More Signs of Coral Bleaching

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Since we’re always looking for an excuse to hock our oceans package, I figured I’d link to this New York Times story about how rising ocean temperatures are threatening coral reefs in Florida. During outbreaks of coral bleaching, “which are directly tied to rising ocean temperatures and reach their height in the warmest months, vast fields of coral shed their gaudy colors, turn bone-white and die.” It’s becoming an increasingly common phenomenon of late; about 16 percent of the world’s reefs were damaged by bleaching due to El Nino in 1998.

Sadly, the story doesn’t really explain why anyone, apart from snorkelers, should care about coral reefs. But apart from being pretty and making for cool photos, they’re quite valuable: helping shelter regions such as Florida from hurricanes and the like and sustaining fisheries and other crucial ecosystems. They’re kind of a big deal. I notice that the Times also seemed to tiptoe around probably links between coral bleaching and global warming, which is rather odd seeing as how the lead sentence promised to take up just that very topic.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

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