Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Erika's New and Hot, Week 5

Coral is dying. Can it be reborn?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/01/science/earth/01coral.html?pagewanted=3&ref=science

This article's about how several people, aware of all the problems coral is facing around the world, are trying to rehabilitate the species by setting up underwater nurseries. Besides increasing the population of coral in areas where global warming, pollution, and overfishing have severely harmed the indigenous coral, the scientists also are trying to determine what factors can be changed to improve the chances of coral surving for the next century.

Their project relates to Darwin in that the coral have been outcompeted- they're dying because they can't deal with the pollution and the changing temperatures, and they rely on other species that are dying. However, since it's mostly humanity's fault that they are no longer "fit," we're trying to reverse the process- with little success. We're trying to change the environment so that one favored species can survive again; we want to save an ecosystem that we recognize we're destroying.

2 comments:

Robbie said...

Zooxanthellae!

chickenpox said...

By the way, here are my favorite quotes so far...

"to admit that species generally become rare before they become extinct-- to feel no surprise at the comparative rarity of one species with another, and yet to call in some extraordinary agent and to marvel greatly when a species ceases to exist, appears to me much the same as to admit that sickness in the individual is the prelude to death-- to feel no surprise at sickness-- but when the sick man dies to wonder, and to believe that he died through violence" (157)

The captain wanted to ask one question, "which he should be very much obliged if I would answer with all truth. I trembled to think how deeply scientific it would be: it was, 'Whether the ladies of Buenos Ayres were not the handsomest in the world'...My excellent judgment in combs and beauty procured me a most hospitable reception" (132).

Nietas (a breed of oxen): "Their bare teeth, their short heads, and upturned nostrils give them the most ludicrous self-confident air of defiance imaginable" (130).

-Erika