Will climate change wipe out the coral reefs? Watch an expert explain why there’s still hope
Coral reefs, you may have heard, are in trouble. Big trouble. Maybe you’ve seen the pictures: ghost-white corals, bleached by high ocean temperatures, entire reefs reduced to rubble. And warm water isn’t the only threat to our favorite underwater organisms — there’s also overfishing, ocean acidification, pollution, and overzealous snorkelers to put up with. What’s a coral to do?
That’s exactly the question that Steve Palumbi, a marine biologist at Stanford University, is trying to answer. He studies corals in tropical American Samoa, where reefs thrive in extremely warm waters — in fact, in just the kinds of waters all reefs may be dealing with by 2100. We talked to Palumbi about how these Samoan “super corals” may hold a key to the survival of future reefs, and how important it is to save them from the threats they face now. Watch our video above to find out how.