Thursday, May 21, 2009

Think Green Thursday


***Update: Gone to the beach, see y'all Sunday!***


A pretty cool picture of a butterfly at a local Columbia park. Joining the "Think Green Thursdays" meme posting various items on the environment. Not trying to make any sort of stand here, just trying to spread some information and a little hope when available.



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Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.

-- Emily Dickinson
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. ~Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977
A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist. If an omniscient, all-powerful Dad ignores your prayers, it's taken personally. Hear only silence long enough, and you start wondering about his power. His fairness. His very existence. But if a world mother doesn't reply, Her excuse is simple. She never claimed conceited omnipotence. She has countless others clinging to her apron strings, including myriad species unable to speak for themselves. To Her elder offspring She says - go raid the fridge. Go play outside. Go get a job. Or, better yet, lend me a hand. I have no time for idle whining. ~David Brin

Finally, some good news for a change. Its just a damn shame there is not more of it. but you have to start somewhere.
Stanford scientists find heat-tolerant coral reefs that may resist climate change
Experts say that more than half of the world's coral reefs could disappear in the next 50 years, in large part because of higher ocean temperatures caused by climate change . But now Stanford University scientists have found evidence that some coral reefs are adapting and may actually survive global warming .
"Corals are certainly threatened by environmental change, but this research has really sparked the notion that corals may be tougher than we thought," said Stephen Palumbi, a professor of biology and a senior fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment .
Palumbi and his Stanford colleagues began studying the resiliency of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean in 2006 with the support of a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Project grant. The project has expanded and is now being funded by Conservation International and the Bio-X program at Stanford.
"The most exciting thing was discovering live, healthy corals on reefs already as hot as the ocean is likely to get 100 years from now," said Palumbi, director of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. "How do they do that?"
Corals in peril

Coral reefs form the basis for thriving, healthy ecosystems throughout the tropics. They provide homes and nourishment for thousands of species, including massive schools of fish, which in turn feed millions of people across the globe.
Corals rely on partnerships with tiny, single-celled algae called zooxanthellae. The corals provide the algae a home, and, in turn, the algae provide nourishment, forming a symbiotic relationship. But when rising temperatures stress the algae, they stop producing food, and the corals spit them out. Without their algae symbionts, the reefs die and turn stark white, an event referred to as "coral bleaching."
During particularly warm years, bleaching has accounted for the deaths of large numbers of corals. In the Caribbean in 2005, a heat surge caused more than 50 percent of corals to bleach, and many still have not recovered, according to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, an international collaboration of government officials, policymakers and marine scientists, including Palumbi.
Havens of healthy reefs

In recent years, scientists discovered that some corals resist bleaching by hosting types of algae that can handle the heat, while others swap out the heat-stressed algae for tougher, heat-resistant strains. Palumbi's team set out to investigate how widely dispersed these heat-tolerant coral reefs are across the globe and to learn more about the biological processes that allow them to adapt to higher temperatures.
In 2006, Palumbi and graduate student Tom Oliver, now a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford, traveled to Ofu Island in American Samoa. Ofu, a tropical coral reef marine reserve, has remained healthy despite gradually warming waters.

7 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Oh good job. Once the wingnuts hear of this, it'll be a chorus of "see, global warming isn't so bad! If coral can survive, so can everything else! Hummers 6 mpg!"

At least nature will still be here after we end up killing ourselves off. Theoretically.

Marja said...

What a wonderful quotes you have there. Also some hope for the coral reefs who are so fascinating beautiful. Have a nice day!

lime said...

well have fun at the beach. i love the quotes and the article is interesting to note.

this planet is so complex, to think we can understand all her mechanisms is the height of arrogance.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: On a unduly somber note I sort of have the idea that the swine flu is the warm-up to a hairless primate culling.
As for the coral that can survive global warming, you underestimate the destructive capability of bonehead scuba divers and drunk boaters that will break off coral souvenirs and ram the formations at low tide.

Marja: Me too, but humans can't seem to give anything in the world they can't control a break.

Lime: I completely agree about the biosphere being too complex for our understanding. I just hope the planet will be forgiving once we trip the living circuit breakers and Mother Nature decides to correct our misdeeds and arrogance.

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Melvin said...

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Melvin said...

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thanks for sharing....
___________________
Melvin
Best price for the best Entertainment