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02 Apr 2012: Some Corals More Resilient
To Increased Acidification, Study Shows

Some coral species may be better able to cope with the increasingly acidic condition of the world’s oceans than previously believed, a new study says. Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, an

 

In Fight to Save Coral Reefs,
Finding Strategies that Work

Interview with Coral Reef Expert Nancy Knowlton
In four decades as a marine biologist, Nancy Knowlton has played a key role in documenting the biodiversity of coral reefs and the threats they increasingly face. In an interview with Yale e360, she highlights conservation projects that offer hope of saving these irreplaceable ecosystems.
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international team of scientists describes an internal mechanism by which many coral species are able to buffer against the rising pH levels and still form healthy skeletons. According to the scientists, coral species with skeletons made of aragonite — including the well-known Porites and Acropora corals — contain molecular “pumps” that enable them to regulate internal acid balance. Corals that form calcite skeletons, however, do not have this mechanism. Also, the researchers found that coralline algae — which they describe as the “glue” that holds coral reefs together — remain vulnerable to ocean acidification. In another study, scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have documented how temperatures in the upper regions of the world’s oceans (to depths of 700 meters) have increased by an average of .59 degrees F (.33 degrees C) over the last 140 years, with the greatest temperature increases occurring at surface levels, where temperatures rose by an average of 1.1 degrees F.


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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast.
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“Alaska
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S.
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“Ashaninka
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging.
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Food waste
An e360 video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs.
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Choco rainforest Cacao
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land.
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