Northern Red Sea Corals Pass Heat Stress Test with Flying Colors

June 2nd 2021
This EurekAlert news release reports that scientists subjected Gulf of Aqaba corals to a range of heat stresses including the higher temperatures likely to occur in the coming decades. The average maximum monthly temperature in these waters is currently around 27°C, so the scientists exposed coral samples to temperatures of 29.5 °C, 32 °C and 34.5 °C, over both a short time period (three hours) and a longer one (one week). "The main thing we found is that these corals currently live in temperatures well below the maximum they can withstand with their molecular machinery, which means they're naturally shielded against the temperature increases that will probably occur over the next 100 or even 200 years," says Romain Savary of EPFL in Switzerland and lead author of the study.

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