‘In the 1980s, the gap was 25 years. Before then, mass bleaching didn’t occur,’ says professor Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. ‘The average gap between two consecutive bleaching events since 2010 (up to 2016) is 5.9 years. But some reefs have bleached three times in that period.’Coral bleaching occurs when stressful conditions result in the expulsion of the algae from the coral. These stressful conditions usually relate to above average sea water temperature caused by global warming.Before human driven climate change, these events were relatively rare, which allowed the reef time to recover between events, but as Hughes’ has discovered, the interval between damaging events is dropping at an alarming rate.‘Since mass bleaching began in the 1980s, the Caribbean region has accumulated the most events, mainly because it warmed up sooner,’ he says. ‘In the … [Read more...] about Coral reefs have no time to recover
Circular coral reef crossword clue
Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) and YTL Corporation descended beneath the waves in a collaborative effort to rehabilitate the coral reefs in the region around Pangkor Island, Malaysia. The placement of 20 cement blocks and subsequentcoral transplantation took place on Sunday, 17th November 2013 near Mentagor Island off Pangkor Island, Perak. Weighing approximately 120 kilograms each, these sturdy blocks were fabricated especially for this project and provided by YTL Cement.Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, an internationally renowned Malaysian actress and a native of Perak state, asserted that, "With nearly 95% of Malaysia's coral reefs currently threatened, it is very timely that YTL Corporation Berhad and their NGO Partner Reef Check Malaysia and Malaysia Institute of Architects (PAM) have come together to extend their reef rehabilitation programme to additional projects in Pangkor," she also asked that people join her in supporting these efforts and spreading … [Read more...] about Pangkor Laut Resort plays host to institution of architects supporting reef rehabilitation initiatives
Phuket is creating the first ‘reef ball’ artificial coral reef in Thailand, amid calls from the government to revive the island’s environmental heritage.‘Reef balls’, which represent a new approach to the creation of artificial reefs, allow for the growth of coral and help boost marine resources. Existing artificial reefs in Thailand are based on the use of old railway carriages, thus introducing foreign objects into the sea. ‘Reef balls’, on the other hand, are designed to mirror nature as closely as possible.Phuket’s reef ball project, which will rely partly on public sponsorship of individual balls, forms part of a wider government ‘Green Park, Clear Water, White Sand’ scheme designed to revive Thailand’s national and marine parks.Suwit also called for the Phuket provincial authorities to launch a ‘Save Phuket’ project, noting that rapid development on the resort island had served to destroy much of its … [Read more...] about Phuket hotel pours Bt2 million into artificial reef
The Natural History Museum’s latest virtual reality adventure, David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive, extracts visitors from drizzly South Kensington to even wetter whereabouts this December.Streaming from dozens of VR goggles in unison, the 20-minute documentary is watched in the cinema space of the Attenborough Studios. It is a strangely solitary experience – the film plays only within the eyes and ears of your own headset, turning the surrounding auditorium into undulations of coral and the person beside you into a potato cod or a barracuda. Make sure you have enough space to crane your neck 360-degrees to take in the full reel of footage. As a collaboration between the museum and Atlantic Productions – the team behind the award-winning documentary Natural History Museum Live – David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive is shot aboard a deep sea submersible. ‘With Sir Attenborough in the Triton submarine, you … [Read more...] about David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef
To be fair, it is the Natural History Museum. And that appears to dictate the whole approach to coral reefs which visitors to this new exhibition get: something that is focused entirely on natural history.Undoubtedly, the museum has an impressive collection of historic reef specimens – with over 250 on display – including some species of coral collected over 100 years ago. These are accompanied by some of Charles Darwin’s own paperwork, such as an annotated map of the Caribbean, and an 1842 copy of The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, written before he turned his attention to On the Origin of Species.However, there is a disappointing lack of dynamism and imagination throughout the exhibition, with reefs presented as locations from which static and uninspiring pieces of dead coral come from. Indeed, visitors who have never been to a real reef would be forgiven for coming away thinking of them as artefacts from the past, in a similar category to the dinosaur … [Read more...] about CORAL REEFS: Secret Cities of the Sea
