God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nuclear Bikini

Apparently nature is much more resilient than we think:

Half a century after the atomic blasts that devastated Bikini Atoll, vast expanses of corals in the area seem to be flourishing once again, much to the surprise of scientists.

A team of scientists recently led a diving expedition into Bravo Crater and found an unexpectedly thriving coral community.

"I didn't know what to expect — some kind of moonscape perhaps. But it was incredible, huge matrices of branching Porites coral (up to 8 meters [25 feet] high) had established, creating a thriving coral reef habitat," said study team member Zoe Richards of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

"Throughout other parts of the lagoon it was awesome to see coral cover as high as 80 percent and large tree-like branching coral formations with trunks 30 centimeters [12 inches] thick."

A nearby atoll is likely seeding the coral recovery, the scientists think, and because the island is rarely visited, the coral is left to recover.

Richards said that the healthy condition of the Bikini corals was a sign of the resilience of corals after a major disturbance, if left undisturbed to recuperate.
Take that Algore...

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