Latest Reef Check Stories

2009-11-06 12:50:00

Scientists said Thursday that lower-than-feared sea temperatures this summer gave a break to fragile coral reefs across the Caribbean and the central Gulf of Mexico that were damaged in recent years, the Associated Press reported. Many of the creatures that make up coral have had to expel the colorful algae they live with, creating a bleached color due to the unusually warm water in recent years. However, the coral itself will die and damage the environment where many fish and other marine...

2009-11-06 07:35:00

One of the first set of studies to examine what tourists and recreation enthusiasts actually think about coral reef ecosystems suggests they are a rare exception to controversies over human use versus environmental conservation "“ their stunning beauty is so extraordinary that almost everyone wants them protected in perpetuity. That core belief is often strong enough that if it means people have to be kept out, so be it. The analysis, done in Hawaii by researchers from Oregon State...

2008-12-10 13:30:00

The remainder of the world's coral is in danger of being eliminated as a result of human activities, pollution and over-fishing, according to an international report. Released on Wednesday, the "Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008" found that one fifth of the Earth's coral reefs have disappeared since 1950, and the remainder could die off over the next 20 to 40 years unless initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions are enforced. "Climate change must be limited to the absolute minimum...

2008-11-25 10:04:49

We've all seen the satellite images of Earth at night--the bright blobs and shining webs that tell the story of humanity's endless sprawl. These pictures are no longer just symbols of human impact, however, but can be used to objectively measure it, according to a study in the December 2008 issue of Geocarto International, a peer-reviewed journal on geoscience and remote sensing. Travis Longcore, a USC geographer and expert in light pollution, collaborated with an international team, led by...

2008-10-10 15:00:15

HRH Prince General Khaled bin Sultan, founder and Chairman of the Living Oceans Foundation, the U.S.-headquartered environmental organization that bears his name, today announced the formal launch of the Foundation's "Global Reef Expedition: Science Without Borders(R)" at the World Conservation Congress being held here. The three-year study of shallow coral reef environments around the world will begin in 2010 with the resulting scientific information being shared freely with involved...

2008-10-10 09:10:00

Scientists are using satellites to expand a network to watch for ocean temperature increases that can harm fragile ecosystems worldwide. On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its Coral Reef Watch network had been expanded from 24 locations to 190 locations in the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, and in other areas across the globe. The organization monitors ocean temperatures in nearly a dozen coral reefs.  The larger, expanded...

2008-09-06 03:00:12

By Anonymous Coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean have largely recovered from the devastating hot water the off, or "bleaching event," that killed up to 90 percent of corals on some reefs in 1998, researchers announced last month. Coral reef ecologist Gregor Hodgson of the Reef Check Foundation explained that 10 years later, recovery has occurred more quickly and more completely than expected. Caribbean reefs, however, are losing about three percent of living coral every four years due to...

2008-08-28 18:00:30

PIONEERING work by Newcastle scientists will help protect valuable underwater environments. Academics at Newcastle University, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York, have found no-go zones, designed to protect coral reefs from the effects of global warming, are in the wrong place. They say urgent action is needed to prevent the collapse of important marine ecosystems. The team's study, published today in the journal PLoS ONE, is the largest of its kind to have...

2008-07-09 06:00:21

By Oscar Corral, The Miami Herald Jul. 9--The world's foremost scientific experts on coral reefs are gathering this week in Broward County to compare notes, network and identify problems and solutions for the ocean's most delicate ecosystem. The 11th International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, which runs all week, marks the first time in more than 30 years that the conference, held every four years, is taking place in the United States. A team of U.S.-based scientists...

2008-07-08 06:00:19

By Robert Nolin & Rafael A. Olmeda, South Florida Sun-Sentinel Jul. 7--When it comes to the health of South Florida's coral reefs, the prognosis is not as gloomy as it could be. But it's not that sunny, either. Coral reefs stretching from the Keys to Martin County haven't deteriorated over the past five years, government scientists say. But that may be because damage inflicted over decades by storms, pollution, sewage and warmer temperatures has already been done. "Coral generally...

Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.