Global warming causes corals to thrive

3e5d8827-3a4a-4076-8017-c268c56a7b6e

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021


Global warming might not be all bad.

Global warming might not be all bad. Some corals are flourishing, heard this week's annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle, Washington.

At least one Caribbean genus, Acropora, seems to have capitalised on warmer sea temperatures to expand its range northwards, as it did in the past. So says William Precht of PBS&J, an environmental engineering company based in Miami, Florida, and Richard Aronson of Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.

In 1998, live samples of the coral were found near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in 2002 in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas. Similar northward expansions have been spotted in Pacific corals. "The silver lining in the cloud is that there are these bright spots where some corals aren't going to go extinct and might even expand," Precht told the meeting.

For corals, most of the news on global warming has been bad. Warmer waters are thought to boost diseases and cause bleaching.

However, geologist Dennis Hubbard of Oberlin College in Ohio says the population is likely to swell only if tropical sea temperatures stay below the coral's upper temperature limit of 32C/90F.