A coral reef

How long can corals cope with rising temperatures?

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Repeating an experiment 47 years after it was originally carried out has revealed some rare good news about coral reefs – some species appear to have become significantly better at surviving temperature increases.

In 1970, marine zoologist Steve Coles collected three species of coral from a reef in Kāne‘ohe Bay, Hawaii. When he put them in a chamber and gradually heated the water, he found that they simply couldn’t tolerate increases of 1 to 2 degrees. They started to bleach, ejecting the colourful algae that …

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