Marine heatwaves a bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought

Marine heatwaves a bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought”

Past research has raised alarm about how ocean pollution and rising temperatures cause coral bleaching-which is when coral expels algae, its main food source, and turns white. This discovery fits into this category.

The study revealed that corals became up to 15% weaker after an extreme heat event, causing some fragments to actually break off from the reef.

As per new research carried on by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the US NOAA, and James Cook University, ocean heatwaves due to global warming affect coral reefs worldwide more than scientists expected. The report indicates that the benefits derived by humans from coral reefs "span from coastal protection to subsistence and industrial fisheries", and that these industries depend on the structural integrity of the coral reefs' 3-D structures, which are greatly compromised by ongoing climate change as well as ocean heatwaves.

In 2016 the team's research showed that just a 0.5C increase in ocean temperature changes the extent of mortality that happens in coral during bleaching.

The scientists concluded that severe and frequent marine heatwaves can destroy corals through a processes called "bleaching". [M] arine heatwave events on coral reefs are biologically distinct to how coral bleaching has been understood to date.

"The water temperatures are so warm that the coral animal doesn't bleach - in terms of a loss of its symbiosis - the animal dies and its underlying skeleton is all that remains", she said.

Researchers suggest that "severe heatwave-induced mortality events" should therefore be considered a separate phenomenon to coral bleaching, and one which causes more damage.

The team has also shown that even the skeletons are being eroded by the rapid growth of algae and bacteria, another unexpected product of severe heatwaves.

The researchers also have evidence that the skeleton of corals, also an animal species, begin to decay within weeks of a marine heatwave.

They are the first researchers, as Richardson noted, to document that such events are causing "almost instant mortality of corals".

Commenting on the analysis, Dr James Guest from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, who has been researching coral reef habitats for more than 15 years, said: "It is onerous to know how a lot we've got to keep saying that this is a huge problem before policy-makers resolve to do something about it". The scientists hope that politicians would come up with solutions to tackle climate change and, subsequently, coral reefs' damage. And the death of corals would come with a steep cost for humans: "flood protection that's worth tens of millions in the USA alone, plus an estimated value of nearly $30 billion each year globally in tourism, fishing, and other benefits".

Like this



10 August 2019
Giants DFA 2B Panik in wake of Gennett trade
A claiming club will only be required to pay Panik the prorated major league minimum, which would save the Giants about $200,000. I am forever grateful for the Giants taking the chance on me and allowing me to live out my life long dream.

10 August 2019
Shooter is on the run after killing 2 on a Houston freeway
Witnesses provided CPR to the car's occupants until authorities arrived. "I will say there were narcotics found in this vehicle". Anyone with information about this crime should call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600.

10 August 2019
Japan greenlights first S.Korea export but with a warning
On July 4, Japan tightened the rules on awarding official permits, meaning that screening applications could take up to 90 days. Tokyo Ohka Kogyo makes photoresists and Stella Chemifa produces hydrogen fluoride, both materials affected by the export curbs.

10 August 2019
Armed man stopped in Missouri Walmart five days after El Paso shooting
A store manager activated a fire alarm, prompting shoppers to flee, police said. He says: "His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that".

10 August 2019
B.C. murders 'motive': Retired senior Mountie says answers could still come
Deese's brother, British Deese, said the family needed time to process the news that the suspects' bodies were apparently found . The bodies of the three were found in mid-July near highways in northern B.C.

10 August 2019
Samjhauta Express arrives Delhi 4.5 hours late
This follows the measures announced by the National Security Council on Wednesday after India revoked special status for Jammu and Kashmir .

10 August 2019
'Elites' hunting 'deplorables'!? Hollywood studio yanks gory movie ads after mass shootings
A high-level executive reportedly said the project is considered a satire "addressing an issue of great social importance". Universal Pictures pulled TV and online advertisements for "The Hunt", according to The Hollywood Reporter .

10 August 2019
Kerala rains: Kochi airport closed till Sunday after heavy rains
Kerala received 155 mm (6.1 inches) of rain on Friday, ten times more than average, weather department data showed. By Thursday night, thousands of people were shifted to more than 100 relief camps operational all over the state.

10 August 2019
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch official
In turn, Joshua likely wouldn't have wanted the fight to take place in the United States or Mexico for the same reason. The decision to take the fight to Saudi Arabia comes as a surprise.

09 August 2019
Lego celebrates ‘Friends’ 25th anniversary with Central Perk set
So if you want to leave Gunther out (who is a minifigure in this playset), then you can do that. Consisting of 1,070 pieces, LEGO's Central Perk Friends set launches September 1 for $60.