracks in thermal infrared.

Elemental Haikus Wednesday, August 16, 20170

Elemental Haikus

A table of elemental poems with purpose.

Where's Richard Nixon When You Need Him? Tuesday, August 15, 20170

Where's Richard Nixon When You Need Him?

Phillipe Cousteau invisions a new environmental movement.