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.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.