Pity the poor fragile threatened doomed little Great Barrier Reef:
From a boat at sea, the Australian Great Barrier Reef seems invincible, its myriad corals stretching beyond sight.
But the reef’s vastness covering 2,300 kilometers, or 1,450 miles, and wave- smashing outcrops mask fragility in the face of climate change threatening to bleach its fluorescent depths the stark white of death.
The reef … will be “functionally extinct” by 2050, [according to] a draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in the past week.
Coral geneticists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science have found that many corals store several types of algae, which can improve their capacity to cope with warmer water.
“This work shatters the popular view that only a small percentage of corals have the potential to respond to warmer conditions by shuffling live-in algal partners,” said institute marine scientist Madeleine van Oppen …
The Australian scientists said this “shuffle” ability might explain why coral reefs have been able to survive for thousands of years during various climate changes.
Which may have involved a few coldenings.