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Monday, November 24, 2014

Restoring Coral Reefs

I am not sure that I should be, but I am very excited by recent work on restoring coral reefs. The science is simple, very small fragments of coral with just a few polyps grow quickly. So it is possible to quickly produce a large number of small but not tiny colonies in acquarium and then put them on dead reefs. The living polyps spread over the dead coral and, maybe, the reef can be restored. The reason I am excited is partly that a huge amount of carbon is sequestered in coral reefs. With global warming, coral may have to move away from the equator. Coral is beautiful but stuck in the ground. Now acidification might kill coral (etc etc etc) everywhere and then we are cooked. But I like it. This is in addition to my longstanding enthusiasm for restoring oysters to Chesapeake Bay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reefs die because the acidified ocean is sufficiently toxic to undercut their ability to withstand the other natrural pressures they can normally cope with. And large reef-dependent ecosystems die with them. This is already locked in. We can't slow the process down; in fact, we are still accelerating it. What we can still aim at, is accelerating it less rapidly (third derivative). Have a nice day.