[Coral-List] Rau, McLeod and Hoegh-Guldberg outline strategies to brace for impact in the face

Reese, Jessica Jessica.Reese at CZS.org
Thu Aug 30 12:41:53 EDT 2012

Coral Listers,


Mother Jones ran an article, today, about a recently published
open-access paper by Rau, McLeod, and Hoegh-Guldberg (2012) entitled The
need for new ocean conservation strategies in a high-carbon dioxide
world. The popular press article can be accessed here:


The Mother Jones article, unwisely, presents the ideas as "crazy", and
even goes so far as to picture tube sponges being sheltered from thermal
stress by beach umbrellas.  The open access article, however does not
strike me as crazy at all. It's a call to action for the scientific
community to look to new management and conservation strategies, for the
evaluation of their success, followed by policies to support those
silver bullets when and if they become identified. The open-access paper
can be accessed here:


As zoo educator who is well-versed in the science of climate change and
coral reefs, and a passionate PADI Dive Master, I worry constantly about
how these ecosystems will survive. Since December 2009, it has become
abundantly clear to me that we are pitifully off-course to stabilize or
adequately mitigate our global CO2 concentrations. Yet, divers, all over
the world continue to enjoy these resources, often without any education
about what stressors they are facing. Do you, the coral scientific
community see a role for the recreational diver to engage in citizen
science action to help these ecosystems brace for impact and support
their resilience? The strategies that are recommended in the paper
suggest possibilities such as using shade cloths to reduce thermal
stress, electrical currents to reduce bleaching and encourage growth,
selective breeding for heat tolerance, and managing chemistry by adding
carbonates, silicates, and dissolved bicarbonates sound like exciting
possibilities and inspire me to join in to help in any way that I can.
While many of these experiments will be done in a lab, there may be
cause to try some in the field, which sounds very labor intensive.
Please let me know if you need any assistance in following Rau, McLeod,
and Hoegh-Gulberg's recommendations. I would love to get recreational
divers involved in the process of building resilience.


Best Fishes, <))))><


Jess Reese

Interpretive Programs Coordinator

Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

3300 Golf Rd. 

Brookfield, IL 60513

Direct Phone (708) 688-8861


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