Jun 20, 2017

Coral reefs are under stress but may be resilient

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

Bernardo Vargas-Angel/NOAA via AP

Human dependence on coral reefs is far-reaching: One billion people rely on reefs for food or fishing income, per the World Wide Fund for Nature. Tourism to the Florida Reef rakes in over $3 billion each year and coral reefs are on the cutting-edge of medical science, potentially providing proteins to fight HIV. But these reefs are quickly dying.

With the right technology, coral reefs — among the most affected victims of climate change — can be saved, Nexus Media reports. American University environmentalist Kiho Kim told Nexus that much of the damage is reversible if the stress of climate change is removed.

The study: One reef-killer is nitrogen-heavy sewage that is dumped into the ocean in some parts of the world. Kim's team studied the effects of sewage waste on a reef in Guam and found that the skeleton of coral can support the regrowth of polyps if pollution damage is remediated.

The solution: Kim says reefs can bounce back if the stressor, whether that's warmer water or pollution, is addressed. New but expensive technology allows sewage treatment plants to extract damaging nitrogen from waste before dumping it into the ocean. "With the proper accounting, the math generally favors paying to protect the coral reefs and other coastal ecosystems," Kim said.

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Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

Updated 6 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.