School Library JournalGr 5-8-- It is of concern that coral reefs, sensitive biological indicators, may be dying throughout the world. After describing reef structure and environments and the significance of coral, a list of possible theories causing their deterioration is presented and discounted. The remainder of the book is devoted to global warming, which, Lampton states, is the sole reason for the demise of coral. As both coral bleaching and global warming are controversial topics, this one-sided approach does not represent the reality of scientific thinking and is very different from the author's usually balanced style. Definitions, both in the text and in the glossary, are often oversimplified and misleading. Corals (Morrow, 1966; o.p.) by Zim is good for the basics, but the black-and-white photographs are not as attractive as the good quality ones of this volume. Taylor's Coral Reef (Dorling Kinderseley, 1992) has excellent color illustrations but minimal information. --Meryl Silverstein, American Museum of Natural History, New York City
Chris ShermanAlthough scientists at the present time can only speculate about the reasons why coral reefs around the world are dying, Lampton presents a convincing argument to support the theory that global warming may be responsible for the extensive bleaching that is killing them. He believes that the reefs are the modern equivalent of the coal miner's canary, their problems early warnings of significant damage to our planet caused by our reliance on fossil fuels, pollution, and neglect of our environment. Lampton explains how reefs are formed, describes the symbiotic relationships of a reef ecosystem, and concludes with recent theories about global warming and the greenhouse effect and the potential they have for destroying reefs. Lovely color photographs of coral reefs and their inhabitants illustrate the text, and a glossary and a bibliography of recent young adult sources are provided.
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