A new report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has warned that the severe levels of coral bleaching witnessed in 2014 are likely to continue, or even to worsen, across 2015. Increasingly warm temperatures in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans are continuing to rise – according to the NOAA’s newly updated forecast in its Coral Reef Watch, a weekly analysis that forecasts the potential for coral bleaching up to four months in advance.‘The new outlook gives us greater confidence in what it shows for future coral bleaching and it comes at an important time,’ said Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch coordinator. ‘The outlook shows a pattern over the next four months that is similar to what we saw during global coral bleaching events in 1998 and 2010. We’re really concerned that 2015 may bring the third global coral bleaching event.’The latest forecast shows that the greatest threat for coral bleaching through … [Read more...] about Coral reefs face bleaching events on a global scale
A team of scientists from Australia and Canada monitored the health of reefs 300 kilometres off the Australian coast – an area where Indonesian fishermen have been catching sharks for centuries. They found that in areas where shark numbers were reduced, the entire food chain of the reef was affected.‘We saw increasing numbers of mid-level predators – such as snappers – and a reduction in the number of herbivores such as parrotfishes,’ said Mark Meekan from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, who led the study. ‘The parrotfishes are very important to coral reef health because they eat the algae that would otherwise overwhelm young corals on reefs recovering from natural disturbances.’Previous tracking studies have shown that individual reef sharks often remain close to a particular coral reef, so even relatively small marine protected areas could help to relieve some anthropogenic effects on reefs, including pollution damage and coral … [Read more...] about Shark overfishing damages coral reefs
Most coral ecosystems are struggling to adapt to the recent influx of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The oceans are naturally alkali, however, CO2 reacts with water molecules to in a process known as ocean acidification. As more CO2 enters the ocean, the pH level decreases. Overall, o cean acidity has increased by 30 per cent since the beginning of the industrial revolution, a figure which is projected to climb to nearly 150 per cent by the end of the century. By 2100, the pH level of the open ocean will be the lowest it has been for 20 million years. The waters of Palau are naturally less alkaline. In fact, they currently have a pH level that the open oceans are predicted to have by the end of the century. The secret is a labyrinth of rock formations. The rocks shelter the water and hold it in place for a long residence time, allowing for the build up of acidity. For this reason, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have spent the last … [Read more...] about Corals thriving in Palau’s more acidic sea
As the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, with over 2,500 individual reefs across 348,000 sq km, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is undoubtedly an iconic landmark – even ambassador – for Australia. It has immense biodiversity, and is home to over 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, 4,000 species of mollusc, and 240 species of birds.But, of course, it is threatened. A 2012 report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the reef had lost over half of its coral cover since 1985 – falling from 28 to 13.5 per cent – and is forecast to lose half again by 2022. The damage is predominantly being caused by both storms and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, with coral bleaching also to blame for around one tenth of the damage.Additionally, a 2014 report by the GBR Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) found that the reef ‘continues to be at serious risk and the threats likely to affect it in the future are … [Read more...] about What will be the fate of the Great Barrier Reef?
There is a reason why we normally associate corals with clear, shallow waters. They are one half of a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, a microscopic algae, which produces oxygen and other products through photosynthesis. In other words, corals need light to survive and build reefs. So how has an extensive reef been thriving in some of the muddiest waters of the world – the plume of the Amazon river?‘The plume is huge,’ says Patricia Yager, a Professor of Oceanography and Climate Change at the University of Georgia, who co-authored the paper on the reef discovery. ‘It covers many million square kilometres of the northern tropical Atlantic Ocean. Imagine that huge discharge forming a ten-metre thick layer, which spreads out across the sea.’ The plume is the dense haul of the Amazon river, which carries 1,200 million tons of sediment from the South American continent to the ocean every year. It billows from the mouth of the river, usually spreading … [Read more...] about How can coral survive at the mouth of the Amazon?