People might reasonably ask if the ocean waters are getting warmer and becoming more acidic, what is the point of replanting coral reefs if they are going to die anyway?
Its a valid question. Fortunately the scientific community has addressed this in exquisite detail. I have summarized some of their studies below.
Increasing Ocean Temperatures
Regarding increasing ocean water temperatures, it is true that higher temperatures are the primary driver of mass rapid bleaching events. The solution will lie in relocating as many different species of corals to more temperate waters after surveys are done to find suitable new habitats. This topic of warming water is covered more extensively in another FAQ below.
Increasing Ocean Acidity. Is it a problem?
Regarding ever increasing acidity in ocean waters, the good news is that corals can tolerate a much greater range of pH than was previously believed. Increasing acidity should not be a problem when replanting corals or planting new coral reefs. In fact, according to some studies below, the increase in CO2 and concurrent increase in acidity (decrease in pH), will actually aid calcification of the corals stony skeletons.
Following is an analysis of some of the scientific papers addressing the effects of increasing acidity on corals. Its very technical , because sometimes science has to be technical to explain things. I have tried to simplify it as much as possible while still keeping the science.
Acidification and Coral Reefs
It is true that some scientists including the Kleypas et al. model , have predicted that rates of coral calcification, as well as the photosynthetic rates of their symbiotic algae, will dramatically decline as the atmosphere's CO2 concentration continues to rise, and pH declines, in the future. As more pertinent relevant information comes to light, the true story appears to be just the opposite of what they have predicted will happen.
Previous models predicted that elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 may reduce rates of coral calcification, possibly leading to slower-growing and weaker coral skeletons, and even death.
However, several studies, using real-world observations, have shown corals experiencing increasing rates of coral calcification in the face of rising ocean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
The coral calcification rate on wild coral reefs, is controlled at the cellular level by the saturation state of calcium carbonate in seawater. Since Precambrian times, oceanic surface waters have likely been saturated or supersaturated in this regard – providing a good environment for coral reef growth. (Holland, 1984). Currently, however, as the air’s CO2 content rises in response to ever-increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and as more and more carbon dioxide therefore dissolves in the surface waters of the world’s oceans, pH values of the planet’s oceanic waters are, or should be, gradually dropping, leading to a reduction in the calcium carbonate saturation state of seawater.
This phenomenon has been theorized to be leading to a corresponding reduction in coral calcification rates (Smith and Buddemeier, 1992; Buddemeier, 1994; Buddemeier and Fautin, 1996a,b; Holligan and Robertson, 1996; Gattuso et al., 1998; Buddemeier and Smith, 1999; IPCC, 2007a,b; De'ath et al., 2009), which reduction has been hypothesized to be rendering corals more susceptible to a number of other environmental stresses, including “sea-level rise, extreme temperatures, human damage (from mining, dredging, fishing and tourism), and changes in salinity and pollutant concentrations (nutrients, pesticides, herbicides and particulates), and in ocean currents, ENSO, and storm damage” (Pittock, 1999).
A well known and often cited study by Kleypas et al. (1999), for example, calculated that calcification rates of tropical corals should already have declined by 6 to 11% or more since 1880, as a result of the concomitant increase in atmospheric CO2concentration; and they predict that the reductions could reach 17 to 35% by 2100, as a result of expected increases in the air's CO2 content over the coming century. Likewise, Langdon et al. (2000) calculated a decrease in coral calcification rate of up to 40% between 1880 and 2065.
Loaiciga (2006), for example, used a mass-balance approach to (1) "estimate the change in average seawater salinity caused by the melting of terrestrial ice and permanent snow in a warming earth," and he (2) applied "a chemical equilibrium model for the concentration of carbonate species in seawater open to the atmosphere" in order to "estimate the effect of changes in atmospheric CO2on the acidity of seawater."
Assuming that the rise in the planet's mean surface air temperature continues unabated, and that it eventually causes the melting of all terrestrial ice and permanent snow, Loaiciga calculated that "the average seawater salinity would be lowered not more than 0.61‰ from its current 35‰." He also reports that across the range of seawater temperature considered (0 to 30°C), "a doubling of CO2 from 380 ppm to 760 ppm increases the seawater acidity [lowers its pH] approximately 0.19 pH units." He thus concludes that "on a global scale and over the time scales considered (hundreds of years), there would not be accentuated changes in either seawater salinity or acidity from the rising concentration of atmospheric CO2."
