Pacific coral reef shows historic increase in thermal tolerance

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From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

August 22, 2023 by oldbrew

Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]

Corals can adapt to changing conditions, once again confounding the serial climate doom-mongers. The full article tries to link in references to ‘carbon emissions’, ‘climate change’ etc. which have no definable reference to the actual findings. The point is, nature can be adaptable, contrary to some alarmist expectations.
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Coral reefs in one part of the Pacific Ocean have likely adjusted to higher ocean temperatures which could reduce future bleaching impacts of climate change, new research reveals.

A Newcastle University-led study focused on the Pacific Island nation of Palau and has shown that historic increases in the thermal tolerance of coral reefs are possible, says Eurekalert.

The results demonstrate how this capacity could reduce future bleaching impacts if global carbon emissions are cut down. [Talkshop comment – corals are in the sea, not the air].

Drawing on decades of field observations, the scientists modelled many possible future coral bleaching trajectories for Palauan reefs, each with a different simulated rate of thermal tolerance enhancement.

They found that if coral thermal tolerance continues to rise throughout the 21st century at the most-likely historic rate, significant reductions in bleaching impacts are possible.

The findings reveal that the thermal tolerance of corals in Palau has likely increased at a rate of 0.1 °C per decade since the late 1980s. This increase suggests that natural mechanisms, such as genetic adaptation or acclimatization of corals or their symbiotic microalgae, could have contributed to the enhancement of coral thermal tolerance.

Study co-author Prof. Peter Mumby of the University of Queensland and Palau International Coral Reef Center reflects that “some of the upcoming challenges will be to disentangle which mechanisms have driven these potential shifts in tolerance, and to understand the possibility of continued future increases in thermal tolerance.”

Full article here.