This new study reveals evidence that some corals are adapting to warming ocean waters — offering great hope following recent reports of coral die-offs due to rising temperatures.
Researchers observed how reefs in two Kenyan marine national parks responded to extreme temperature exposure over time. They found that 11 of the 21 coral species that they studied showed less of the destructive coral bleaching than others.
Looking at two similarly severe warming events in 1998 and 2016, Wildlife Conservation Society zoologist Tim McClanahan found that the number of pale and bleached coral colonies declined from 73% to 27%, and 96% to 60%, in the two parks with different background temperatures. About half of the most common species did not bleach strongly in 2016.