Diving Coral Reefs  

redrockrascal 60M
7016 posts
3/13/2017 8:03 pm
Diving Coral Reefs


In my semi misspent youth I learned to scuba dive and I had the opportunity to dive some coral reefs off of the Florida Keys. It was a spectacular site, the marine life and the coral itself are a beautiful thing to see. Beyond any words I could put on “paper”. Someday I plan on getting recertified and do more diving – it would be nice if there were reefs to dive near. At this point it doesn’t look like I, or anyone else, will be able to see the coral reefs off of the Maldives.

They are not just pretty either. Please read the following Associated Press article and if you have the means do something. Write to a government rep - regularly, Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, donate to an organization that addresses the damage we humans are doing to the only planet we have. WE, as a race of being are not as smart as we think we are – this is just part of the proof.
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SOUTH ARI ATOLL, Maldives (AP) — There were startling colors here just a year ago, a dazzling array of life beneath the waves. Now this Maldivian reef is dead, killed by the stress of rising ocean temperatures. What's left is a haunting expanse of gray, a scene repeated in reefs across the globe in what has fast become a full-blown ecological catastrophe.

The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Scientists are now scrambling to ensure that at least a fraction of these unique ecosystems survives beyond the next three decades. The health of the planet depends on it: Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world.

"This isn't something that's going to happen 100 years from now. We're losing them right now," said marine biologist Julia Baum of Canada's University of Victoria. "We're losing them really quickly, much more quickly than I think any of us ever could have imagined."

Even if the world could halt global warming now, scientists still expect that more than 90 percent of corals will die by 2050. Without drastic intervention, we risk losing them all. "To lose coral reefs is to fundamentally undermine the health of a very large proportion of the human race," said Ruth Gates, director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

Coral reefs produce some of the oxygen we breathe. Often described as underwater rainforests, they populate a tiny fraction of the ocean but provide habitats for one in four marine species. Reefs also form crucial barriers protecting coastlines from the full force of storms.

They provide billions of dollars in revenue from tourism, fishing and other commerce, and are used in medical research for cures to diseases including cancer, arthritis and bacterial or viral infections.

"Whether you're living in North America or Europe or Australia, you should be concerned," said biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at Australia's University of Queensland. "This is not just some distant dive destination, a holiday destination. This is the fabric of the ecosystem that supports us." And that fabric is being torn apart. "You couldn't be more dumb ... to erode the very thing that life depends on — the ecosystem — and hope that you'll get away with it," Hoegh-Guldberg said.

Corals are invertebrates, living mostly in tropical waters. They secrete calcium carbonate to build protective skeletons that grow and take on impressive colors, thanks to a symbiotic relationship with algae that live in their tissues and provide them with energy.

But corals are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and are suffering from rising ocean temperatures and acidification, as well as from overfishing, pollution, coastal development and agricultural runoff. A temperature change of just 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) can force coral to expel the algae, leaving their white skeletons visible in a process known as "bleaching."

Bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if high temperatures persist for months, the coral will die. Eventually the reef will degrade, leaving fish without habitats and coastlines less protected from storm surges. The first global bleaching event occurred in 1998, when 16 percent of corals died. The problem spiraled dramatically in 2015-2016 amid an extended El Nino natural weather phenomenon that warmed Pacific waters near the equator and triggered the most widespread bleaching ever documented. This third global bleaching event, as it is known, continues today even after El Nino ended.

Headlines have focused on damage to Australia's famed Great Barrier Reef, but other reefs have fared just as badly or worse across the world, from Japan to Hawaii to Florida. Around the islands of the Maldives, an idyllic Indian Ocean tourism destination, some 73 percent of surveyed reefs suffered bleaching between March and May 2016, according to the country's Marine Research Center. "This bleaching episode seems to have impacted the entire Maldives, but the severity of bleaching varies" between reefs, according to local conditions, said Nizam Ibrahim, the center's senior research officer.

Worst hit have been areas in the central Pacific, where the University of Victoria's Baum has been conducting research on Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, in the Republic of Kiribati. Warmer water temperatures lasted there for 10 months in 2015-2016, killing a staggering 90 percent of the reef. Baum had never seen anything like it. "As scientists, we were all on brand new territory," Baum said, "as were the corals in terms of the thermal stress they were subjected to."

