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 (1491)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Growing Food Intelligence Monday, October 9, 20170

Growing Food Intelligence

Re-imaging a new food production future.

Australia Fries in Record Heatwave Friday, October 6, 20170

Australia Fries in Record Heatwave

Australian summer temperatures reached extreme levels.

With The Eyes Of A Kid Wednesday, October 4, 20170

With The Eyes Of A Kid

Serendipity happens if you pay attention.

What Gravitational Waves Mean Tuesday, October 3, 20170

What Gravitational Waves Mean

Gravitational waves and a Nobel Prize.

Once Bishop Glacier...Now Becoming Bishop Lake Monday, October 2, 20170

Once Bishop Glacier...Now Becoming Bishop Lake

British Columbian glaciers are in fast retreat.

Public Lands Day Saturday, September 30, 20170

Public Lands Day

Supporting public lands every day.

Tsunami Invaders Friday, September 29, 20170

Tsunami Invaders

Invasive species raft across the ocean.

Damage Maps for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands Thursday, September 28, 20170

Damage Maps for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands

JPL producees maps for hurricane recovery.

Volcano May Explode Tuesday, September 26, 20170

Volcano May Explode

Bali's Mount Agung could erupt any time.

Another Glacier Cracks in Antarctica Monday, September 25, 20170

Another Glacier Cracks in Antarctica

A Manhattan-sized iceberg has now appeared.

Cassini's Last Photos Saturday, September 23, 20170

Cassini's Last Photos

Cassini gathered data and photos until its last moment.

A 'Lost Crop' That Might Change Africa Thursday, September 21, 20170

A 'Lost Crop' That Might Change Africa

A wholistic plan for a 'lost crop' that could change Africa.
The Driest Place on Earth Tuesday, September 19, 20170

The Driest Place on Earth

The Atacama Desert as a Mars analog.

Watching Tundra Melt Monday, September 18, 20170

Watching Tundra Melt

Permafrost melting in 'real time'.

A Giraffe Boosts Conservation Saturday, September 16, 20170

A Giraffe Boosts Conservation

A white giraffe becomes a wildlife icon.

Cassini's Last Bow Friday, September 15, 20170

Cassini's Last Bow

The spacecraft's exploration of Saturn has ended.

Huygens and Titan Thursday, September 14, 20170

Huygens and Titan

Remembering a distant moon lander.

Goodbye to Cassini Wednesday, September 13, 20170

Goodbye to Cassini

Cassini takes a bow and exits the stage.