Coral is far more robust in the face of global warming than scientists previously suspected, according to new research from the Smithsonian Institution.
The scientists found that coral species have survived dramatic temperature changes in the past. The number of coral species increased steadily between 3.5 million and 2.5 million years ago, despite drastic cooling.
“We see hope in our results that Orbicella species survived a dramatic environmental variation event,” Dr. Carlos Prada, who was involved in the research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, told The Independent. “It is likely that surviving such difficult times made these coral populations more robust and able to persist under future climatic change.”
The research was published in the peer-review journal Current Biology.
Scientists previously feared Earth’s coral ecosystems would break down under ecological pressures and temperature changes.
A study published in April found plankton endure temperature changes that are far more rapid and far larger than those predicted by even the most dramatic models of global warming, debunking previous research from 2012 that suggested they could be adversely affected. This would cause the ocean’s food chain to break down. Other researchers found that fish and the ocean ecosystem will likely be far more resilent to global warming than scientists originally suspected
Scientists have a long track record of finding that life will be considerably more resistant to global warming than environmentalist claims say.
Recent studies rebuke previous claims that global warming could cause the total collapse of American and global agriculture. It is the latest study to show that nature is considerably sturdy. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now believes the evidence linking global warming to extinctions is sparse.
Scientists suspect that global warming will likely have many positive environmental impacts, such as helping Canadian trees recover from a devastating insect infestation, creating more food for fish in the ocean, making life easier for Alaskan moose and improving the environment for bees.
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