As a coral biologist, I can tell you from experience that a decrease in pH by 0.19 units is not highly significant. The effects of the daily photoperiod creates a pH swing far greater than this every day in an aquarium and on the reefs.
It has been clearly demonstrated, for example, that corals can grow quite well in aquariums containing water of very high dissolved CO2 concentration (Atkinson et al., 1995); and Carlson (1999) has stated that the fact that corals often thrive in such water “seems to contradict conclusions ... that high CO2 may inhibit calcification.” And there are numerous other examples of such phenomena in the real world of nature.
Muscatine (1990) suggests that “the photosynthetic activity of zooxanthellae is the chief source of energy for the energetically expensive process of calcification” (Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999). Consequently, if an anthropogenic-induced increase in the transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the world’s oceans, i.e., hydrosphericCO2 enrichment, were to lead to increases in coral symbiont photosynthesis – as atmospheric CO2 enrichment does for essentially all terrestrial plants (Kimball, 1983; Idso, 1992) – it is likely that increases in coral calcification rates would occur as well.
There are several reasons for expecting a positive coral calcification response to CO2-enhanced symbiont photosynthesis. One of the first mechanisms to come to mind is the opposite of the phenomenon that has been proffered as a cause of future declines in coral calcification rates. This reverse phenomenon is the decrease in extracellular CO2 partial pressure in coral tissues that is driven by the drawdown of aqueous CO2 caused by the photosynthetic process.
With CO2 being removed from the water in intimate contact with the coral host via its fixation by photosynthesis (which CO2 drawdown is of far greater significance to the coral than the increase in the CO2 content of the surrounding bulk water that is affected by the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content), the pH and calcium carbonate saturation state of the water immediately surrounding the coral host should rise (Goreau, 1959), enhancing the coral’s calcification rate (Gattuso et al., 1999).
And if hydrospheric CO2 enrichment stimulates zooxanthellae photosynthesis to the same degree that atmospheric CO2 enrichment stimulates photosynthesis in terrestrial plants, i.e., by 30 to 50% for a 300 ppm increase in CO2 concentration (Kimball, 1983; Idso 1992, Idso and Idso, 1994), this phenomenon alone would more than compensate for the drop in the calcium carbonate saturation state of the bulk-water of the world’s oceans produced by the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content, which Gattuso et al. (1999) have calculated could lead to a 15% reduction in coral calcification rate for a doubling of the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration.
With ever more CO2 going into the air, driving ever more CO2 into the oceans, might we not logically expect to see increasingly greater rates of coral symbiont photosynthesis, due to the photosynthesis-stimulating effect of hydrospheric CO2 enrichment?
Many types of marine plant life do indeed respond to hydrospheric CO2 enrichment (Raven et al., 1985) – including seagrasses (Zimmerman et al., 1997), certain diatoms (Riebesell et al., 1993; Chen and Gao, 2004; Sobrino et al., 2008), macroalgae (Borowitzka and Larkum, 1976; Gao et al., 1993a), and microalgae or phytoplankton (Raven, 1991; Nimer and Merrett, 1993) – the photosynthesis of many marine autotrophs is normally notconsidered to be carbon-limited, because of the large supply of bicarbonate in the world’s oceans (Raven, 1997). However, as Gattuso et al. (1999) explain, this situation is only true for autotrophs that possess an effective carbon-concentrating mechanism; but to swing once again in the other direction, it is also believed that many coral symbionts are of this type (Burris et al., 1983; Al-Moghrabi et al., 1996; Goiran et al., 1996).
In one final example that demonstrates the importance of biology in driving the physical-chemical process of coral calcification, Muscatine et al. (2005) note that the "photosynthetic activity of zooxanthellae is the chief source of energy for the energetically-expensive process of calcification," and that long-term reef calcification rates have generally been observed to rise in direct proportion to increases in rates of reef primary production, which they say may well be enhanced by increases in the air's CO2 concentration.
So how does the concentration of bicarbonates fit into the picture, since much CO2 is converted to bicarbonate in ocean water?
