Galapagos Corals May Predict the Future of Reefs Worldwide
Author: Julian Smith
Source: Environment News Service
November 20, 2012
"LANDOVER, Maryland, November 20, 2012 (ENS) – The Galapagos Islands have been famous for a century and a half, but even Charles Darwin did not suspect that the archipelago’s list of living wonders included coral reefs. It took until the 1970s before scientists realized that the islands do, in fact, have coral. But in 1983, the year the first major report on Galapagos reef formation was published, they were almost obliterated by El Niño.
This summer, a major coral survey found that some of the islands’ coral communities are showing promising signs of recovery. Their struggle to survive may tell us what is in store for the rest of the world, where almost three-quarters of corals are predicted to suffer long-term damage by 2030.
The Galapagos are a tough place for coral to grow. Directly on the equator in the eastern Pacific, the islands sit at the intersection of five major ocean currents, both warm surface currents and cool, deep currents."
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