March 09, 2009
"These discoveries are important, because deep-sea corals support diverse seafloor ecosystems and also because these corals may be among the first marine organisms to be affected by ocean acidification," said Richard Spinrad, NOAA's assistant administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
Caused by excess carbon dioxide, ocean acidification leads to changes in the ocean’s chemistry which deteriorates and kills coral reefs.
"Deep-sea bamboo corals also produce growth rings much as trees do, and can provide a much-needed view of how deep ocean conditions change through time," adds Spinrad.
Rob Dunbar, a Stanford University scientist, studies climate by examining deep sea corals that have survived thousands of year. "We found live, 4,000-year-old corals in the Monument – meaning 4,000 years worth of information about what has been going on in the deep ocean interior,” said Dunbar. "Studying these corals can help us understand how they survive for such long periods of time as well as how they may respond to climate change in the future.”
Spreading over 140,000 square miles (360,000 square kilometers) Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas. Ninety-eight percent of its area is only accessible to underwater submersibles. The discovery of the coral was achieved by the submersible vessel, Pisces V, which visited sites between 3300 and 4200 feet below the surface.
Stopping ocean acidification would save billions of dollars in revenue
(11/12/2008) A new report from Oceana shows that action taken now to curb ocean acidification would not only preserve the world's coral reefs, but also save billions in lost revenue in the fishing and tourism industries.
Effects of ocean acidification will come 30 years earlier than expected
(11/11/2008) The Southern Ocean may be 30 years closer to a tipping point for ocean acidification than previously believed, putting sea life at risk, according to research published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
1/3 of corals face extinction
(07/10/2008) Nearly one-third of reef-building corals are vulnerable to extinction, according to an assessment of 845 species of coral. Rising temperatures, increased incidence of disease, and human disturbance are driving the trend.
U.S. coral reefs in trouble
(07/07/2008) Nearly half of U.S. coral reefs are in "poor" or "fair" condition according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Global warming will degrade 98% of coral reefs by 2050
(12/13/2007) Ocean acidification caused by human-induced carbon dioxide emissions could dramatically alter the planet's coral reefs and marine food chains, warns research published in the December 14 issue of Science and presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.
Marine reserves help damaged coral reefs recover
(05/14/2007) Marine reserves can help coral reefs damaged by overfishing, disease, and bleaching caused by high temperatures, reports a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.