A study by Herfort et al. (2008), noted that an increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause an increase in the abundance of HCO3- (bicarbonate) ions and dissolved CO2, and who report that several studies on marine plants have observed "increased photosynthesis with higher than ambient DIC [dissolved inorganic carbon] concentrations," citing the works of Gao et al. (1993b), Weis (1993), Beer and Rehnberg (1997), Marubini and Thake (1998), Mercado et al. (2001, 2003), Herfort et al. (2002) and Zou et al. (2003).
Researchers used a wide range of bicarbonate concentrations "to monitor the kinetics of bicarbonate use in both photosynthesis and calcification in two reef-building corals, Porites porites and Acropora sp." This work revealed that additions of HCO3- to synthetic seawater continued to increase the calcification rate of Porites porites until the bicarbonate concentration exceeded three times that of seawater, while photosynthetic rates of the coral's symbiotic algae were stimulated by HCO3- addition until they became saturated at twice the normal HCO3- concentration of seawater.
Similar experiments conducted on Indo-Pacific Acropora sp. showed that calcification and photosynthetic rates in these corals were enhanced to an even greater extent, with calcification continuing to increase above a quadrupling of the HCO3- concentration and photosynthesis saturating at triple the concentration of seawater. In addition, they monitored calcification rates of the Acropora sp. in the dark, and, in their words, "although these were lower than in the light for a given HCO3- concentration, they still increased dramatically with HCO3- addition, showing that calcification in this coral is light stimulated but not light dependent."
In discussing the significance of their findings, Herfort et al. suggest that "hermatypic corals incubated in the light achieve high rates of calcification by the synergistic action of photosynthesis ,which, is enhanced by elevated concentrations of HCO3- ions that come courtesy of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content. As for the real-world implications of their work, the three researchers note that over the next century the predicted increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration "will result in about a 15% increase in oceanic HCO3-," and they say that this development "could stimulate photosynthesis and calcification in a wide variety of hermatypic corals.
The scleractinian corals, which are the major builders of the reefs of today, have been around some 200 million years, during most of which time both the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration, and presumably the acidity, were much greater than they are today.
Another good reason for not believing that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content will lead to reduced oceanic pH and, therefore, lower calcification rates in the world's coral reefs, is that the same phenomenon that powers the twin processes of coral calcification and phytoplanktonic growth (photosynthesis) tends to increase the pH of marine waters (Gnaiger et al., 1978; Santhanam et al., 1994; Brussaard et al., 1996; Lindholm and Nummelin, 1999; Macedo et al., 2001; Hansen, 2002); and this phenomenon has been shown to have the ability to dramatically increase the pH of marine bays, lagoons and tidal pools (Gnaiger et al., 1978; Santhanam, 1994; Macedo et al., 2001; Hansen, 2002) as well as to significantly enhance the surface water pH of areas as large as the North Sea (Brussaard et al., 1996).
There are many other studies (Clausen and Roth, 1975; Coles and Jokiel, 1977; Kajiwara et al., 1995; Nie et al., 1997; Reynaud-Vaganay et al., 1999; Reynaud et al., 2007) that also depict increasing rates of coral calcification in the face of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
So in summary, ocean acidification probably will not be the big problem for corals and other shell bulilding organisms since the actual increase in the acidity will likely be minor, even with a large increase in atmospheric and hydrospheric CO2.
[Add a list of the other papers cited here.]
It can take anywhere between a few weeks to 3 months or more. You will receive confirmation when they are planted and given the geographical coordinates of their location. Hopefully when your order is placed, we will already have the corals growing in our facility, waiting to be planted.
But it's possible that we will get behind and there will be a lag period between when the Carbon offset is bought and when the coral is planted, but we can definitely provide photos of that actual species being planted on the reef, and even followup photos as it grows out, plus information on the location of their corals.
We will try to keep that time frame as short as possible. Logistics of being in the islands where internet may be limited could also impact it.
You will receive confirmation when they are planted and given the geographical coordinates of their location. Hopefully when your order is placed, we will already have the corals growing in our facility, waiting to be planted.
If we really want to preserve all corals for posterity, we need to collect samples of them from the wild and grown them in captivity.
