Tech & Science This month corals in Lord Howe Island Marine Park began showing signs of bleaching. The 145,000-hectare marine park contains the most southerly coral reef in the world, in one of the most isolated ecosystems on the planet. Following early reports of bleaching in the area, researchers from three Australian universities and two government agencies have worked together throughout March to investigate and document the bleaching. Sustained heat stress has seen 90 percent of some reefs bleached, although other parts of the marine park have escaped largely unscathed. Bleaching is uneven Lord Howe Island was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. It is the coral reef closest to a pole, and contains many species found nowhere else in the world. Two of us (Tess Moriarty and Rosie Steinberg) have surveyed reefs across Lord Howe Island Marine Park to determine the extent of bleaching in the populations of hard coral, soft coral, and anemones. This research found … [Read more...] about Extensive, Severe Bleaching Recorded at Lord Howe Island Coral Reef as Marine Heatwave Hits
Ocean warming is threatening coral reefs globally, with persistent thermal stress events degrading coral reefs worldwide, but a new study has found that corals at or near the equator are affected less than corals elsewhere. The findings from Florida Institute of Technology Ph.D. student Shannon Sully and professor Rob van Woesik, along with colleagues at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Reef Check, were published March 20 in the journal Nature Communications. The work, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Zegar Family Foundation, was based on analysis of field observations from a 20-year global survey of over 3,500 coral study sites led by Reef Check founder and former director Gregor Hodgson. As expected, coral bleaching was most common in localities experiencing high-temperature stress, but it was significantly less common in those places with high monthly variation in temperatures. "We found that it took higher temperatures to bleach corals … [Read more...] about Coral Reefs Near Equator Less Affected by Ocean Warming
Puglia as the Maldives: discovered the first (wonderful) coral reef in Italy, in Monopoli Who needs to fly to the Maldives when you've got the crystal clear waters and incredible beaches of Puglia? Italians have long known that the southern region could give any exotic long-haul holiday destination a run for its money. And now researchers have found that Puglia also has the kind of coral reef more usually found near tropical slands. An unusual reef thought to be unique in Europe has been discovered in the Adriatic Sea, close to the popular seaside town of Monopoli. Screenshot: Google Maps Italy's first coral reef is at least 2.5 kilometres in length, though the latest studies estimate that it probably stretches for at least 135 kilometres. Scientists say it could possibly run the entire length of the region's eastern coatline – some 200 kilomtres from Bari to Otranto – forming a reef similar to those found in Australia, the Maldives or the Red Sea. READ ALSO: More … [Read more...] about ‘Like the Maldives’: Italy’s first coral reef discovered off the coast of Puglia.
Great Barrier Reef — There's a good reason marine scientist Chris Roelfsema studies coral reefs. "Twenty five percent of all marine species depends on coral reef," he said. The reefs may be near the bottom of the ocean food chain. But now, to study what's happening down there, scientists are going up. They're using the hundreds of shoe-box sized, mini-satellites already in orbit to try to save the world's coral reefs. The satellites circle over the North and South Poles as the Earth spins underneath, and send back pictures of every square inch of the planet, every day. That includes pictures of the 150,000 or so coral reefs. It's a game-changer. Until now, scientists have had to visit individual reefs to monitor their health -- or lack of it. CBS News was there as a group headed to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. As research, it's expensive, time-consuming and incomplete. Veterans on a new mission to save the coral reef damaged by hurricanes "Just the fact that there's … [Read more...] about Scientists use mini-satellites in effort to save the world’s coral reefs
Alon Bernstein and Isabel Debre, Associated Press Updated 10:48 pm PST, Tuesday, February 19, 2019 In this Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 photo, a fragment of a coral is viewed with a microscope at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, IUI, in the Red Sea city of Eilat, southern Israel. As the outlook for coral reefs across our warming planet grows grimmer than ever, scientists have discovered a rare glimmer of hope: the corals of the northern Red Sea may survive, and even thrive, into the next century. The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of the Red Sea are exhibiting remarkable resistance to the rising water temperatures and acidification facing the region, according recent research conducted by IUI. less In this Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 photo, a fragment of a coral is viewed with a microscope at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, IUI, in the Red Sea city of Eilat, southern Israel. As the outlook ... more … [Read more...] about Northern Red Sea coral reefs may survive a hot, grim future