KALININGRAD, August 22 (RIA Novosti, Anatoly Nilov)
number of jellyfish in the Baltic Sea has sharply increased
Residents of the Kaliningrad region say that in some
places seawater resembled broth."The sharp increase in the number
of jellyfish is linked with the...heat," Vsevolod Bondarenko,
a representative of the bio-ecological faculty of the Kaliningrad-based
Kant Russian State University, said Monday. Jellyfish usually approach
the coast searching for plankton in warm windless weather, he said.
Bondarenko said that if the storm that had hit the Kaliningrad region
came again, the jellyfish would not have approached the coast. "This
means that the weather will be warm and calm in the near future."
These Jellyfish are not harmful to people. It is a rare occasion when
common jellyfish appears in the Baltic Sea.
The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense
identified the region between Point Conception and Point Sur (the
central California coast) as a high priority for ocean conservation,
as it contains one of the richest assemblages of habitats and marine
life in the world. Based on an analysis of threats to biological diversity
and ecological health in this region, the two groups concluded that
trawling should be reduced.
To soften the economic impacts of creating large
no-trawl zones, The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense teamed
up to purchase vessels and permits from trawlers willing to sell,
contingent upon a commitment by the federal government to establish
Undersea Forest Not
Under the Sea
It takes good gardening skills to maintain a kelp
forest. The giant kelp in Monterey Bay Aquarium's three story Kelp
Forest exhibit grows up to six inches a dayequal to the growth
rate in the wild. And there are over 100 species of seaweeds growing
in the exhibit, at first look it appears to be a gardener's nightmare!
Join aquarist Barbara Utter to learn just what it takes to create
a living kelp forest...
The Aquarium's kelp forest was the first one ever
built by human hands. At the time it was created, it was one big experiment
and no one really knew exactly what was required to grow a kelp forest
Experts did what they could to ensure that the plants
get the sunlight they need. Features such as surging swells and moistening
spray were also added to give the kelp forest a taste of home and
a good chance of survival.
Reef Research & Awareness Illegal Destruction
of Coral Reefs Worsened Impact of Tsunami
The illegal mining of corals off the southwest coast
of Sri Lanka permitted far more onshore destruction from the 26 December
2004 tsunami than occurred in nearby areas whose coral reefs were
intact. This is the principal finding of a team of researchers from
the United States and Sri Lanka who studied the area earlier this
year. Their report is published in the 16 August issue of Eos, the
newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.
Some of the differences were startling. Lead author
Harindra Fernando of Arizona State University reports that in the
town of Peraliya, a wave of 30-foot height swept one mile inland,
carrying a passenger train about 200 feet off its tracks, with a death
toll of 1,700. Yet, a mere two miles south, in Hikkaduwa, the tsunami
measured just 7-10 feet in height, traveled only 50 meters 200 feet
inland, and caused no deaths.
The researchers found that this pattern of patchy
inundation to be characteristic of the study area and was not related
to such coastline features as headlands, bays, and river channels.
Rather, the key factor was the presence or absence of coral and rock
At Hikkaduwa, the hotel strip is fronted by a rock
reef and further protected by coral reefs that the local hoteliers
protect and nurture, the researchers report. Relatively little damage
and few deaths were recorded from there to Dodanduwa, around six kilometers
to the south.
From Hikkaduwa north to Akuralla, however, damage
and loss of life was extensive. Local residents, interviewed by the
authors, say that coral reefs in that area had been decimated by illegal
mining, especially by use of explosives that result in harvests of
both coral and fish.
Some eyewitnesses to the tsunami described a visible
reduction in the height of the water wall and its deflection parallel
with the shore as it approached the coral reef. The researchers conclude
that waves that had been blocked by the reef caused even more inundation
and damage where they found low resistance gaps due to removal of
coral by humans.
The scientists note that the brunt of the tsunami
had hit Sri Lanka's eastern shore, but that the southwestern, or leeward,
side had also been hit hard. Their analysis of the available data
concludes that two or three waves hit the area within an hour, having
been channeled and bent around the southern tip of the island, and
that another wave struck around two hours later, having bounced back
after hitting India or the Maldives.
They say that existing computer models cannot adequately
explain or predict the wave amplitudes in southwest Sri Lanka, likely
due to small scale ocean processes, including topographic variations
due to coral removal, that are not yet well understood.
The authors note that low-lying Maldives islands
directly in the path of the tsunami escaped destruction. They suggest
that this may have been due to the presence of healthy coral reefs
surrounding the islands. Apparently, in Sri Lanka, very little healthy
coral was damaged by the tsunami.
The research was funded by the BBC, which produced a documentary
film on the tsunami, the National Science Foundation, the Earthquake
Engineering Research Institute, and the U.S. Geological Survey.