Something similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault could be setup. That is a global seed bank in Norway that is preserving thousands of seeds in case of a disaster.
Obviously this is a major undertaking, and very expensive.
But as long as the corals are in the ocean, they are subject to the environmental conditions of the ocean. Just as planted trees are subject to environmental conditions that can destroy the.
I made a video about this on my YouTube channel.
I already know how to do this. I've already done it once before, on a smaller scale.
Any of you multi-millionaires want your name on the facility that saved the corals for future generations????
While they are completely voluntary they can't be considered a tax since there is no governmental authority administering it and collecting the tax.
CO2 offsets are for environmentally-minded individuals who realize that their actions are adding to the Global Warming/Climate Change problem and they want to do something positive about it now, rather than waiting for government actions which are not enough or remain ineffective or just plain nonexistent.
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, both in our coral production and our finances (how we apply your purchases).
Our Carbon Offsets at SCI meet the following criteria:
The offsets are tangible and are measurable. Actual corals are grown and placed on the coral reefs in the oceans. Locations of the corals will be published.
These corals and the resulting emission reduction would not have occurred if the carbon offset wasn't purchased .
The corals planted actually delivers the claimed emissions reductions on average.
There is no double selling of corals. Following the sale of the CO2 offset, the corals it represents are permanently removed from the market by clearly registering the ownership. We assign each coral a unique identifier to ensure no double-selling or double counting. They can never be sold again, no matter how large the coral becomes.
Verification or actual corals planted and the continued viability of them, via logs and video will be maintained and free available on line, to ensure it meets it's intended goals of carbon storage. Planted areas will be revisited periodically to verify the corals are doing well.
We monitor coral survival rates at least annually for the first 2 years. After that, periodically, the corals are audited independently and reported on the website and sometimes via videos.
Scientific Coral is a ‘for profit’ company. Companies should be able to claim a tax deduction as a business expense. It can fall under marketing or branding. For individuals it depends upon your personal financial situation and we recommend you get professional advice.
By a fortunate coincidence, my life's work has always been coral propagation. Happily I realized that I could apply what I had spent 20 years researching (Dec 1990 – December 2010) to help alleviate this GWCC problem.
Plant trees is one good option, but there are some serious drawbacks. They are not a complete solution.
At this point in the Global Warming/Climate Change crisis, we need to try all avenues to try and solve this existential crisis. However we don't consider this to be a radical idea at all. The science backs up the efficiency of sequestering Carbon, and the propagation methods have been proven by over 20 years of laboratory work.
Assuming you can get the proper visa from the host government, yes you can visit the reef and area of the reef where your corals are planted.
But because of the limitations of GPS and logistical issues, we can only identify the general reef area. But maybe when you dive, you will recognize the species of your “babies” that we planted !
Yes, oceans worldwide are warming up, and the acidity (pH) of the oceans is increasing beyond their tolerable range.
We have several methods to address these issues.
Reef building corals live in temperate waters, usually above 25 C (77F), so they tend to grow closer to the equator where it's warmer. As those areas become too hot to sustain corals, we anticipate that ocean water in areas currently too cold to support corals (farther South in general), will warm up enough to allow them to grow there. Ocean currents are a little more complex than that simple answer, but in general, we will seek out cooler waters and plant them there.
An alternative is also planting heat resistant strains of corals in warmer areas that can tolerate the higher temps . Research is already being done on this with some success (Univ of Hawaii) . The drawback is a lack of biodiversity on those reefs as they contain only heat-tolerant corals. Every coral would have to be heat resistant, and often there are more than 200 species of corals on a reef.
Ocean acidity is potentially the bigger problem. Acidity is closely tied with the ability of corals to calcify their skeletons. In the presence of too much acidity (lower pH), calcification rates generally are slower and their carbonate structures are weaker. However some studies indicate that in the presence of elevated levels of CO2, calcification rates can go up. That would make sense since CO2 is an important component to building their skeletons.
In working with corals in the lab for 20 years, I witnessed first hand how small changes in pH can have a big impact on the corals.
