We might get more ‘exotic’ if we dial down on the ‘extinction’.
Pocillopora damicornis — one of the most abundant and widespread reef-building corals in the world — may help us better understand how anthozoans deal with stress.
Can we please call these things Star Destroyers? Please?
The overall situation is still very bleak, but there are a few very bright spots.
The Great Barrier Reef may be facing its worse threat yet.
The world’s largest coral system is dying, and it’s all our fault.
He says the shift away from coal and plastics is good news — but we also need more action.
This successful first trial might one day save the reef.
This hermit crab is no hobo.
And the world will be less without them.
Does this mean I have to pee in the pool now?
They don’t seem to be having a good time.
Kinda looks like the Sarlacc, doesn’t it? Well take your geek hat off cause it isn’t a sarlacc. Now put your paleontology geek hats on because this is Fossil Friday and we’re talking about Zaphrentis phrygia.
It’s a true “Wow!” moment.
If you’ve ever seen one up close you probably know that corals are insanely beautiful, but not exactly action packed — these animals live at their own pace, one so slow that to a human being they might seem frozen in time. But what would coral look like if it lived in ‘normal’ speed?
According to NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division about 30 percent of the world’s coral population has perished due to average ocean temperatures, El Nino’s effects and acidification. Even if we halt all man-made CO2 emissions now (virtually impossible), the cascading effects of ocean acidification can not be halted once they’ve been set in motion. As a result, coral all over the world will bleach more frequently and intensely. Desperate times indeed, but a group of scientists are trying their best. They identified strong coral specimens and are currently stressing them further so they become more resiliant to changing conditions driven by global warming. In time, these super coral might be transferred all over the globe in an attempt to halt the rapidly deteriorating coral reef.
The Great Barrier Reef, which stretches 2,000km (1,200 miles) along the coast, is the world’s largest living ecosystem. Yet it’s being threatened and every year the coral retreats at the hand of pollution, tourism, farming and pests. One such pest is the crown-of-thorns starfish which attaches itself to the coral and destroys it with its venomous thorns. Various pest control measures have been tried, but none proved more effective than injecting the animals with vinegar. James Cook University researchers tried out various concentrations of vinegar, needle size and injection locations until they found the sweet spot for a 100% kill rate within 48 hours of contact. Widespread and sustained (you have to control the starfish every year following breeding season) could thus help save the Great Barrier Reef, or at least buy time until we address the more serious causes leading to its destruction.
Coral populations are crucial to the health of oceanic environments, but corals are also extremely vulnerable to changing conditions. Researchers warn that warming waters and ocean acidification lead to coral bleaching which can cause massive damage across both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
A disease called black band coral disease is affecting nearly half of the reef sites researchers have surveyed in waters off Kauai and threatens to destroy Hawaii’s reefs, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.