Corals And Climate Change

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A modest new lab at the Rosenstiel School is the first of its kind to tackle the global problem of climate change impacts on corals.

Fully operational this month, this new lab has begun to study how corals respond to the combined stress of greenhouse warming and ocean acidification.

The lab is the first to maintain corals under precisely controlled temperature and carbon dioxide conditions while exposing them to natural light conditions.

Using two Caribbean coral species as its study subjects, Montastraea faveolata (mountainous star coral) and Porites furcata (finger coral), the research team will study how the world’s increasingly acidic oceans (caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide) affect these corals when accompanied with increasing ocean temperatures as well.