Some Coral Reefs Are Not Affected by Climate Change

Temperatures in the ocean have consistently risen. This has led to the systematic destruction of coral reefs all over the world. Fortunately, some new research that was actually published in Global Change Biology proves that reefs located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region could be an exception to that rule. In the results of the study, the indication is that the coral reefs in that area have developed a way to handle the heat stress resulted from rising ocean temperatures, thus providing some valuable insight into the potential for survival that reefs located in other, less adaptable oceans of the world. This optimistic study made it to print this month.

Author’s Opinion

James W. Porter, the senior author of this study, has explained that their research, which has gone for 44 years, proves that the amount of corals that are alive has remained essentially unchanged in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region. He has continued by saying that the live coral cover has gone up, then down, all in response to bleaching induced by the El Nino current, but there is a difference between these coral reefs and the ones located in other parts of the world, such as in the Caribbean and in the Indo Pacific area. It would appear the reefs located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region have found their own way to bounce back from any disasters that might occur.

The Research

This research was performed by a team of scientists from all over the world, but it was led by Dr Mauricio Romero-Torres, a researcher affiliated with the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Unidad Nacional para la Gestion del Riesgo de Desasres, which can be translated to the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management in Bogota, Columbia. The study paid attention to large stretches of ocean, ranging from California all the way to the Galapagos Islands, starting in 1970 and ending in 2014.

Melanie J. Gullett
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