You’ve been reading about how coral reefs in different parts of the world have been affected by global warming. Increasing sea temperature is causing corals of the sea to turn white or ‘bleach’. But one stretch of corals in the Red Sea has been able to resist this temperature change and withstand bleaching.
The waters of the Northern Red Sea are home to hundreds of kilometers of dazzling coral reefs. While temperatures in the Red Sea have risen much like they have in other oceans, the corals here have been able to deal with the change. Scientists studying them over the years have reported that no mass bleaching events have occurred at all, which is truly astonishing.
More importantly, these corals pass on this trait (of resisting bleaching) to their offspring so the next generation of corals too won’t bleach. It is not clear how the corals have resisted climate change and bleaching but studies on that are underway as this could be a solution for corals in other oceans that haven’t fared as well.
Why do corals bleach?
When the water is too warm due to higher temperatures overall, corals will expel (push out) the algae living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white.