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record coral die-off in Caribbean


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#1 Leslie

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 12:17 PM

"The prognosis is not good," said biochemistry professor M. James Crabbe of the University of Luton near London. In early April, he will investigate coral reef mortality in Jamaica. "If you want to see a coral reef, go now, because they just won't survive in their current state."

Full article at: http://www.cnn.com/2...h.ap/index.html

#2 Rocha

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 12:29 PM

This is important Leslie, I will post it in the front page...

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#3 dmoss

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 02:43 PM

Very alarming. I hate to read about this. And to think the United States (and some other industrialized nations) withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol for fear of impact to the economy and corporate profits if drastic changes were imposed.....very sad.
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#4 Leslie

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 02:47 PM

Good. I must still be on probation since I can't do any of the things you big boy mods do.... Or is it a case of sex discrimination? In which case I'm suing! ;)

#5 Giles

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 03:13 PM

Am I the only person not worried by this.

I think of it as a natural process the planet has seen before, a type of mother nature cleansing.

I tend to think we are worried about it not from a planetry point of view but more of a selfish one.
I believe we are only worried about it as we have no one else to blame, and we can't control it. Sure we may have helped speed things up, but how Human of us to think we created this devastation. I honestly think what scares us the most about this is that we don't understand it and we think it threaten us as a race. But more so we are scared as we can't control it. Sometimes there are somethings bigger than jus and beyond our cnotrol.

It is just another step in Earths evolution IMO. Earth has seen changes like this before and will probably see them well after humans are gone.

Que Sera Sera.

Just for noting if you don't know me. My industry is dependant on the Reefs, I make my living from it. I also adore the tropical underwater world hence I moved from the UK to the caribbean. I also do my utmost to educate people about the reefs and their nature probably accounting for 100,000 people a year for the last 3 years. I love diving a photographing it all and find it awesomely beautiful everytime as well as respecting it's delicate aged character.

PS i posted this after having written a much longer post on the same thoughts, I don't think I remembered everything, but you probably get my pioint anyhows.
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#6 dmoss

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 03:39 PM

This subject has been debated for years...are we the cause of global warming or not ? Change is indeed a natural process. I feel we are accelerating this natural process by belching out hydrocarbons at hideous rates and upsetting this very balance. Giles is right in stating that the scary part of this is that we don't totally understand it. Did we create the devastation ?...No. Are we contributing to it ? .. I think so.
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#7 Rocha

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:04 PM

The problem is not whether there are extinctions or not, or if the Earth endured global warming before or not, of course it did, and 99% of the organisms that once lived on Earth are now extinct.

Having said that, I think we are contributing (and may have created) the current global warming period. If you look back to the last 10 interglacial (warm) periods, they are all cooler than present temperatures, and they are usually shorter, the next ice age (and not global warming) is overdue.

The problem with the present global warming and why this is so bad for coral reefs is not the warming per-se. Corals have endured many warm periods before, but they always had somewhere to go. Now, there is not only global warming, but also pollution, sediment runoff, spread of diseases via canals and ship ballast water, physical damage to the reefs, all of which are caused by humans. The combination of all these factors is what concerns me, not just global warming.

This present report is a clear example of it. 2005 was the warmest year on the history of climatic record, yet the corals were recovering, but disease killed them off. These things are happening too fast.

Justifying that it is a natural phenomenon is an excuse used by many that don’t want to deal with it. Oh well, extinction is a natural phenomenon, the meteor that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago also killed the majority of the organisms on the planet, yet we came back. Why then protect the coral reefs now? Or the rain forest? Or the everglades? Or the bald eagle? Or the jewfish?

Think about it…

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#8 critidoc

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:33 PM

I can't help thinking that all the polution from Katrina hitting New Orleans is partly responsible.
This could be the start of a major food chain problem in the seas
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#9 Giles

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:57 PM

I wasn't saying we shouldn't try to our best, but your last wording Luiz even though probably not meant this way is the way most people look at it .... Why protect the coral reefs now ?...... We don't need to protect them we just need to stop hurting them.
Indeed we have all seen in the last few years through democracy that the US under president Bush is one of the least conforming countries to trying to prevent damaging our environment. On a quick google search shows a plethora of websites talking about it. And while I personally think that Large Private conglomerations joining forces and making their own 'green' rules would be more powerfull than any goverment I also think if the Bushes refusal to attend the 2002 earth summit and then an apparent not caring about global warming with his refusal to sign the Kyoto protocol (along with Australia) both worry me a lot. It worries me as the USA is such a large country and such a 1st world industrial country that it must create a large proportion of the unecessary hurt on the environment.
I'm not trying to be too anti bush or anti american I (which I am not) I am just pointing things we all probably know.

My piont is very similar to earlier, not saying I don't care, but we keep putting the chicken before the egg. How can we begin to prevent all this hurt unless we understand why it hurts and what that hurt is causing.

