Coral Reef Table

Coral Reefs are one of the prime "Canaries in the Coal Mine", warning us to take heed.  Tropical Coral Reefs exist and thrive in a narrow temperature range, and are a critical part of the oceans' ecosystem.  There are a vast variety of fish who depend on living in or around coral reefs.   They are being threatened by rising ocean temperatures and by the increasing acidity of the ocean waters, due to increasing amounts of carbon dioxide absorbed and dissolved in the water. (The oceans are the largest "sink" for carbon dioxide.)  The exoskeletons of coral are calcium carbonate, an alkali, which is "attacked" by acidic water.  Similarly, all shellfish will be similarly affected, as will phytoplankton, which are the bottom of the oceanic food chain, affecting everything above them.  The first threat to the reefs is bleaching, where the algae that lives on surface of the coral, and which gives them color.  Too many bleachings weakens the coral, and can lead to coral death.

This piece is nominally a table, with the body of coopered bamboo plywood, the pedetal of anodized aluminum, and the coral reef, by ceramist Karen Singer, is clay tile.  Two thirds of the "reef" is healthy and vibrant, and the remainder is bleached and dying.