Fifty coral reefs selected as “Ark” to weather the climate crisis


Author: Jerri-Lynn Scofield, he has served as a securities lawyer and derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile craftsmen.

Coral reef ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change.In the past fifty years, their condition has continued to deteriorate, and the global coverage of live coral has dropped by half (see Since the 1950s, global coral coverage has fallen by half). As the oceans continue to warm, scientists have indicated that it is possible to protect some coral reefs, but urgent action is now needed to achieve this goal (see World Coral Scientists warn that action is now needed to save some coral reefs from climate change).

Lambert wrote in detail about the Coral Reef Restoration Initiative, and I recommend interested readers to read his two extensive posts on the subject (see, for example A new hope for the restoration of corals with “electric coral reefs”? with Coral reefs, climate change and mobilization). In his new hope post, Lambert expressed doubts about reef reconstruction efforts that rely on NGOs, international funding and huge grants. Keep this idea; I agree with his healthy skepticism.

So, partly due to climate change, but also due to our other ways of plundering the ocean, coral reefs are in trouble.exist The Nobel Prize-winning stock market theory was used to help save coral reefs, Yesterday’s “Guardian” reported on the work of Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a climate scientist at the University of Queensland, who helped lead the “50 Coral Reefs” project to identify and rescue key coral reefs. These scientists applied modern combinatorial theory to determine the 50 coral reefs most suitable for surviving climate change and used them as “arks” to promote coral restoration projects elsewhere. According to Hoegh-Guldberg:

“If we are to have corals by the end of this century, this is essentially a strategy to help us decide what to protect.”

“This is our best opportunity to build a long-term future for coral reefs,” he said.

The Guardian elaborated on the details of the work carried out:

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia use Modern portfolio theory (MPT), a mathematical framework developed by economist Harry Markowitz in the 1950s to help risk-averse investors maximize returns and identify the 50 most likely to survive the climate crisis and reproduce in the world Coral reefs or other coral reefs in the coral reserve, if there are no other threats.

this Learn It is recommended to invest in conservation projects that are “most likely to succeed” in protecting priority coral reefs. According to partners, organizations, and funders interviewed by Blue Earth Consultants, these benefits are not limited to positive ecological results, but also include social, economic, health, and nutritional benefits that are vital to the community.

The Guardian praised these efforts, but I am skeptical of an initiative that “revenues beyond positive ecological results” and “includes social, economic, health, and nutritional benefits vital to the community”-especially when I watch There are many partners, participating organizations, funders and consultants. What is a neoliberal who does not love?

Well, first of all, the protection priorities will be evaluated according to the investment framework-no matter what it means in protecting the environment:

“Modern portfolio theory is a framework designed to reduce risk while maximizing returns,” Hoegh-Guldberg said. “It treats conservation as an investment opportunity.”

The strategy was proposed at a meeting of scientists Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology In 2017, this theory was used to help scientists choose a “balanced” coral reef combination.

“There are hundreds of such coral reefs on the earth,” Hoegh-Guldberg said. “Which one do you choose to let you focus on it?”

Unsurprisingly, I bet that the pseudo-investment nature of the scientist process will make this project a cat for funders:

Dr. Hawthorne Beyer is a researcher at the University of Queensland who studies the application of quantitative models to management environmental systems. He said: “Talk to business people and they will immediately understand. This is a very logical idea and very meaningful. We are the first Companies that apply it globally.”

The project created a global framework of concentrated efforts and received a large amount of foundation funds:

The project identified coral reefs in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Australia, the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Islands, South America, Southeast Asia and South Asia. They include parts of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Egypt and the southern part of the Red Sea, and parts of the “Coral Triangle” surrounding Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. However, based on climate and connectivity criteria, the model excludes several ecologically significant areas, such as Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef in Central America.

The project has invested nearly 93 million U.S. dollars (70 million pounds), funded by Vibrant of Bloomberg Philanthropy Ocean Initiatives and so on. The report found that 50 methods inspired by coral reefs have helped at least 26 organizations, and 8 funders have now prioritized 60 coral reef ecosystems in more than 40 countries.

Coral reefs account for only 0.2% of the ocean floor, but they are home to at least a quarter of marine species and support hundreds of millions of people. protect Efforts inspired by this research focused on five threats to corals: fishing; “non-point source pollution” such as fertilizers, road flows or sediments; wastewater pollution; coastal development; and extreme climate pressure on coral reefs.

I do not deny that these factors pose a major threat to coral reefs. I am not refusing to use the investment model itself. Tom Ferguson’s theory of party investment is very helpful for studying political issues because it highlights the logic behind the money-driven political system: follow money! But this approach seems irrelevant here. instead:

Scientists divide the world’s coral reefs into 500 square kilometers (190 square miles) of “bioclimatic units” (BCU). They used 174 indicators in 5 categories, including temperature history and forecasts, ocean acidification, invasive species, cyclone activity, and connectivity with other coral reefs. Then, using a process called “scaling”, they generated estimates for each BCU. This provides the broadest possibilities for the future. “We don’t know which indicators are the best indicators for predicting risk,” Beyer explained.

The team then used MPT to quantify threats and determine the coral reefs that provide the best protection options, while taking into account the uncertainty of the future risks of climate change.

“When we have a lot of uncertainty about risk, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket or bet on a risk,” he said.

If the model provides a way to centralize protection efforts, what harm has been caused? According to the Guardian:

Emily Darling, director Coral Reef Protection by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Said that part of the benefits is to have a clear blueprint, you can best concentrate.

“One of the biggest benefits of the 50 coral reef approach is this convincing message that climate change is a serious threat to coral reefs, and this approach can give coral reefs a chance to fight.”

WCS has US$18 million in funding to work in 21 of the 50 coral reefs in 11 countries (including Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, and Tanzania) to help communities reduce pressure on valuable ecosystems.

I think a long-term benefit of my undergraduate education at MIT is some basic facilities with numbers and using them as a tool to guide decision-making. With some understanding, just because a bag of skills is useful for one purpose-and may indeed have won a Nobel Prize-does not mean that it must be useful in another situation. So I want to know what alternative models are available before 50 coral reef projects. For funders amused by the fake investment framework, this approach may not be that attractive. But are they inherently inferior in deciding which reefs to save and which reefs to abandon?



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