Corals have a refuge from global warming: Northern Red Sea | GBRI

At a time when coral reefs around the world are experiencing bleaching events due to rising sea temperatures, the news that a stretch of nearly 1,120 miles in Northern Red Sea can provide a safe refuge for another 100-150 years is quite heartening. The northern tip of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba could be one of the few and one of the largest refuges for corals.

To reach these conclusions, scientists compared patterns of coral heat sensitivity across the Red Sea to a data-set of coral bleaching events since 1982. This allowed them to identify areas least susceptible to thermal stress and were able to conclude that the Red Sea’s northern coral was less susceptible to rises in water temperature.

However, tucked between Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the coral will also have to contend with local, human-made threats, such as pollution and coastal development apart from global warming.

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