Geoengineering of the climate may be the only way to save coral reefs from mass bleaching, according to new research.
Coral reefs are considered one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to future climate change due to rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, which is caused by higher atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
Mass coral bleaching, which can lead to coral mortality, is predicted to occur far more frequently over the coming decades, due to the stress exerted by higher seawater temperatures.
Scientists believe that, even under the most ambitious future CO2 reduction scenarios, widespread and severe coral bleaching and degradation will occur by the middle of this century.
The collaborative new research, which includes authors from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Exeter, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of Queensland, suggest that a geoengineering technique called Solar Radiation Management (SRM) reduces the risk of global severe bleaching.
The SRM method involves injecting gas into the stratosphere, forming microscopic particles which reflect some of the sun’s energy and so help limit rising sea surface temperatures.
The study compared a hypothetical SRM geoengineering scenario to the most aggressive future CO2 reduction strategy considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and found that coral reefs fared much better under geoengineering despite increasing ocean acidification.
The Latest on: Coral bleaching
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The Latest on: Coral bleaching
- Insuring Nature to Ensure a Resilient Futureon September 7, 2019 at 4:22 pm
But coral reefs can themselves be damaged by severe storms—especially those that have already been weakened by pollution, disease, overfishing and bleaching—which then greatly reduces the protection ...
- Reefs In Hot Water: Keys On High Alert For Coral Bleachingon September 5, 2019 at 6:44 pm
All of the Florida Keys reef is under thermal stress — meaning the water is warm enough that corals may start bleaching. Corals bleach when they expel the algae that feed them and give them color.
- Another Blow for the Future of Coralson September 5, 2019 at 3:07 pm
In some places, these mass-bleaching events are happening too often for the reefs ... “Usually, when we survey a coral reef, we measured things like the percentage of live coral cover, or the ...
- Breakdown in spawning synchrony: A silent threat to coral persistenceon September 5, 2019 at 11:41 am
Our changing climate is a threat to corals, causing disfiguring bleaching and mortality to reefs that once teemed with life. Shlesinger and Loya alert us to an equally dangerous yet nearly invisible ...
- Climate change is knocking coral mating dance out of sync, Israeli study findson September 5, 2019 at 12:47 am
The coral benefits from the sugars, oxygen and waste removal services supplied by the algae. When the seawater warms too much, however, corals will expel their algae lodgers and turn white in an event ...
- Hope for 'coral candy' algae to give Great Barrier Reef a sugar hiton September 2, 2019 at 4:33 am
The research was published as the latest report on the condition of the Great Barrier Reef saw its outlook downgraded from "poor" to "very poor", owing to coral bleaching and deforestation. Loading ...
- Great Barrier Reef: Outlook for Australia's coral network downgraded to 'very poor' due to warming oceanson August 30, 2019 at 12:18 am
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's condition report, which is updated every five years, is the latest bad news for the 133,360sq mile colourful coral network off the north-east Australian ...
- Climate change, human activity lead to nearshore coral growth declineon August 28, 2019 at 10:03 am
The research team looked at the relationship between growth rates and specific acute stress events, such as coral bleaching. Coral bleaching happens when corals become stressed by pollution or ...
- Scientists reproduced Atlantic coral in a laboratory for the first time. Aquarium-grown coral could save America's 'Great Barrier Reef.'on August 28, 2019 at 5:58 am
Techniques perfected on Pacific coral could help repopulate Atlantic coral reefs, too. Here's what the successful efforts look like.
- ASU working to save Hawaiian coral reefs during onset of new ocean heatwaveon August 28, 2019 at 12:50 am
If the ocean continues to warm even further as projected, we are likely to witness severe and widespread coral bleaching across the Islands." This event is coming a mere four years after the ...
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