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New Publications INTERVENTIONS TO INCREASE THE RESILIENCE OF CORAL REEFS A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019) Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, storm protection, tourism income, and more. Coral reefs are threatened by rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions that are warmer, less favorable for calcification, have impaired water quali- ty, and pose continuing disease threats. A growing body of research on âcoral interventionsâ aims to increase the ability of coral reefs to persist in rapidly degrading environmental conditions. These inter- ventions include stress-hardening, translocation of non-native coral stocks or species, manipulation of symbiotic partnerships within the coral holobiont, managed selection, genetic modification, and engi- Get the Report neering the local environment. A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019) A committee of the National Academies produced two reports review- ing the state of science on these novel interventions, and developing a risk assessment and decision framework regarding use of these in- terventions. The first report assesses the current state of science and readiness of the interventions under review and serves as a benchmark on current research, identifying efforts that range from those poten- tially feasible now to those that offer promise on a decadal time scale. The second report aims to help coral managers evaluate the specific needs of their site and navigate the 23 different interventions described in the first report. A case study of the Caribbean, a region with areas of Get the Report stressed coral populations plagued by disease, serves as an example for coral intervention decision making. 2
NEW REPORTS 3 Report Impact and Communications NOAA has taken on the recommendations from the second report to develop a NOAA Action Plan on Coral Interventions. The reach of the study has also been aided by the development of unique graphical and video products produced with support and collaboration from the Paul G Allen Family Foundation. What Is the Long-Term Hope for Coral? Why Consider Coral Intervention? EVALUATION OF THE USE OF CHEMICAL DISPERSANTS IN OIL SPILL RESPONSE Oil spill dispersants are one of a suite of spill response tools and technologies available to first responders. They are designed to break up oil into smaller droplets to decrease the thickness of sur- face slicks, enhance natural dispersion, and promote dissolution and biodegradation. The National Academies published a re-view of what is known about dispersants in 2005. However much has been learned over the past decade as dispersants have been used on many of the roughly 50 spills of greater than 1000 barrels that occurred worldwide. By far the biggest event was the 2010 Deep- water Horizon (DWH) oil spill, in which responders used nearly 2 million gallons of dispersants. That event brought extensive public scrutiny and vigorous de-bate over the value of dispersants as a response tool and the possibility of impacts on the marine ecosystem, seafood contamination, and exposure of workers and the public to the chemicals used. This study assessed the effects and efficacy of dispersants as an oil spill response tool and evaluated trade-offs associated with dispersant use.
4 NEW REPORTS EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO ADVANCE RESEARCH AND DECISIONS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF MICROPLASTICS: A WORKSHOP Microplastics have been detected throughout the environment, from streams to rivers to the ocean. Despite the widespread prevalence of microplas-tics, little is known about the effects they may have on living things. Organized as part of the National Academiesâ Standing Com- mittee on Use of Emerg-ing Science for Environmental Health Decisions (ESEHD), this workshop brought together the environmental science and health communities to explore how emerging technologies and research strategies could help address import- ant environmental health questions about microplastics. Par-ticipants explored methods to detect and quantify microplastics in food and the environment, delved into research on the effects of microplastics on the health of humans and wildlife, and discussed ways to reduce microplastics in the environment. The workshop ended with a session on how these new ap- proaches may be leveraged to inform public health and policy questions. Get the Workshop Proceedings SUSTAINING OCEAN OBSERVATIONS PHASE 2: WORKSHOP Uninterrupted, multi-decadal observations of the ocean are critical to understanding the Earth system as a whole and managing the oceanâs resources on which human lives and economies depend. Short-term funding cycles in the United States challenge the continuity of ocean observations over the long term, and make support of a new generation of the work- force, technology development, and the research fleet vulnerable. This workshop, held in September 2020, explored strategies to expand support for sustaining ocean observing over the long term. This workshop built on the report Sustaining Ocean Observations to Under- stand Future Changes in Earthâs Climate (2017), which documented the value of long-term ocean observations.An overarching theme of the workshop was consideration of how a col- lective impactâor, backbone,--organization might serve as a potential framework for over- coming barriers to sustained ocean observing in the United States.
NEW REPORTS 5 WORKSHOP ON EARTH SYSTEM PREDICTABILITY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Predictions of weather, air pollution, sea ice, soil moisture, ecosystem functioning, and many other components of the Earth system are increasingly critical for decision making across a wide range of sectors and timescales. Further improvements in these predictions will need to be guided by a clear understanding of what aspects of the Earth system are predictable and of the limits to that predictability. Building on ideas from a roundtable discussion, this work- shop, held in June 2020, explored opportunities for key research and development activities that would be most valuable with regard to understanding fundamental, theoretical limits of Earth system predictability. The purpose of the two convening activities was to solicit feed- back on the direction that the Federal government should take to advance understanding and application of Earth system predictability.