These 3D maps of coral reefs are totally rad

Grist

We live in a time of strange contradictions: Many of us carry around highly sophisticated, GPS- and camera-equipped supercomputers just to play 2048 on the bus, while a lot of science is still limited by rudimentary tools and a lack of information. This is especially true for marine sciences (perhaps in part because water and electronics don’t always play well together). From Wired:

“It’s crazy how behind the times we are,” says Sly Lee, a former biological science technician for the US National Park Service and founder of the Hydrous, a science communication non-profit. “We can decode coral genomes, but we can’t accurately track how fast the corals are degrading.”

Part of the problem with keeping track of coral degradation is that we lack a good yardstick — how do you measure the size of an irregularly shaped, many-branched staghorn colony? How do you track the exact hue from healthy to bleached? At the moment, it…

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