Islands ‘Defy’ Sea-Level Rise

 Posted by  Comments Off on Islands ‘Defy’ Sea-Level Rise
Jun 042010
 

Glittering IslandsIntroduction

This week will see some news that will be twisted and churned by the climate change sceptics…

Apparently, the coral islands are responding well to sea-level rises, which are real, make no mistake.

The New Scientist article is here and the BBC News item is here.

The Reality

Angaga Island Resort & Spa, MaldivesIn my previous post, The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People, I pointed out just such a fact.  My reasoning was based on the not-so-recent research and conclusion of Charles Darwin into the creation and maintenance of coral islands, reefs, atolls and submerged sea mounts.

Now, recent measurements as described in the New Scientist prove this is so.

But there’s still no room for optimism because the reason that islands like Tuvala and The Maldives are suffering is because of human interference…  How so?

A. Because people keep using the coral for building materials, and smooth out it’s natural deposits into runways and hotels for tourists and the like!

This far beyond what the coral can naturally replenish by accretion from storms and it’s natural growth.

Ancient History

One other aspect comes into the “coral equation”.

Coral almost disappeared following a major extinction event!

we warned you......Dinosaurs and Coral

The KT event which wiped out the dinosaurs and left room for our own eventual evolution, also wiped out 90% of coral species.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/…Tertia…event#Marine

Quoting from this source,

Further analysis of the coral extinctions shows that approximately 98% of colonial species, ones that inhabit warm, shallow tropical waters, became extinct.

Prior to this, in the greatest known extinction event at the end of the Permian Era, far worse damage was done to corals.  See link.  Quoting from the article:

The event had a profound effect on the terrestrial ecosystem, which is still being felt today, a quarter of a billion years later….

Nothing resembling a coral reef shows up until 10 million years after the Permian extinction, and full recovery of marine life took about 100 million years…

Dishonour not the bones of those who trod this earth before us, lest one day they return...Now this is serious shit!  Because we are right now part of a mass extinction event, started by our own human activity, that will one day show up as such in the geological record.

Currently the coral can keep pace with increasing water temperatures and rising sea levels as it did at the end of the recent glacial period ~12k years ago.

But for how long?

Whale States the Obvious

 Posted by  Comments Off on Whale States the Obvious
Feb 262010
 

On Thursday, a young woman was killed by a whale.

Dawn Brancheau and the whale, Tilikum

Dawn Brancheau and the whale, Tilikum

She’d wanted to work with whales ever since she was a little girl, and got her wish fulfilled.

Now, since Dawn Brancheau’s death, there has been gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands, pointing of fingers and loading of guns, because this particular whale has now been responsible for three deaths since it’s captivity.  It’s the “dangerous dog” mentality.

However, as anyone who has a dog or cat will know, small bites and scratches are not uncommon with these domesticated animals, even the nice ones…

And the six tonne whale,an apex predator,  capable of swimming at 30 knots, armed with 3 inch teeth, even it was being ‘playful’ in it’s own terms, was only living up to it’s name…

It’s a Killer Whale

ABC link: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/national_world&id=7295643

© 1977, Strangely Perfect.