reefed

NSF’s Science360 Photo of the Week

Flying over Lizard Island

Lizard Island is an island and national park on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The world-class research facilities at Lizard Island Research Station provide unprecedented access to some of the world’s most pristine reefs, making them ideal for National Science Foundation-funded researchers who are studying coral microbiomes. Image credit: F. Joseph Pollock, Penn State University

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No, the Great Barrier Reef is Not Dead

You might have seen an obituary for the Great Barrier Reef floating around over the past few days. Published by Outside Magazine, the supposedly satirical article declared that the Great Barrier Reef had “passed away after a long illness” at 25 million years of age, and that “no effort” was ever made to save the reef.

This is not true.

It’s really, really, really not true.

Yes, the Great Barrier Reef recently underwent a massive bleaching event that affected 93% of its coral. That bleaching event resulted in the death of 22% of its coral.

22% dead is not the same as 100% dead.

So why did author Rowan Jacobsen write the obituary? Some are saying it was satire, a deliberate exaggeration meant to raise awareness of the Great Barrier Reef’s plight. If this was the case, the plot backfired spectacularly. Many people took to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other public mourning venues to declare their sadness and outrage over the death of the world’s largest living structure.

This is a dangerous reaction, but not an uncommon one. And it’s a reaction that Dr. “Rusty” Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, worries will hinder efforts to save the very-very-very-not-dead reef. As he told the Huffington Post, people may begin to think that “if there’s nothing that can be done,” we should “not do anything and move onto other issues.”

In the interests of preserving the Great Barrier Reef’s not-dead state, let’s not do that. While the Reef is arguably dying, it can still be saved, and we should be doing what we can to save it.

So what can we do?

If the news of the Great Barrier Reef’s “death” upset you, please read on.

Keep reading

Sunscreen PSA

(Be aware that this PSA applies to all bodies of water, even man made pools, as the chemicals will still be carried into the ocean.)

It’s well known fact that the ocean is in critical danger from pollution. We are in the middle of a mass extinction event that is being severely advanced by human activity. The ocean drives the Earth’s life and weather. If it fails, we are doomed.

As of today, over 90% of the Great Barrier Reef is dead.

Gone.

Decaying.

Kaput.


What can we possibly do to help?
Switch to a reef safe sunscreen. Every little thing you do to take the pressure off of reefs will help in their recovery and preservation.

Sunscreen isn’t reef safe? Huh?
The main ingredient in a vast majority of sunscreen brands is something called oxybenzone along with a slew of other chemicals. Oxybenzone and the like is toxic to coral and damaging to fish and crustaceans. Even some “natural” ingredients such as mineral oil are deadly, as it biodegrades very slowly and is harmful to all sea life. It causes the corals to bleach themselves, a process in which the symbiotic algae is ejected from the coral. Coral can sometimes survive a bleaching event but with other pollutants and high heat, they almost never do.

That’s awful! But if it’s in all sunscreen, how can I possibly be safe in the sun and save the reefs?
That’s easy! Start using a “reef safe” sunscreen! These sunscreens contain only zinc or titanium oxide as the active ingredient, a powerful UVB and UVA blocker that is completely reef safe! It’s also great for those with sensitive skin.

Awesome! Where can I find reef safe sunscreen?
You can find reef safe sunscreen in dive shops and most stores that carry sunscreen. Just make sure the only active ingredients are “zinc oxide” or “titanium oxide”. Avoid oxybenzone and mineral oil at all cost! Online shops such as amazon also have dozens of excellent reef safe sunscreens.

Do you have any recommendations?
There are dozens of reef safe brands, so it’s up to you to decide depending on price and scent/unscented. I personally like Stream2Sea, Badger, Biodegradable Reef Safe by Tropical Seas, and Coral Safe.

Is tanning oil okay?
Unfortunately not! Tanning oil causes the same kind of oil damage as an oil spill. In small doses it’s not going to do much but keep in mind that millions if not billions of beach-goers deposit tanning oil into the ocean whenever they swim. It’s best to wash off any tanning oil before entering the ocean to swim. Hit the showers!

Why should I even care that my sunscreen isn’t reef safe?
One earth, one ocean. If the oceans fail, if the biodiversity plummets, if the reefs die, the water turns to toxic sludge, then we are all doomed. We lose a source of food. We lose a source of capital. We lose ways of life. We lose cultures. We will lose the Earth. If the oceans go, humanity will soon follow.

Don’t let the next generation grow up with stories of “….back when the reefs still existed”

sometimes it ticks me off when people deduce klance as this ‘i fucking hate you but you’re hot so’ trope because!! That’s not what klance is about!! Sure they argued and threw fits a lot in the first episode but besides that they barely fought post ep 5, instead it’s replaced with friendly/teasing banter and. This is the klance I want to see.

Klance where they start from the bottom- from keith barely knowing who lance is, lance being upset, arguing, bonding, playful bickering, having fun, enjoying, crushing, loving. 

Klance where they started from a mere ‘you suck keith’ 'same @ you’ to 'you’re not so bad keith’ 'we’re not so bad after all’ and finally to 'let’s do this together.’ 'don’t leave me.’. Klance where they start off being completely out of sync to being totally in sync, being able to work perfectly without words. Klance where lance is finally able to see Keith as someone on an equal ground as him, being more infatuated with him as they go on more battles together. Keith finding lance annoying at first till he saw more of him- seeing his weaknesses and strengths, his feelings slowly blossoming. 

I need a ‘started from the bottom now we’re here’ klance trope.

The message should be that it isn’t too late for Australia to lift its game and better protect the Great Barrier Reef, not we should all give up because the Great Barrier Reef is supposedly dead,“ Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, told The Huffington Post.
— 

The Great Barrier Reef isn’t dead (yet)

This is a wake up call. This is no joke and the long term ramifications are hard to fathom. What is clear that action is required now. I have visited the GBR recently and I can not express what a loss this would be to each and everyone and everything. This is not only a great wonder of the planet but one of the most beautiful and complex living systems in the world and devastating for the wonder that is planet earth.  

news.nationalgeographic.com
Coral Reefs Doing Better Than Expected in Many Areas
A new study found "bright spots" where corals are thriving, despite global bleaching events.

Some positive news to start off the week right!