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September 2002

Delve deeper into hot topics featured in NGM’s September issue with help from Resources. Click on a link, pick up a periodical, browse through a book, and explore!
The Book Guy
Grey TabMore Book Guy
State of the PlanetGeographicaWho Knew?
Mapping DisasterDino MysteryCharting Tirio LandsCoral KillBronze from the Abyss
NGS Research Grant

White Death: Coral Kill

“Horrible.” That’s how University of Houston biologist Gerard Wellington describes the state of Easter Island’s corals. Wellington’s team found that while some types of coral survived, nearly 90 percent of the more vulnerable branching coral had been bleached. Sea temperatures as little as 1.8 degrees F (-16.8 degrees C) above normal led the coral to expel its brightly colored symbiotic algae, killing the coral. The water had been warmed by unusual Pacific Ocean currents, possibly related to global warming.

Web Links

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Dive in and see nature’s treasures in the ocean at this coral health and monitoring program site.

U.S. National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
View a map of Easter Island, the location of the coral bleaching event.

U.S. National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
Investigate the technologies used to monitor coral bleaching worldwide.

International Coral Reef Action Network
The network strategically links its partners’ investments in reef monitoring and management.

Free World Map

Chadwick, Douglas H. “Coral in Peril,” National Geographic (January 1999), 30-37.

“Eastern Pacific Warms as La Nina Fades.” New York Times, May 10, 2000.

Wellington, Gerard M., and others. “Crisis on Coral Reefs Linked to Climate Change,” EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union (January 2, 2001), 1-7.

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