Catastrophic Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

Major coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef has now occurred two years in a row.  Can the reefs recover?

What is coral bleaching? When ocean waters warm beyond normal ranges, corals eject the photosynthetic algae that live inside them. It’s these symbiotic algae that provide the corals essential nutrients. When the algae are gone, the corals are stressed and can easily die if the temperatures stay too high.

Coral bleaching started in the 1980s as periodic events in the tropical ocean. As global ocean temperatures increase due to global worming, bleaching events have become more frequent. Now, when El Nino causes temperature spikes the effects are devastating. There have been three worldwide mass bleaching events since 1998.

We’ll Keep on Keepin’ On!

Since the new year started, we’ve been busy. Yes, we’ve been attending conferences, generating content and meeting with science teachers throughout the country. But, we’ve also been marching. A lot. Let’s see, it started with The Women’s March on January 21st, rolled into the March for Science on April 22nd and topped off with the People’s Climate March on April 29th.

Seems weird to be marching for science—but, OKAY. We ‘Woman-ed Up’, put on our ‘sensible shoes’, cooked-up clever phrases for homemade signs and gave up weekends. Why? Because if we don’t, the world may become an intolerable place for our children.

By: Denise Ryan

 

Got Water? YES WE DO!

-By Nancy Burnett

California is leaping for joy with all the water we received this winter.  Our ponds are full of water just waiting for our amphibian friends.

I love visiting my favorite ponds to see what’s going on. In March the Western toads were already gathering. We could hardly drive at night there were so many crossing the road heading to the water.