To make matters worse, scientists are predicting another wave of elevated ocean temperatures starting next month. "The models indicate that we will see the return of bleaching in the South Pacific soon, along with a possibility of bleaching in both the eastern and western parts of the Indian Ocean," said Mark Eakin, coral reef specialist and coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch, which uses satellites to monitor environmental conditions around reefs. It may not be as bad as last year, but could further stress "reefs that are still hurting from the last two years."

The speed of the destruction is what alarms scientists and conservationists, as damaged coral might not have time to recover before it is hit again by warmer temperatures. But some may have a chance.

Last month, Hoegh-Guldberg helped launch an initiative called 50 Reefs, aiming to identify those reefs with the best chance of survival in warming oceans and raise public awareness. His project partner is Richard Vevers, who heads the XL Catlin Seaview Survey, which has been documenting coral reefs worldwide.

"For the reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change, the key will be to protect them from all the other issues they are facing — pollution, overfishing, coastal development," said Vevers, who founded The Ocean Agency, an Australian organization seeking new technologies to help mitigate some of the ocean's greatest challenges. If the reefs remain healthy and resilient, "they can hopefully become the vital seed-centers that can repopulate surrounding reefs."

Nature itself is providing small glimmers of hope. Some of Kiritimati's corals, for example, are showing tentative signs of a comeback. But scientists don't want to leave it to chance, and are racing ahead with experiments they hope might stave off extinction.

"We've lost 50 percent of the reefs, but that means we still have 50 percent left," said Gates, who is working in Hawaii to breed corals that can better withstand increasing temperatures. "We definitely don't want to get to the point where we don't intervene until we have 2 percent left."

Going a step further, she is also trying to "train" corals to survive rising temperatures, exposing them to sub-lethal heat stress in the hope they can "somehow fix that in their memory" and survive similar stress in the future.

"It's probably time that we start thinking outside the box," Gates said. "It's sort of a no-win game if we do nothing." There are a few sites listed on the obligatory post


When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/18/2017 8:19 am

    Quoting citizen4722:
    I always find watching underwater nature programmes fascinating. I especially like the coral reef episodes.
Nature programs arethe only real reality programming.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


citizen4722 61M  
59339 posts
3/16/2017 1:24 pm

I always find watching underwater nature programmes fascinating. I especially like the coral reef episodes.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 7:43 pm

    Quoting Darling_Annette:
    the Rascal of Oz! I like that ... it's wizardly! ... You'll be a Reef-er Rascal. *lol* ... the rocky reefer rascal - RRR! hahaha!
I count 3 *rimshots* there

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 6:09 pm

    Quoting Darling_Annette:
    ... well yes, big sharks. ... but i've always thought you would be pretty 'armless. *comedy gong* hahaha!
    Unlike the small spiders, medium jellyfish, slitherin' snakes and cruel crocodiles. Not to mention the scary drop bears ... whoa! ... or the beastly bunyip. *laughing*

    Tho', if you manage to survive, think of the bragging rights with your buddies and pals... and Women will be so impressed, they'll see you as the Indiana "sharkman" OzDiveGuy Dude! *oh ladies, Swoon* But one tip I'd offer, is if you getting a wetsuit, don't get a black one. It makes you look like a seal. Yum, Lunch!

    Tho' aren't there sharks at most places where people go diving reefs? (& surfing, too)

*rimshot* for the 'armless comment

As I recall the sharks around the Florida Keys weren't the bigger/meaner? ones like Great White or Bull sharks. And there were lots o girls around too

Hummm, maybe I could be the . . . rascal of OZ

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 5:38 pm

    Quoting tickles4us:
    Trump got elected at the worse possible time it seems. He is busy cutting everything about saving the environment while giving industry the freedom to do as they will. Ignorance is bliss... at least for a little while. That ass will be dead and gone before things get real bad not that he cares in the least though.
I don't think Rump is ignorant, he is a sellout to the corporate interests. They don't care about the planet surviving beyond their lifetime. They just care about their own money/status/power. Those who voted for him are already beginning to figure out they are the ones who are going to be ignored and hurt.

For instance, coal miners will get to work in worse conditions for less money. And it will be OK to dump coal water into the rivers they drink from. Then when they don't have enough insurance to get well they won't have the ACA they didn't even know they actually HAD.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 5:32 pm

    Quoting mc_justmc:
    I like my current spot on the food chain.
I've had grilled shark, tastes like . . . shark

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


tickles4us 56M
6776 posts
3/14/2017 5:01 pm

Trump got elected at the worse possible time it seems. He is busy cutting everything about saving the environment while giving industry the freedom to do as they will. Ignorance is bliss... at least for a little while. That ass will be dead and gone before things get real bad not that he cares in the least though.

