Quantcast
Connect with us

Heatwaves kill coral reefs far faster than thought: study

Published

on

Marine heatwaves are killing coral reefs far more quickly than previously believed, according to a new study released on Friday.

Scientists have known that rising sea temperatures blamed on global warming can severely damage reefs through a process of “bleaching,” where the high temperatures kill the colourful algae covering and nourishing coral.

ADVERTISEMENT

Repeated “bleaching events”, such as ones which hit Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017, can eventually kill the coral in a process which takes months or years.

If sea temperatures ease, bleached corals are able to regenerate.

But the new study found that severe marine heatwaves can actually degrade the skeletal structure of the coral, potentially killing the organisms in a matter of days or weeks.

“The severity of these heatwave events is beyond the bleaching process, it’s actually a point where the coral animal itself is dying,” said Tracy Ainsworth, a co-author of the study from the University of New South Wales.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study, which also involved researchers from the University of Newcastle in Britain, Australia’s James Cook University, the University of Technology Sydney and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used CT scans of coral reefs to monitor the impact of extreme temperatures.

Scott Heron from James Cook University said the rapid dissolving of coral skeletons after severe heatwaves came as a surprise.

“Climate scientists talk about ‘unknown unknowns’ — impacts that we haven’t anticipated from existing knowledge and experience,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This discovery fits into this category. As we begin now to understand this impact, the question is how many more of these ‘unknown unknowns’ might there still be that could bring faster and greater damage to coral reefs from climate change,” he said.

Coral bleaching in 2016-2017 affected up to half of the coral in the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef, a UN-listed World Heritage site off the east coast of Australia.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

‘We’ve entered a shame-free zone’: CNN’s Sciutto appalled by Trump’s ‘mind-boggling’ G7 corruption

Published

on

CNN's Jim Sciutto on Friday did not mince words when talking about President Donald Trump's decision to host next year's G7 summit at his own golf course in Doral, Florida.

During a segment about the president's multiple corruption scandals, Sciutto described Trump's G7 gambit as the president "explicitly, publicly steering a taxpayer-funded government contract to [his] own business." He then asked former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti to comment on why this scandal might get Trump into hot legal water.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Deadly Turkey air strikes shatter Trump’s hours-old ‘ceasefire’ deal

Published

on

Deadly Turkish air strikes Friday shattered an hours-old US-brokered deal to stop Ankara's military offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

The ceasefire announced late Thursday was meant to provide a pause for the evacuation of Kurdish fighters from the battleground border town of Ras al-Ain and other areas Turkey wants to control along its border with Syria.

The five-day suspension looked designed to help Turkey achieve its main territorial goals without fighting but its Syrian proxies continued to clash with Kurdish fighters Friday and an air strike killed five civilians.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Former Trump pal Donny Deutsch explains the president’s gamble on impeachment

Published

on

MSNBC's Donny Deutsch has a theory about his old pal President Donald Trump and his latest strategy to wriggle out of trouble.

The "Morning Joe" contributor suspects the president, whom he used to know from their days in New York City, believes impeachment is inevitable, but he's confident that Republican senators won't remove him from office.

"Rev, I'm seeing a little bit of a different show here," Deutsch told the Rev. Al Sharpton. "You and I know Trump pretty well, or used to know Trump pretty well. I don't think there's any chance Mick Mulvaney went out there on his own."

Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, admitted during a press briefing that he held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in an effort to press the country to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats and the 2016 election.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image