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New research highlights the devastation caused when global-scale ocean warming interacts with short-lived weather anomalies, and adds urgency to the question of how reefs will fare through the end of this century.
Scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. But a new study by WHOI scientists shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way and mitigate the warming near a handful of islands right on the equator. As a result these Pacific islands may become isolated refuges for corals and fish.
New evidence of sea-level oscillations during a warm period that started about 125,000 years ago raises the possibility of a similar scenario if the planet continues its more recent warming trend, says a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Coral reefs around the world are in serious trouble from pollution, over-fishing, climate change and more. The last thing they need is an infection. But that’s exactly what yellow band disease (YBD) is—a bacterial infection that sickens coral colonies. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues have found that YBD seems to be getting worse with global warming and announced that they’ve identified the bacteria responsible for the disease.
Corals from Papua New Guinea and Barbados indicate that changes in sea level, one of the key indexes for global climate change, may have been more frequent in the past than previously thought.
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