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Coral Reefs by Peter F. SaleWhen mass coral bleaching and die-offs were first identified in the 1980s, and eventually linked to warming events, the scientific community was sure that such a dramatic and unambiguous signal would serve as a warning sign about the devastating effects of global warming. Instead, the resulting decades have witnessed yet more degradation. Reefs around the world have lost more than 50 percent of their living coral since the 1970s. In this book, distinguished marine ecologist Peter F. Sale imparts his passion for the unexpected beauty, complexity, and necessity of coral reefs. By placing reefs in the wider context of global climate change, Sale demonstrates how their decline is more than simply a one-off environmental tragedy, but rather an existential warning to humanity. He offers a reframing of the enormous challenge humanity faces as a noble venture to steer the planet into safe waters that might even retain some coral reefs.
Publication Date: 2021
A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Board on Life Sciences; Ocean Studies Board; Committee on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral ReefsCoral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have threatened ocean ecosystems globally for decades. In the face of climate change, these ecosystems now face an array of unfamiliar challenges due to destructive rises in ocean temperature, acidity and sea level. These factors lead to an increased frequency of bleaching events, hindered growth, and a decreasing rate of calcification. Research on interventions to combat these relatively new stressors and a reevaluation of longstanding interventions is necessary to understand and protect coral reefs in this changing climate. Previous research on these methods prompts further questions regarding the decision making process for site-specific interventions. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs builds upon a previous report that reviews the state of research on methods that have been used, tested, or proposed to increase the resilience of coral reefs. This new report aims to help coral managers evaluate the specific needs of their site and navigate the 23 different interventions described in the previous report. A case study of the Caribbean, a region with low coral population plagued by disease, serves as an example for coral intervention decision making. This report provides complex coral management decision making tools, identifies gaps in coral biology and conservation research, and provides examples to help individuals and communities tailor a decision strategy to a local area.