So we have a long ways to go before we really understand the connection between pH and coral calcification rates. The good news is the the oceans of the world are not homogeneous. Waters don't mix evenly, and some oceans don't mix at all with other oceans (the Red Sea and the Indian due to salinity differences). There is still a wide range of pH levels in oceans around the world .
So before we plant any corals, we will survey the ambient conditions and determine the pH, temperatures, water clarity, depth, and some other factors, to make sure it's an area that will support coral growth.
I feel certain that some corals will be around for years to come. All corals wont go completely extinct. But we run the risk of losing many species of corals, resulting in a lack of biodiversity, and coral reefs becoming just a mere shadow of their former beautiful productive selves, the rain forests of the seas. Every coral that survives is host to a large number of other organisms that depend upon it. If we lose that biodiversity, that would be tragic.
Obviously there are a number of parameters that affect the growth rate of corals and thus the respiration of corals.
Higher growth rates generally equal higher respiration rates and more CO2 removal.
Some of these factors include:
-The species of coral planted.
-The ambient conditions of the location they are planted (photo period of sunlight, depth, currents, dissolved minerals, dissolved nutrients, pH, water temperature, water pollution.)
-Predation upon the corals or damage from fishermen or divers.
-Competition from neighboring corals.
We have successfully propagated over 180 species in captivity so we have many to chose from. Most importantly we don't want to introduce any species that are not indigenous to the area and could become an invasive species possibly upsetting the delicate ecological balance of that area.
After we select after area, and work all all of the details with local authorities, we then will survey the existing corals and decide which ones are the best candidates for selection and propagation. We only plant corals that endemic to that area. We have the technology to plant over 180 species of hard and soft corals, to encourage biodiversity. We do not plant a monoculture.
Our initial focus will be in the islands of Indonesia. Hopefully we can expand into other areas very quickly.
A substantial amount of upfront work is required before we actually begin planting corals in the island groups.
We meet with local leaders (often local chiefs in the Pacific Islands), for permission, to discuss their goals, and to select appropriate sites for new or replanted reefs. Members of the community are chosen by the leaders to participate and learn the techniques to grow and repopulate their coral reefs. All of this assistance is provided free to the islands, funded solely by your CO2 offset purchases.
Biodiversity is of paramount importance on reefs. A reef with a few species of corals and fish on it is no more a reef than a palm oil plantation is a rain forest. Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse areas on earth, with literally hundreds of thousands of species of different organisms. It a mutualistic arrangement where they are intertwined with each other and their survival depends upon the existence of other organisms.
Our goal is to maintain that biodiversity as closely as is possible for that given ecosystem.
So we plant a variety of hard and soft corals, in proportions that we deem natural, to create of maintain the optimal biodiversity. We will choose local organisms so as to not introduce an invasive species that will create havoc on the existing balance.
We have successfully propagated, in high numbers, over 180 species of hard and soft corals.
We are in the process of applying for certification but there has been a delay.
The reason is that the certification companies have only developed criteria for land based applications. We are a little bit ahead of the curve.
Certainly we want to, and will get, certification as soon as it is available. we recognize the importance of an independent organization evaluating our procedures and results and giving us their seal of approval.
So currently we have no certification. It will come in time. Please be patient with us while that happens. But because time is of the essence, we can't stop our work until then!
Because we are trying to keep our costs down as much as possible and plant as many corals as possible for your money. Introducing a middle man just means they have to get their “cut”, spending more of your money on administration and less on planting corals.
An important part of our mission is to teach the local villagers the entire process of growing and planting their corals.
In such an event, we would hope that the trained villagers would be able to rebuild their reefs. If we are still working in the area, and are needed, we could possibly aid them.
We feel we have the most efficient and productive methods for coral production in the world and have applied for a patent.
You will be given information regarding the location of the reef where your coral(s) were installed, but because of logistical reasons, we wont be able to give you the exact location.
There are two ways the corals sequester CO2 from the air.
2-Reef building using dissolved CO2 in the water
Here is a brief description of both processes:
The photosynthesis equation is as follows:
6CO2 + 6H20 + (energy) → C6H12O6 + 6O2
Or in plain English, Carbon dioxide + water + energy from sunlight —>(produces) glucose + oxygen.
Most reef-building corals contain photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae, that live in their tissues in a mutualistic beneficial relationship to both organisms. The coral provides the algae with a protected environment and compounds they need for photosynthesis.
