Corals might be able to survive climate change thanks to multinational ocean sanctuaries

Corals might be able to survive climate change thanks to multinational ocean sanctuaries ...

In the next 20 years, alarming studies predict that roughly 70% to 90% of coral reef habitats might vanish from our oceans due to climate fluctuations and pollution. These natural habitats are vital to the planet''s biodiversity and must be protected at all costs.

Divergent methods to safeguard the coral reefs

A new study by Florida Tech teaches the public that multinational reef networks are the best chance corals have to survive the severe consequences of climate change.

Although traditional marine reserves were often designed to prevent over-harvesting, the study suggests the establishment of large mesoscale multinational sanctuaries to safeguard the natural diversity that is needed to sustain evolution adaptation, according to Rob van Woesik, a professor and director of the Institute for Global Ecology. Both coral reef habitats and genetic diversity are critical to maintaining climate-proof reefs.

There are several examples of such large multi-national zones on land, and we must make similar efforts in the ocean, according to post-doctoral researcher Tom Shlesinge.

A need for international collaborations

BothShlesinger andvan Woesik are from Florida Tech. They led the new research with the help of 26 colleagues from across the globe. The result study stressed the need for international collaborations to combat the ever-emerging coral reefs problem.

Innovative, interdisciplinarous solutions and innovative molecular techniques will help alleviate thermal stress''s responses and, therefore, improved the identification of corals best suited for restoration efforts," said Van Woesik.

The researcher then stated that the best way to save the coral reefs is by reducing greenhouse gases emissions, a new target that many organizations have been working on. The research is published in the journal Global Change Biology.


The worldwide implications of climate change are evident in every marine ecosystem. As a result, mass coral bleaching and mortality have emerged as ubiquitous response to ocean warming, yet this epiphenomenon demonstrates that data and processes can improve predictive models, and that data can be used to guide decision-making and conservation efforts. Together, multinational networks may be the best chance corals to persist through climate change.

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