Rising carbon dioxide levels— and oh boy, do we haz them—lead to lower pH in our oceans. The lower the pH, the more acidic the water. Coral reefs, underwater structures notoriously unwilling to relocate, are stuck dealing with the result. A new paper shows that coral reefs that have been exposed to acidic waters are less dense and more fragile.
Marine scientist and paper co-author Adina Paytan points out that it could’ve been worse. “The good news is that they don't just die,” she says, in what one can only imagine to be a hollowly perky tone of voice. “They are able to grow and calcify, but they are not producing robust structures.”
Fortunately, what she’s not saying is that the whole wide world of coral has gone rickety. Scientists, being scientists, work hard to gather data that lets them make predictions about what will happen. In this case, the study focused on coral located near underwater springs off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where the ocean water becomes naturally more acidic.
Because, though they can simulate conditions in a laboratory, scientists can’t be deliberately acidifying coral environments in the wild, now can they? By looking at a place where coral is already surviving in conditions of higher acidity, the paper’s authors found a site “where nature is already doing the experiments for us,” explains Don Rice, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences.
For Paytan, the results mix not-terrible news with a concise course of action. "We need to protect corals from other stressors, such as pollution and overfishing. If we can control those, the impact of ocean acidification might not be as bad."
Summer is here and it's time to jump in the water. Free swim lessons for low-income kids!
Unlicensed pilot busted at Double Eagle for flying too high. Or something. I'm not sure how to make this joke actually. He had a plane full of pot, is what I'm trying to say.
Under Susana Martinez, the New Mexico Environment Department isn't so worried about New Mexico's environment. Here's one more example.
Another U.S. Army official whose job is to stop sexual assault has been charged with sexual assault.
The media doesn't think the Obama administration's assault on civil liberties is so minor when it's happening to them.
Maybe those Benghazi emails were doctored?
And finally, visit Newfoundland. Because of this goat riding on a horse.
A group of political illustrators is coming to talk about process today at Small Engine Gallery at 6 p.m. Read up on the collective’s pollination of the grassroots and then head down there this evening. The talk is free. For more on the event, go to bit.ly/BeeMind. For more on the nonprofit, all-volunteer, art organization, check out beehivecollective.org.
BP's looking at a $4.5 billion fine and criminal charges against staff members.
The gap between rich and poor in New Mexico is the widest in the nation.
Pit bull terriers killed a Chihuahua and sent her owner to the hospital.
Debbie O'Malley might remain on the Council and take a seat on the County Commission.
Remember when 48 women training for the military said they'd been sexually assaulted or harassed by their instructors? The Air Force has a weird solution: Trainees must have a wingman all the time.
Nonstop flights from Albuquerque to New York.
FBI investigates death threats against the guy holding the coyote-killing contest in Los Lunas.
The poorest president in the world. "If you don't have many possessions, then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them."
Violence escalates in Gaza and Israel. Rockets kill 15 Palestinians and three Israelis.
Louisiana governor is the first Republican to denounce Mitt Romney's notion that he lost the election because President Obama gave gifts to minorities and youth.
5-Hour Energy shot-like drink blamed for 13 deaths.
Colorado Visitors Bureau plans NOT to capitalize on legal recreational marijuana.
Science looks at rappers' brains to find the basis of improvisation.
Pong is 40-years-old and no one has topped it, says this guy.
How to become as observant as Sherlock Holmes. (Also, "Sherlock," the BBC miniseries available on Netflix instawatch, is dope.)
Gary Johnson's campaign splices him into the presidential debates.
Guy rode his bike through Hurricane Sandy.
Back East, people are lined up for miles to get gas.
Former Penn State president charged with perjury in Sandusky scandal.
Gene Hackman knew the dude he slapped in Santa Fe.
Dr. Kevorkian's paintings.
City councilors lodge an ethics complaint against a pro-minimum wage hike group.
Campaign finance reports filed today. So, how much did those legislative campaigns blow?
Noam Chomsky Gangnam Style
10 election oddities explained. By the British.
Is America ready for a female president?
Jerry Ortiz y Pino opines that Gov. Susana Martinez is on a neocon crusade of destruction. But the public can’t see it yet, he writes, because the media fawns over her so.
Most voters’ impressions of a governor are shaped by media coverage. On TV, we get split-second footage: She's cutting ribbons, smiling at children, waving to crowds, and looking perky at a rally or solemn at a memorial. ... The honeymoon ain't over yet, even after 18 months.
Reporter Christie Chisholm spoke with Larry J. King, a Navajo man who’s fighting Hydro Resources, Inc. The company wants to mine an aquifer under Church Rock, N.M.
Rooting around in the aquifer for uranium will make the water in it undrinkable, says Rich Abitz, a geochemist, in the story. The EPA has agreed to look into the company’s permit.
King has also started a campaign on Change.org that asks people to sign a petition to prevent the mining.
“Being in the Southwest, and being where every drop of water is precious—and where water is sacred, too—we need to preserve the water not only for ourselves but for future generations,” says King. “Without water, there is nothing.”
The Earth Day Network reports that 1 billion people marked the eco-holiday on April 22. But with consciousness-
For the eco warriors profiled in this week’s feature, the work is hard, the hours long and unpaid. It’s about attending meetings, learning how to speak up in public, keeping track of paperwork, forging alliances with neighbors. It involves concerted, long-term effort in the face of what often looks like an uphill battle.
New mayor of Sunland Park is 24-years-old.
Kirtland is going to look a little harder for leaked jet fuel.
Dick Clark made stars. R.I.P.
Paramedics in N.M. work 72-hour shifts.
DOH to medical board: You can't ask the feds to reclassify marijuana.
Romney says something weird about cookies.
Sex robots are our future.
Vatican cracks down on feminist nuns.
"Hopefully" may spell the end of grammar.
Passengers say an American cruise ship ignored a drifting fishing boat, leaving two men to die.