In return, the algae produce oxygen and help the coral to remove wastes. Most importantly, zooxanthellae supply the coral with glucose, glycerol, and amino acids, which are the products of photosynthesis. The coral uses these products to make proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and produce calcium carbonate. (NOAA report.)
So once the CO2 is utilized during photosynthesis, it's gone forever. This process is not reversible, unlike the burning of trees which releases all of the carbon in it's tissues back into the environment..
Coral Reefs have several great advantage over tree farms, regarding removal of CO2 . First, the carbon is sequestered permanently in the coral skeleton. it's used to create limestone (aragonite) rock. Trees can burn down, reintroducing all of the Carbon back in the atmosphere that was taken up while growing.
Another advantage is the coral polyps will grow exponentially, either asexually or sexually, creating other CO2 sucking coral polyps in a huge colony. Planted trees generally just grow as one tree. The life span of a coral colony may be thousands of years, as each polyp is a unique animal, living together in a colony.
And a newly planted coral polyp will also reproduce and send gametes out into the water column, to colonize new locations often long distances away. Trees are pretty limited spatially where they can reproduce.
An added benefit is the removing CO2 from the water decreases the acidity of the seawater.
Plus coral reefs have all of these other benefit's to the islanders:
So how does CO2 get used in coral building?
Reef building using dissolved CO2 in the water
CO2 from the atmosphere is dissolved in seawater by simple diffusion to create equilibrium. This dissolved CO2 forms bicarbonate in seawater. Corals use this bicarbonate plus Calcium ions to form aragonite which is the “concrete” of their skeletons.
This is the chemical reaction where corals use CO2 dissolved in seawater, to build their stony skeletons:
CO2 + H2O ---> HCO3-
HCO3- + Ca2+ ---> CO32- + H+ + Ca2+ --> CaCO3 (aragonite)
So the CO2 (dissolved in seawater) + H2O (seawater) -reacts and yields HCO3- bicarbonate ions. These bicarbonate ions are combined with Calcium ions to yield aragonite.
Coral skeletons are made of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate. To grow up toward sunlight, corals construct a framework of aragonite crystals.
The carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater (H2O), setting in motion chemical reactions. Corals are the ultimate carbonate generator. Coral reefs have persisted through geological history and built most of the carbonate geology that there is.
Because you are concerned about global warming and climate change and it's long term effect on our planet. But you don't want to, or can't change your lifestyle to reduce or eliminate your Carbon footprint.
And you've decided you want to be part of the solution, not just contributing to the problem.
You want to reduce or eliminate your fossil fuel usage due to your concern about it's effect on global warming and climate change. Burning fossil fuels of all types (gasoline, diesel, oil, natural gas, coal) produces excess green house gases, especially CO2, which we now know for certain, poses a serious existential threat to our planet.
Historically since the dawn of man, the level of CO2 in out atmosphere was around 260 ppm. Since we started burning fossil fuels, the level has now risen up to around 410 ppm. that's a 58% increase in just over 150 years, and the level continues to increase every year. Some CO2 is necessary to keep the earth warm, but an excess makes it too warm.
Currently you use fossil fuels for transportation, to heat and cool your house, electricity for your home, for plastics manufacturing for products that you buy, and even the airplanes you take. You want to help reduce global warming, but giving up all fossil fuel usage would be a huge change in your lifestyle.
Here is how carbon offsets can help you and the planet.
Carbon offsets are designed to fund the REMOVAL of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. You would purchase Carbon offsets to balance out (remove) some or all of the CO2 you have PRODUCED in your daily life. (for example 1 offset = x metric ton of CO2)
Today, CO2 levels are 40 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began. They have risen from 280 parts per million in the mid-18th century (the start of the industrial revolution) to over 413 ppm in 2019. During the last 800,000 years, CO2 fluctuated between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 280 ppm.
Air CO2 levels are measured by hundreds of stations scattered across 66 countries which all report the same rising trend.
Before Instrument Sampling
The most direct method for measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations for periods before instrumental sampling is to measure bubbles of air (fluid or gas inclusions) trapped in the Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets.
