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The race to save the world’s corals against climate change

© Klaus Thymann

This is climate crisis with some positive news. Global heating is affecting corals negatively. Over the last ten years, one-fourth of human-emissions of carbon dioxide as well as 90 percent of additional warming due to the greenhouse effect have been absorbed by the oceans. Warmer waters, change in acidity as well as pollutants, is stressing the coral reefs of the planet’s oceans. This is causing coral bleaching and death.

But recent research indicates that certain Red Sea species of coral are more resistant to the key causes of bleaching, namely heating and acidity. However that slight advantage only plays out if there are not other negative environmental factors (nutrients, pollutants, physical damage from tourism etc).

To help give corals a fighting chance in the future, a group of scientists from Israel, Jordan, Egypt and other Red Sea states have come together to form a working group. They defy religion, regional national disagreements and want to decode the corals with the aim to be ready for climate change. They work under a Swiss body (based in Bern) so officially they do not have direct contact, however they are willing to be on record about the collaboration.

Thymann recently visited the coral nursery and lab in Jordan, and followed the journey from lab to ocean.

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