Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

There’s been a miraculous discovery made in the depths of the South Pacific Ocean—a rare stretch of pristine corals off the coast of Tahiti that appears to be unscathed by climate change or human activities.

The coral reef was first discovered by Laetitia Hédouin from France’s National Center for Scientific Research and her colleagues. They first spotted it at depths of between 35 and 70 meters while they were on a diving expedition off the peninsula of Tahiti. The astounding reef is primarily made up of two coral species. Porites rus dominates from 30 to 45 meters deep, however, at depths of 50 to 55 meters, Pachyseris speciosa takes over.

“It looks like a giant rose garden going as far as the eye can see,” says Julian Barbière at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. “It’s a very healthy reef, like a dream come true,” he continues. “In the middle of the biodiversity crisis, this is very good news.”

According to Barbière, the reef is one of the only ones that have been found at such depths, in what is called the twilight zone of the ocean.

“There might be many more large reefs in our ocean at such depth that require more investigation,” he adds. “This could be one of the largest coral reefs at this depth as far as we know, but the fact is that we haven’t really looked for coral reefs at this depth.

Currently, only 20 percent of the seafloor is mapped. If more of it is mapped at even greater depths, researchers can better understand how to protect and manage the fundamental ecosystems, like coral reefs, that millions of people around the world rely on.

“Until now, we see reefs in two dimensions, and we rarely include the depth as a critical dimension,” Hédouin reveals. “[But it] is important for protection, management, and conservation targets.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

New program seeks to break the cycle between jail and homelessness

Several factors can lead to homelessness: a lack of affordable housing, high costs of living, and even, sadly, mental illness. Another factor that contributes to homelessness, which is often overlooked, is incarceration.  Many individuals serve ... Read More

How a century-old cargo schooner is bringing back emissions-free shipping

The shipping industry is responsible for 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — putting about 940 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Before 1960, however, when containerization started to take off, ... Read More

Dam! Europe removes record number of river barriers in 2021

In 2021, Spain began a movement to remove dams from the country’s rivers to restore fish migration routes and boost biodiversity across the nation. They successfully took down 108 barriers and inspired other European countries ... Read More

This contact lens releases glaucoma medication

While it is treatable, glaucoma remains a serious eye disease that can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if left untreated. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, and research ... Read More

US soccer and national teams reach agreement to close gender pay gap

In a historic win for women’s rights, US Soccer and both the women’s and men’s national teams have proclaimed a collective bargaining agreement to close the gender pay gap and ensure that each player, regardless ... Read More

New immunotherapy drug combo slows liver cancer growth in mice

There is something of an art to the science of medicine. We’ve all heard that everyone’s different, and so is their biology. Sometimes, developing the right treatment for a patient’s condition takes dedicated and creative ... Read More