<\body> Stories in America: Caribbean Coral Suffers Record Death

Friday, March 31, 2006

Caribbean Coral Suffers Record Death

This Oct. 2005 photo provided by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration shows Elkhorn coral in the Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. A bleached Elkhorn coral, ill but alive, is in the foreground, while healthy coral with bleached tips are in the background.

A friend just emailed me the following article with this message:

"Well, love what we got, because we are at the pinnacle of society, resting on the top peak of an ocean wave that has carried us far and high...but it is coming down and it is coming fast...brace yourself, the dark ages are coming. We have been blessed with the most glorious and amazing time in history...from Burning Man to the Internet...but Mother Nature is biting back and she's pissed. See you all on the other side."

You might want to plan your next vacation around seeing coral reefs while you still can. We owe the reefs, fish, whales and dolphins a big apology.

A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters.

Researchers from around the globe are scrambling to figure out the extent of the loss. Early conservative estimates from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands find that about one-third of the coral in official monitoring sites has recently died.

"It's an unprecedented die-off," said National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller, who last week checked 40 stations in the Virgin Islands. "The mortality that we're seeing now is of the extremely slow-growing reef-building corals. These are corals that are the foundation of the reef ... We're talking colonies that were here when Columbus came by have died in the past three to four months."

And with global warming, scientists are pessimistic about the future of coral reefs.

"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."


At 3/31/2006 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and we thought man couldn't fuck up the ocean.

timmy, where are you? i'm waiting for you to cite some study saying the oceans deserved it.

At 3/31/2006 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dolphins love you, Rose!

At 4/01/2006 7:37 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

Hey, no argument here. Looks like a job for the man who was responsible for removing one of the worst enemies of the enviroment on the planet, Saddam Hussain. Oh sorry, I forgot how things were so much better in the Saddam Days.


At 4/01/2006 8:04 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

I could wait for your response, but I'm starting save you the trouble...

"Timmy, pull your head out of your ass. Only a Bush-loving bubble dweller such as yourself could be blind enough not to recognize what is obviously a plot by US heavy construction equipment companies, who will get lots of money when the international community starts work on reclaiming the marshes. And need I mention what those Caterpillar trucks will run on? OIL!!!"

That about right?

Alright, maybe I'm being unfair. I'm sure if I dug back into the archives here I'd find several posts denouncing Saddam’s destruction of a gigantic ancient ecosystem.


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