Coral may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought

By on January 9, 2014

A study of coral reefs in the Cayman Islands shows that the marine habitats may be more resilient than previously believed, Reuters reported.

Rising temperatures from 1999 to 2004 led to a 40 percent decline in coral cover during that period. The 13-year study by university researchers and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute found that Cayman reefs had regained size and density to 1999 levels, indicating that reefs may have a chance to overcome some climate change.

Up to 25 percent of marine organisms live in coral reef environments. Though high global temperatures are regarded as the greatest threat to reefs, pollution, overfishing and dredging can also cause harm.

Image: Coral reef (Credit: Terry Hughes, Wikimedia Commons)

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