Monday, November 17, 2008

New Scientist on the coral reef crisis

This article from the October issue of New Scientist looks at some of the latest thinking on actions that could help coral reefs withstand climate change. It includes common suggestions like protecting areas that are less prone to bleaching (e.g. places with natural upwelling of cooler waters) and more radical ideas like artificially pumping up cooler waters, transplanting more temperature-tolerant zooxanthallae, or transplanting corals themselves to higher latitudes. The fact that scientists are even suggesting the extreme ideas tells you the scale of the threat posed by climate change.

The writer Mark Schrope was kind enough to grant me a final, important thought:

There is no doubt about the most crucial measure, though. "It will all go for naught if we don't reduce greenhouse-gas emissions," says Donner. "We are frittering away time. This all has to start now."

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