Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another important invention

More good news from the New York Times
Cate and I have not been Scuba Diving since well before we arrived in Vienna so are planning on going to the Maldives early next year. 

We have known for some time that coral bleaching is a real issue and we have seen it in many places - but there was really depressing news in the New York Times last week.
‘This year’s extreme heat is putting the world’s coral reefs under such severe stress that scientists fear widespread die-offs, endangering not only the richest ecosystems in the ocean but also fisheries that feed millions of people.
From Thailand to Texas, corals are reacting to the heat stress by bleaching, or shedding their color and going into survival mode. Many have already died, and more are expected to do so in coming months. Computer forecasts of water temperature suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks.
What is unfolding this year is only the second known global bleaching of coral reefs. Scientists are holding out hope that this year will not be as bad, over all, as 1998, the hottest year in the historical record, when an estimated 16 percent of the world’s shallow-water reefs died. But in some places, including Thailand, the situation is looking worse than in 1998,’
There is nothing quite like looking at coral that has been bleached. It is white and lifeless. There is no marine life whatsoever. We have floated over it in various places - the Solomon Islands is one place I remember - and it is like a lunar landscape. 
I can imagine that in about 10 years time the Scuba Diving Industry will be on its last legs in most of the major shallow water dive spots on the planet. Still there will always be Discovery Channel.
But there are more important things happening than the destruction of the world’s coral reefs. This passed me by when it happened but the Bra that can be used as a gas mask has been invented – thank goodness for that!

Next on the list - knickers that can save coral!


  1. Seriously? A gas mask bra? Will wonders never cease!

  2. Do they make that in a demi-bra? Because I can't really wear that with a t-shirt.

  3. Marine biologists have been predicting the demise of coral reefs for years. Republicans don't believe it, though.

  4. You just have to hope that in the event of a gas explosion you are standing next to a Scarlett Johannson and not a Keira Knightley.