Monday, August 16, 2004

Hot algae, get your hot algae, right here!

Corals adapt to cope with global warming

(New - Jeff Hecht - 18:00 11 August 04 - Journal reference: Nature (vol 430, p 741 and p 742))

Global warming does not spell imminent doom for the world’s coral reefs. Corals may be able to survive the higher temperatures by forming new symbiotic relationships with algae that can take the heat, suggests new research.

Since the 1980s, reefs around the world have been devastated by bleaching, where temperature increases of just 1°C above the long-term average can cause coral animals to expel [or "bleach" -- EBB] the photosynthetic algae that keep them supplied with nutrients. ...

Along the Panama coast, warm water caused extensive bleaching in corals that had formed a symbiotic relationship with one type of Symbiodinium algae, known as clade C. But corals that joined forces with another algae type, clade D, that can tolerate higher temperatures, did not become bleached. ...

Rob Rowan of the University of Guam in Mangilao, Guam ... says that the heat-tolerant algae may improve photosynthesis. When temperatures are consistently above 32°C the efficiency of energy conversion in clade C algae is permanently reduced but that does not happen in the heat-tolerant clade D. It is this damage in clade C that apparently triggers bleaching.

Whether it was achieved by evolutionary or by specially created means, all I, an admittedly benighted little believer in the Risen Christ, see here is another case of the amazing, plastic durability of God's Creation. Nature adapts and fights against death precisely because it stems from the God who has pushed death into the grave. Nature adapts because God redeems.

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