Shark Bite #9
Welcome to Shark Bite #9.
Coral reefs are BACK
After decades of decline, the Great Barrier Reef might be making a comeback.
Coral coverage levels in the central & northern regions of the reef are at their highest levels in 36 years. The Australian Institute of Marine Science reported that hard cover coral covered 33% of the central region and 36% of the northern region of the reef.
FYI, hard corals are reef-building corals. Soft corals are more common but have less of an impact on the growth of a reef. So when scientists talk about coral reefs dying, they’re usually concerned with hard corals.
Though this is good news, the Great Barrier Reef is not out of the woods yet. Threats like Crown-of-thorn starfish, cyclones, and ocean acidification still pose massive threats to these ecosystems.
And because it's the biggest reef system on earth, we're ultra-concerned with its health. But for now, we’ll celebrate their return.
Freshwater mangroves found in the Amazon
Researchers found mangroves growing in freshwater in the Amazon Delta. This might not seem like a big deal, but have you ever seen freshwater mangroves?
That’s because you haven’t – no one ever has. This phenomenon has never been observed anywhere else in the world.
This discovery is huge for the Amazon (and the whole planet).
Because mangroves are one of the most effective carbon sinks in the world, capable of absorbing 4x as much carbon as tropical rainforests. And in case you forgot, the Amazon has a pretty big rainforest too.
Simply put, these freshwater mangroves are going to help us fight climate change.
See you next time.