Out of Africa

Out of Africa corals across the world may be getting afflicted by diseases transmitted through the dust coming out of deserts in Africa. Moreover, the dust may also be the reason behind a global rise in respiratory infections. This has been proposed by Dick Barber of the Duke University in Beaumont, North Carolina, usa . Barber contends that the prolonged drought conditions that have prevailed in the Sahel region of Africa since the mid-1970s have led to a five-fold rise in the atmospheric dust load. If true, the problem is quite serious. Corals are absolutely crucial to the marine ecosystem and lie at the core of the marine food web. Barber disclosed these findings at a meeting of the us Global Change Research Program in the last week of June in Washington, dc .

The dust rises high into the atmosphere and is blown across the world by winds. It carries bacteria, viruses and fungi that are capable of killing coral. To add to the woes, the dust is rich in iron, which fertilises algae that cover the reefs and creates ideal conditions for algal blooms that further harm corals. Coral reefs are suffering from epidemics such as white band and black band disease and a bacterial infection known as

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