On the matter of disease and reefs I feel that this is a problem but in saying that the corals have nowhere to go no; have we not just over the last few years heard reports of tropical corals growing in places not considered tropical like the mediteranean? Does this not mean they are going somewhere else? Besides these scientific looks at the reef to say they are dying seems a little too area specific to me to be taken as a rule and is more a best guess.
This worries me more as time and time again our history shows that when we try to help things we don't understand we tend to hurt them more.

I know I am very opinionated on all of this and probably am a lot less educated than many on matter, but i do like debating and I do like this topic. Sorry about the ranting but I always feel like the more youj say the more you learn from responses.

PS when experiencing Hurricane Ivan in 2004 on Grand Cayman I felt the storm dumped more rjubbish on land tjhan it did in the water, although sand on the reef was noticeable. I know Cayman is different to New Orleans but I would imagine the same effect, is this wrong .. did a lot of stuff get taken from land to thesea in that area ?
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#10 cor

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 05:41 AM

I was just in St Croix for a few months (and saw the NOAA ship), and it's awful to see how the corals have suffered in the last year.

TIME magazine has an interesting story about global warming. They focus on the increased speed of the warming. There are all kinds of feedback loops that are going into full overdrive now. Things like.. icecap melting => less reflective surface => warmer => icecap melts faster.. etc. They identified several of those. Those loops have always been known to exist, but it seems like they're kicking in much harder than expected.

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#11 Rocha

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:24 AM

My piont is very similar to earlier, not saying I don't care, but we keep putting the chicken before the egg. How can we begin to prevent all this hurt unless we understand why it hurts and what that hurt is causing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Coral bleaching, desease, die-off are some of the most studied topics in coral reef biology today. We do understand a lot about it, the first time bleaching was detected in the 80's we didn't even know what caused it! Same goes for global warming, there are even entire scientific journals dedicated exclusively to this topic.

On the matter of disease and reefs I feel that this is a problem but in saying that the corals have nowhere to go no; have we not just over the last few years heard reports of tropical corals growing in places not considered tropical like the mediteranean? Does this not mean they are going somewhere else?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's exactly my point! They *would* go to the Mediterranean if it was not polluted and devastated as it is now. A few colonies do make it there (from the Red Sea, through the man-made Suez Canal, I must say), but they can't possibly build coral reefs in such a polluted sea, full of invasive algae that overgorws everything on its path.

I know I am very opinionated on all of this and probably am a lot less educated than many on matter, but i do like debating and I do like this topic. Sorry about the ranting but I always feel like the more youj say the more you learn from responses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And I think you are absolutely right in ranting! We are here to learn, all of us!

PS when experiencing Hurricane Ivan in 2004 on Grand Cayman I felt the storm dumped more rjubbish on land tjhan it did in the water, although sand on the reef was noticeable. I know Cayman is different to New Orleans but I would imagine the same effect, is this wrong .. did a lot of stuff get taken from land to thesea in that area ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This is very different, look at the land area at the Caymans and compare it to a continent. There is literally tons more stuff that runs off from a continent than from tiny Cayman. Eventhough I don't think that Katrina pollution reached the Caribbean reefs, I do think that it had a great impact in the Gulf of Mexico, and pollution caused by it was orders of magnitude greater than that caused by hurricanes over islands, any island.

Let's keep debating!

Luiz

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#12 Giles

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 11:50 AM

Coral bleaching, desease, die-off are some of the most studied topics in coral reef biology today. We do understand a lot about it, the first time bleaching was detected in the 80's we didn't even know what caused it! Same goes for global warming, there are even entire scientific journals dedicated exclusively to this topic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok we know a lot about it compared to then .. but aren't we still guessing at if it iis a bad or rather an unnatural thing ? I mean I know it's bad, but what if it's meant to happen as part of planetry evolution to make way for something new something perhaps better ??
Sure we know it's happening and whats causing it, but even if they can't relocate maybe they weren't meant to ? Just because they have in the past doesn't mean they should again.
Wouldn't the next ice age kill them also ?
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#13 ce4jesus

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:43 PM

I agree with Giles on this. The more affluent we become as a species, the less effect disease and illness will have on our mortality rates. Hence more and more human refuse will begin to pile up. Eventually we will be destined for something cataclysmic. Some kind of naturally cleansing human cull will pop up. As little as 50,000 years ago the population of all mankind dwindled to almost nothing. What, why, and how no one knows but it happened once and will probably happen again.
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#14 cor

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:54 PM

Some kind of naturally cleansing human cull will pop up

'Will pop up'? Aids, ebola, sars, bird flu/human flu, etc etc. I think nature is doing its best to get rid of us :)

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#15 ce4jesus

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 04:01 PM

'Will pop up'? Aids, ebola, sars, bird flu/human flu, etc etc. I think nature is doing its best to get rid of us

Yeap. the only thing that'll save you is breathing lots and lots of compressed air B)
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