Ice sampling allows us to go back in time and to sample accumulation, air temperature and air chemistry
Fortunately, ice cores preserve annual layers, making it simple to date the ice. Seasonal differences in the snow properties create layers – just like rings in trees.
It is possible to discern past air temperatures from ice cores. This can be related directly to concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses preserved in the ice. Snow precipitation over Antarctica is made mostly of H216O molecules (99.7%). There are also rarer stable isotopes: H218O (0.2%) and HD16O (0.03%) (D is Deuterium, or 2H).
Snow falls over Antarctica and is slowly converted to ice. Stable isotopes of oxygen (Oxygen [16O, 18O] and hydrogen [D/H]) are trapped in the ice in ice cores. The stable isotopes are measured in ice through a mass spectrometer. Measuring changing concentrations through time in layers through an ice core provides a detailed record of temperature change, going back hundreds of thousands of years.
Uranium has been used to date the Dome C ice core from Antarctica. Dust is present in ice cores, and it contains Uranium. The decay of 238U to 234U from dust in the ice matrix can be used to provide an additional core chronology.
Additionally, there is far more methane (a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 in the short term) in the atmosphere than at any time in the past 800,000 years—two and a half times as much as before the Industrial Revolution.
Global temperatures have risen an average of 1.4˚ F since 1880.
We plant the smallest corals that are viable, because smaller corals transplant much more successfully than large corals.
Small corals are more resilient and can adapt to new conditions better than established corals.
Just as it's more difficult to move an older tree, or even an older person, its also difficult to move larger colonies of a corals.
Small stony corals in particular do much better because they grow towards the light and form a rigid skeleton. So part of their skeleton is permanently shaded as they grow. If you move larger colonies to new conditions, its almost impossible to orient them to the same position.
So different areas of the coral will get different amounts of light on different parts of their structure. This can burn the coral or result in some areas getting less light than they are used to . Often you will get die-off on parts of the corals that are shocked.
Also the larger they become, the more acclimated to predominant currents, temperature, and all of the other physical parameters that each location has. Moving them stresses the corals.
Soft corals are a little more resilient, but still have a side that predominantly faces the light and another that is shaded.
Small corals can grow TO existing conditions regarding light, current, nutrients, everything. They are like newborns, able to adapt to whatever conditions they encounter. Because of this, they have a higher survival rate, and grow faster than larger transplanted corals.
When we plant the corals is largely determined by the weather.
Obviously the safety of our divers is paramount.
Most areas have a cyclone hurricane season, so we don't plant during that time . We are still working on propagation, but not actively planting in the ocean.
Also periodically there are storms which may delay the planting.
If we are moving to a new area, we need to make arrangements with the local authorities for permission to repair the reefs.
We never do any work on an island without first working closely with the local government.
If you leave your email address with us when you buy the corals, we will send you confirmation.
When you buy corals from Scientific Coral, we then assign a unique ID for each customer and also assign you to specific individual corals in our database. Such corals can either already be in production and waiting to be planted, or just planned for production.
After your corals are planted, we will assign a unique GPS coordinate for the corals. GPS signals are not detailed enough to record the exact location of your coral, but we can provide you the general location within a few hundred yards or meters.
Depending upon the time of the year and where we are in the ocean, there can either be a delay of a few months followed by planting and delivery or we might assign corals from a batch which we already planted a few months prior.
But if the coral is already planted why are you paying for it?
The reason for the timing is that we prefer to plant our corals in bio diverse, well-organized groups during the best weather window in order to increase efficiency and survival rates. Weather on the ocean can be quite variable, and we don't want to take a chance with staff members' safety.
We finish allocating each batch before moving on to the next one. Thus if you don't purchase that specific coral we would wait until someone else decides to do so. And if no one purchased those future corals, we would stop planting until they did.
This is the same procedure they use for planting trees for Carbon offsets.
Unfortunately there are some misdirected individuals who might damage or destroy our plantings.
So the actual locations of our plantings is a secret.
We do release the information to anyone who purchases a CO2 offset of their specific coral's locations.
But otherwise, planting locations are not released to the public.
Videos showing our plantings are not geolocated nor do they show the time of the plantings.
Its sad that there are few misguided individuals who are willing to destroy other's best efforts.