The Gulf of Aqaba : a coral reef resisting global warming
While corals are dying out across the world because of the rise in ocean temperatures, this coral reef is thriving.
This coral reef is resisting the effects of global warming
While corals are dying out across the world because of the rise in ocean temperatures, the Gulf of Aqaba’s coral reef is thriving. Situated to the north of the Red Sea, this barrier reef spreads out across several kilometers. It is home to a very rich biodiversity including species that are endangered everywhere else. This unprecedented situation is being studied closely by scientists.
Swiss and Israeli researchers discovered that these corals could resist very high temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. One of their hypotheses to explain this resilience is that this coral reef first appeared south of the Red Sea before migrating towards the north. The temperatures they face today are therefore the same as those they initially formed in. However, the reef is threatened by an increase in tourists on the Gulf of Aqaba’s coastlines.
The organization Project Azraq organizes dives with volunteers to clean the reef and increase public awareness. While the Gulf of Aqaba’s reef is one of the last oceanic ecosystems to be spared by global warming, an international group of scientists have called for UNESCO to list it as a Marine World Heritage Site.
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