220119124306 01 coral reef tahiti climate restricted super tease

Huge ‘Twilight Zone’ coral reef found off Tahiti’s coast


Scientists say that such a big and such a lovely coral reef has but to be found, which emphasizes how little we nonetheless know concerning the world’s oceans. And its impeccable situation – there is no such thing as a proof that the reef has but been broken by the local weather disaster – suggests the necessity for pressing motion to guard the ocean’s remaining wholesome reefs.

Photojournalist Alexis Rosenfeld, who led the worldwide diving group, stated the reef, which stretched “as far as the eye could see”, was “magical to witness”.

“It was like a work of art,” he stated.

The UNESCO-led analysis mission discovered that the reef extends for about two miles and exists at a depth of 70 meters, or 230 toes. It is across the “twilight zone” of the ocean, the place there may be sufficient gentle to maintain life, and beneath which the ocean turns right into a darkish abyss.

“For once, this is a positive story about coral reefs in the news, which is quite rare these days,” Julian Barbierre, head of marine coverage at UNESCO, informed CNN.

The warming and acidification of the oceans because of the local weather disaster has led to widespread coral bleaching. Last 12 months, scientists found Climate change, over-fishing and air pollution have halved the worldwide vary of residing coral since 1950.
The outlook is equally grim, with scientists Prediction About 70% to 90% of all residing corals will disappear within the subsequent 20 years.

According to UNESCO, solely about 20% of the ocean flooring has been mapped to this point. And till its newest discovery, the overwhelming majority of the planet’s identified coral ecosystems had been thought to increase to depths of solely 25 meters, indicating how a lot of the ocean – which covers greater than 70% of Earth’s floor – Still should be detected.

“The discovery shows that there are, in fact, many more large reefs in our ocean at depths of more than 30 meters that have not been mapped,” Barbier stated. “It’s quite an astonishing discovery.”

The dive team was able to spend nearly 200 hours studying the reef using special scuba equipment called rebreathers.
Coral reefs are an important food source and habitat for a wide range of marine organisms, such as the fish seen here.

“While we are seeing huge investment in space exploration, there is not enough to study our own home, and the ocean in particular,” Barbier stated. “And I think this is really where we want to put our emphasis in the next 10 years – to build the knowledge we need to put the planet on a sustainable path through marine protected areas.”

Despite its depth, researchers say the newly found reef nonetheless receives sufficient daylight for corals to develop and reproduce. Some divers even noticed the coral laying eggs.

Researchers went into the mission in November final 12 months with little details about the reefs within the area, and got here away with an unbelievable understanding of simply how widespread, distinctive and historical the coral is.

Despite its depth, the reef still receives enough sunlight for corals to grow and reproduce.
A researcher floats on top of the cliff, which stretches for nearly two miles.

utilizing scuba rebreathers, which filter carbon dioxide from the exhaled air and Recycling many of the unused oxygen, the dive group was in a position to spend practically 200 hours learning the reef. Rebreathers permit divers to go deeper into the ocean flooring and keep longer. Rebreathers include a particular helium-based gasoline combination that forestalls narcotics or drowsiness.

Barbier stated researchers had been stunned to seek out that the coral was utterly intact and wholesome, an indication that they’ve been alive for many years, with giant reefs taking about 25 to 30 years to increase and flourish.

The UNESCO group plans to review the reef additional to learn the way the coral has thrived for thus lengthy within the face of more and more hostile marine circumstances, within the hopes that it could reveal the key to saving the endangered reef. can catch.

“We think deeper reefs may be better protected from global warming,” stated Letitia Hedouin, a marine biologist on the French National Center of Scientific Research and Environmental Research. cryobe, “So the discovery of this rock in such a pristine condition is good news and may inspire future conservation.”
The rock is present in the area which is known as the sea "twilight zone" is referred to as

coral reefs at risk

Coral reefs are necessary to Earth’s biodiversity. They are an necessary meals supply in addition to habitat for a variety of marine organisms. But human-caused local weather change threatens these ecosystems all over the world.

About 4,000 miles west of Tahiti, off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest reef system – has suffered a number of large-scale coral bleaching occasions over the previous twenty years as a result of excessive ocean warming. have needed to do. a 2021 Study It was discovered that 98% of the rock was affected by bleaching since 1998. And regardless of having tailored to the upper warmth vary, the examine discovered that corals now have much less time to recuperate within the midst of extra frequent bleaching occasions.

Although the Tahiti reef seems wholesome now, there are issues that the results of local weather change will attain it, stated Steven Mana’Okamai Johnson, a postdoctoral analysis scholar and marine scientist at Arizona State University.

“Just because the reef currently shows no impact from climate change doesn’t mean it’s going to hold up in the future,” Johnson informed CNN. “And so we can’t assume because no one knew it was there, and when we found it, it was in good shape that it would continue to dodge the bullets of stories.”

Rose-shaped coral blooms from sea level off the coast of Tahiti.
Fish swim in the rock.
johnson recent research discovered that 60% to 87% of the world’s oceans are prone to expertise catastrophic organic and chemical adjustments, together with larger ranges of acidity and adjustments in oxygen ranges, by 2060, which can trigger huge harm to the planet’s huge coral reefs .
In special Report On the oceans in 2019, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded with excessive confidence that the impression on marine ecosystems will worsen if fossil gas emissions proceed to speed up.

Even if international warming is proscribed to 1.5 °C – the perfect aim of the Paris Agreement – ​​“coral reefs are projected to have significant loss of area and local extinction,” the scientists identified, noting that efforts to revive them will probably be futile. . At that point, contemplating the large stress they’re already going through.

“The great thing is [the UNESCO team] found this track of the reef to be in good condition, which certainly explains how little we’ve actually done to map the ocean,” stated Johnson, who is just not concerned within the analysis. Emphasizes the significance of passing Ways to assist the normal reserves of those oceans.”

A group of researchers examine the rock.
The coral in the reef was found to be healthy, with no indication that they have yet been affected by the increasing stress of the climate crisis.

Barbiere said more expeditions are planned to investigate the reef in the coming months, specifically to study how it thrived around the ocean’s twilight zone.

An international network of governments, oceanographers and volunteers is on a mission to map the world’s sea level by 2030, not only to better understand the effects of the climate crisis but to improve tsunami warning systems. According to Barbier, studying the ocean could lead to similar discoveries at deeper depths that would require more extensive protection.

“You can solely defend what you may measure,” Barbiere said. “And as we attempt to set targets for international ocean safety all over the world, that is the essential info we have to begin establishing marine protected areas.”


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