More Signs of Coral Bleaching

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Since we’re always looking for an excuse to hock our oceans package, I figured I’d link to this New York Times story about how rising ocean temperatures are threatening coral reefs in Florida. During outbreaks of coral bleaching, “which are directly tied to rising ocean temperatures and reach their height in the warmest months, vast fields of coral shed their gaudy colors, turn bone-white and die.” It’s becoming an increasingly common phenomenon of late; about 16 percent of the world’s reefs were damaged by bleaching due to El Nino in 1998.

Sadly, the story doesn’t really explain why anyone, apart from snorkelers, should care about coral reefs. But apart from being pretty and making for cool photos, they’re quite valuable: helping shelter regions such as Florida from hurricanes and the like and sustaining fisheries and other crucial ecosystems. They’re kind of a big deal. I notice that the Times also seemed to tiptoe around probably links between coral bleaching and global warming, which is rather odd seeing as how the lead sentence promised to take up just that very topic.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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