Vive La Difference


mc_justmc 58M  
4189 posts
3/14/2017 5:01 pm

I like my current spot on the food chain.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:48 pm

    Quoting Darling_Annette:
    ... but the Great Barrier Reef here in Oz was, still is, exceedingly profitable. It is a world famous jewell, and draws many foreign and aussie tourists each year. But most of that 'profit' goes to relatively localised business, whereas the forces driving coral bleaching is mainly climate change which is glabal and oceanwide. It's as if we're heating up our liferaft, our spaceship, our planet, which then causes die-off of vital world life elements and systems, like the GRB (you can finish the list! ). Stupid us!
Good info DA. You know your enviro very well.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:47 pm

    Quoting sweet_VM:
    Excellent post Red .. When it is gone it is gone and you can't replace it.. People forget about the importance of it. hugsssss V ty for sharing with us..
Thanks Sweets, but I only gave the article an intro.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:46 pm

    Quoting Furbal1972:
    I have only worn scuba gear in a swimming pool, and breathing underwater was one of the biggest rushes I ever had. .. My sister went on a drift dive in Mexico, and it sounded amazing!

    The coral reefs are one of many ecosystems where proactive action must be taken in order to preserve life on this precious planet. .. It seems to be a constant battle. There are those who try to save it and those who keep polluting.
My suggestion would be to throw polluters in the garbage patches in the middle of the ocean WITHOUT scuba gear.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:44 pm

    Quoting Tmptrzz:
    Its truly a shame the coral reefs are diminishing at such a rapid rate, these are not the only thing disappearing so are our ICE CAPS, I hate to imagine what's going to happen once they are gone as well!!!
Yeah, humans seem to be a not very good thing for the planet.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:43 pm

    Quoting mc_justmc:
    I wouldn't be caught in scuba gear in the ocean, but I do like what I've seen on video of our undersea neighbors, it would be catastrophic to lose it.
Why no scuba?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:43 pm

    Quoting s2ndegree:
    They are one of the most delicate forests if you will ,that are extremely vulnerable
    to any climatic changes,pollutants,temperature changes have very meticulous spawning seasons and requirements.

    Have you seen that web sight that maps all the plastic debris floating around the worlds oceans?I saw an ad for a beer company that uses some sort of oceanic food supplement to put their six packs in instead of those plastic rings macho dudes would double up and break at parties.Don't get me wrong encouraging
    people to throw shit in the ocean under the pretext "Dude! At least there getting some chow! Gimme another beer!"Isn't the right approach but at least someone is taking the initiative!

    So what gives? Is this now Sea hunt or still she hunt? Great post !
I've seen pictures etc about the islands of garbage in the middle of the ocean. Further proof humans are pretty stupid.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:40 pm

    Quoting BobsHere4You:
    There may be hope. They are currently experimenting with using 3D printing to help alleviate the issue.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/3d-printed-reefs-coral-bleaching-climate/
I'll check that out - thank you

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:39 pm

    Quoting goodatpoetry2:
    Unless we can make it profitable to save them, nothing much will be done about them
    It's all about the money...
I'll defer to DA's response on that.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:38 pm

    Quoting KtMnDu:
    "It's probably time that we start thinking outside the box," Gates said. "It's sort of a no-win game if we do nothing."

    I am afraid that we missed our chance.....

    I try really hard to hold on to the positive....

    It's going away in front of our eyes.....
Most of the stupid things man"kind" does is a no-win situation.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:36 pm

    Quoting FunPleasurable:
    You WILL NEVER stop those jokers from profiting from damaging the world.

    The Engineers have a 1950s technology to cool down the sea water around the corals.
    Sink down heat exchangers around coral reefs and use Solar energy and windmills to power the heat exchangers.

    That will solve the problem in the immediate future, just like inventing the electric cars instead of asking people to use less petrol or diesel in their combustion engine cars.
Unfortunately you may be correct.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:35 pm

    Quoting Darling_Annette:
    Good post RRR!

    The damage done to our Great Barrier Reef (mainly by ocean warming but also by nutrient rich runoff from coastal farmlands) is tangible and pictures show increasing bleaching effect. Our government has put in moneys to help study this and find ways to ameliorate it, but I notice we are still selling coal to all who want it and are too slow to uptake solar energy, which seems madness for such a sun-drenched country. But the reef here is still beautiful so if ever you do visit Oz, diving it should be one of your highlights.

