Migrating coral?

From ScienceNews comes word of coral species off the coast of Japan that have been doing something odd. They’re moving.

Here’s a snippet of the story: 

A new study of reefs around Japan reveals that a handful of coral species have migrated from the balmy subtropics to temperate climate zones over the last 80 years. The study is the first to track coral reefs for such a long time and over several latitude lines, a Japanese team reports in an upcoming Geophysical Research Letters.

The team, led by geographer Hiroya Yamano of the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan, analyzed maps of corals from four time periods starting in the 1930s. They found that of nine common coral species, four had expanded northward, and two went as far as temperate waters.

Now it appears that some coral species will migrate—and fast—in response to warming waters. Some species Yamano examined migrated as fast as 8.7 miles per year. Yamano calculated that a sample of land-traveling animals migrate only 0.4 miles per year on average. In 80 years, the fastest corals would travel nearly 700 miles. It would be like land plants making the Atlanta-to-Detroit trek between the Great Depression and today.

A climate-change smoking gun? Probably not in and of itself. But it adds to the story of a planet and its life adapting to changing conditions.

In full, it's quite the story—and it's not told by a few crackpot researchers looking to make a name or a buck. You'll find some very hard science about climate change from sources like NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Evidence about a changing climate is mounting, ladies and gentlemen. Given that all this means real impacts on God’s created order and the human condition, you can be certain that these pages will be covering the debates and the facts about climate change until the climate of doubt begins to improve.

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Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.