Posted on August 28, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A satellite image on NOAA's coral reef page shows Florida's reef tract extending down through the Keys.
Cold-weather mortality far outweighs impacts from warm-water events since 2005
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A record-breaking Florida 2010 cold snap resulted in a 40 percent coral-tissue mortality rate for several important reef-building coral species — especially in shallow and near-shore reefs, according to the University of Miami researchers who carefully study the Florida Reef Tract.
The cold temperatures did more damage to coral reefs than warm-water events since 2005, which caused a less than one-percent tissue mortality rate. Coral species that had previously proven tolerant to higher-than-normal ocean temperatures were most affected by the cold-water event.
The state’s corals grow in an area spanning about 160 miles from Miami to the Dry Tortugas. It’s the only living barrier reef in the continental U.S. and one of the northernmost areas for coral development. Corals have adapted to a specific temperature range and are typically not found in areas where water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: climate, coral reefs, Environment, Florida Reef, Florida reef tract, PLoS, University of Miami | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 9, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Coral reef biodiversity likely to take a big climate change hit.
Free-floating coral likely to survive; structured reefs will probably disappear
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Fossilized coral reefs more than 2 million years old are providing some clues about how global warming may affect existing reefs.
Scientists from the University of Miami are analyzing reefs from Pliocene era, when carbon dioxide levels and mean global temperatures were similar to conditions expected in the next 100 years.
“If the coming century truly is a return to the Pliocene conditions, corals will likely survive, while well-developed reefs may not,” said University of Miami geology professor James Klaus. “This could be detrimental to the fish and marine species that rely on the reef structure for their habitat.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, global warming | Tagged: Caribbean, climate change, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, Pliocene, Summit County News, University of Miami | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 15, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Recruitment of new coral expected to decline dramatically
Ocean acidification is known to have impacts on marine life that uses calcium to build shells. New research suggests that other species, including coral, will also suffer as oceans absorb more carbon dioxide.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Coral reefs, already hit hard by warming water temperatures, could face even greater threats as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide make ocean water more acidic.
Researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggested recruitment of new corals could drop by 73 percent during the coming century.
“Ocean acidification is widely viewed as an emerging threat to coral reefs,” said Rosenstiel School graduate student Rebecca Albright. “Our study is one of the first to document the impacts of ocean acidification on coral recruitment.” (more…)
Filed under: Environment, Marine biology, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: coral reefs, elkhorn coral, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, University of Miami | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 14, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Coral and other marine resources in the Florida Keys are at risk from an approaching oil plume. PHOTO COURTESY DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK.
Researchers report six-inch oil pancakes, and hope that the early warning will help protect Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Dry Tortugas
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A complex swirl of currents and eddies is carrying a previously unidentified plume of oil toward the Dry Tortugas, at the tip of the Florida Keys, according to researchers from the University of Miami.
The researchers hope the early warning will give response officials time to deploy equipment needed to protect the fragile marine resources of the area.
The University announced the findings Monday in a press release. fter a recent two-week mission sampling submerged oil plumes near the Deepwater Horizon well site, the university’s 96-foot catamaran, the RV/F.G. Walton Smith, set sail for the Dry Tortugas after calculating the potential trajectory of the oil based on computer models of currents, as well as aerial reports from Coast Guard planes. They found a 20-mile oil slick with pancake-size tar balls en route to the Dry Tortugas. (more…)
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: BP, Deepwater Horizon, energy, Environment, Florida Keys, Florida Keys National marine sanctuary, Gulf oil spill, oil approaching Florida Keys, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, University of Miami | 3 Comments »