Pristine undamaged coral reef near Tahiti gives scientists hope


A large, pristine coral reef was discovered 30 meters below the surface, near Tahiti. The research mission, aided by UNESCO, decribed rose-shaped corals, that stretch over 3 kilometres in length and 60 metres in width. This coral reef shows no signs of bleaching, which is exceptional. Coral bleaching is a phenomenon that occurs when the seawater becomes warmer, mainly due to climate change, and the coral polyps expell the algae that live in symbiosis in the coral. When that happens, corals can no longer carry out necessary ecosystem services, because without the algae, they receive 90% less energy to function.

Coral reefs are a source of food and refuge for marine life. Moreover, coral reefs provide protection against coastal erosion and tsunamis. They are among the most vulnerable ecosystems on earth. This newly discovered coral reef of Tahiti may be intact because it is located in deeper waters, which do not warm up as quickly. Most known coral reefs are no deeper than 25 metres. This discovery gives scientists hope that there may be more coral reefs in deeper waters, and that with new insights they can further contribute to the protection of coral reefs.

Article by Elisabeth Bonne, sustainable development policy officer.

Good Climate News is an initiative by the Bonne sisters from Belgium, Elisabeth, Helena and Kathelijne. "We believe in the power of good news".

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