The GBR is on place I would love to dive but . . . sharks, BIG sharks ?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/14/2017 3:33 pm

    Quoting Playtime24x7:
    Excellent Post I must say I was surprised how important the coral reefs are to ocean life other than their beauty. It's sad how all the beautiful things in our world are dying off one by one.
I can't take credit for the content - as indicated it was via the AP. It is a very interesting article.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


sweet_VM 60F  
79414 posts
3/14/2017 9:03 am

Excellent post Red .. When it is gone it is gone and you can't replace it.. People forget about the importance of it. hugsssss V ty for sharing with us..

Become a blog watcher sweet_vm


Furbal1972 46M
18592 posts
3/14/2017 8:10 am

I have only worn scuba gear in a swimming pool, and breathing underwater was one of the biggest rushes I ever had. .. My sister went on a drift dive in Mexico, and it sounded amazing!

The coral reefs are one of many ecosystems where proactive action must be taken in order to preserve life on this precious planet. .. It seems to be a constant battle. There are those who try to save it and those who keep polluting.

Read my diary Journal of a Taxi Driver for taxi stories and pictures of flowers and trees.


Tmptrzz 56F  
52455 posts
3/14/2017 7:46 am

Its truly a shame the coral reefs are diminishing at such a rapid rate, these are not the only thing disappearing so are our ICE CAPS, I hate to imagine what's going to happen once they are gone as well!!!

Just your average every day run of the mill nana here!!!


mc_justmc 58M  
4189 posts
3/14/2017 5:06 am

I wouldn't be caught in scuba gear in the ocean, but I do like what I've seen on video of our undersea neighbors, it would be catastrophic to lose it.


s2ndegree 59M  
8398 posts
3/14/2017 2:42 am

They are one of the most delicate forests if you will ,that are extremely vulnerable
to any climatic changes,pollutants,temperature changes have very meticulous spawning seasons and requirements.

Have you seen that web sight that maps all the plastic debris floating around the worlds oceans?I saw an ad for a beer company that uses some sort of oceanic food supplement to put their six packs in instead of those plastic rings macho dudes would double up and break at parties.Don't get me wrong encouraging
people to throw shit in the ocean under the pretext "Dude! At least there getting some chow! Gimme another beer!"Isn't the right approach but at least someone is taking the initiative!

So what gives? Is this now Sea hunt or still she hunt? Great post !

Using more than all the road!


BobsHere4You 58M
9343 posts
3/14/2017 12:25 am

There may be hope. They are currently experimenting with using 3D printing to help alleviate the issue.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/3d-printed-reefs-coral-bleaching-climate/

Check out my blog BobsHere4You if you are so inclined.

Feel free to contact me here : For Our Eyes Only
.


goodatpoetry2 68M  
16571 posts
3/14/2017 12:15 am

Unless we can make it profitable to save them, nothing much will be done about them
It's all about the money...


KtMnDu 66M
6201 posts
3/13/2017 10:36 pm

"It's probably time that we start thinking outside the box," Gates said. "It's sort of a no-win game if we do nothing."

I am afraid that we missed our chance.....

I try really hard to hold on to the positive....

It's going away in front of our eyes.....


FunPleasurable 54M
3997 posts
3/13/2017 8:45 pm

You WILL NEVER stop those jokers from profiting from damaging the world.

The Engineers have a 1950s technology to cool down the sea water around the corals.
Sink down heat exchangers around coral reefs and use Solar energy and windmills to power the heat exchangers.

That will solve the problem in the immediate future, just like inventing the electric cars instead of asking people to use less petrol or diesel in their combustion engine cars.

Fun and Pleasure in Sunny Side Singapore. Come visit my blog and let's chat and explore.


Playtime24x7 44M  
3466 posts
3/13/2017 8:25 pm

Excellent Post I must say I was surprised how important the coral reefs are to ocean life other than their beauty. It's sad how all the beautiful things in our world are dying off one by one.

Mike aka Playtime24x7


redrockrascal 60M
19082 posts
3/13/2017 8:04 pm

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation: http://coralreef.noaa.gov/

The Ocean Agency: http://www.theoceanagency.org/

50 Reefs: https://50reefs.org/


When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


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