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See Coral Reefs Like Never Before
Brian_V - 9/24/2013 10:27 AM
Category: General
Replies: 0

For those of you who have enjoyed ’diving’ in your cubicles on the Google Earth dives sites, here’s yet another place to continue your cubical diving adventures:

See Coral Reefs Like Never Before

Today the Catlin Seaview Survey—which recently brought us some amazing views
of the Galápagos coastline—launches the first-of-its-kind database of our
underwater world.

Catlin Seaview Survey began with a comprehensive study of the Great Barrier
Reef in September 2012. The imagery documented the composition and health of
the reef across its full range depth. That survey involved more than 100,000
360-degree panoramic images along the length of the reef—about 2,300 km.

Since then, the team has traveled to more beautiful coastlines, including
Belize, Mexico, and Aruba. To take such detailed (and scientifically useful)
imagery, the survey team uses a specially built panoramic underwater camera.

For this new online database, dubbed the Reef Record, the survey team is
pairing the panoramic imagery with datasets from collaborators like NOAA,
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, World Resources Institute and the
Global Change Institute. The hope is that scientists, educators, and the
general public can use the record as a resource to understand and track
how the changing climate and pollution are affecting coral and the marine

"This could present a powerful technique for rapidly responding to stress
events such as mass coral bleaching and mortality," chief scientist Ove
Hoegh-Guldberg says in a statement. "Enabling rapid yet highly accurate
techniques such as these will almost certainly improve our ability to
understand and respond to the threats posed by warming seas."

The team’s most recent excursion began last week in Bermuda, where they
are at work getting footage of the deep and shallow reefs with help from
the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and other local partners. So far,
they’ve found a small amount of coral bleaching, which confirms previous
NOAA alerts. Bermuda also offers an opportunity to test out the efficacy
of the SVII camera and image recognition sat measuring and detecting coral