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Scientists study the Galapagos to try and understand how to preserve the unique ecosystem. The research vessel Golden Shadow will take five years to explore the reefs of the world for the Global Reef Expedition.
Near Wolf and Darwin Islands, Peter Glynn studies changes that have occurred in the reefs since a fatal El Nino; strong currents make diving dangerous. Brian Beck notes that schools of fish make photographing corals for analysis difficult.
Coral reefs are an indicator if the ocean's overall health. Galapagos National Park researcher Mathias Espinosa describes the region's corals in depth. Scientists study the recovery of the southern Galapagos reefs.
The ecosystem in the southern Galapagos is different because of the proximity to the equator and Humboldt Current. Glynn is discouraged by how little of the reef has recovered since El Nino. Tesearchers discover drastic ocean acidification.
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Situated at the confluence of major currents, the Galapagos Islands are not tropical – in fact they are cold. Reefs were only discovered here in 1975. With the help of a local guide, the team battles rough seas and cold water. They discover some flourishing reefs at Darwin Island and, further south, a natural laboratory to test the future of what reefs might expect in just a few decades.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©2017
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