Long-term observation of coral reefs indicate rising sea levels “not only promoted coral cover” but also “limit damaging effects of thermally-induced bleaching” (Brown et al., 2019).
Image Source: Brown et al., 2019
This new paper is an expansion of the research conducted by the same lead author in 2011 (Brown et al.). Brown and colleagues concluded a growth in coral cover is positively correlated with rising sea levels. The authors further suggest “the overall picture for these shallow coral reefs is a positive one” due to rising sea levels and rapid recovery rates.
Image Source: Brown et al., 2011
Another new study (Zinke et al., 2019) indicates there is no correlation between coral growth rates (calcification, skeletal density) and long-term (since 1910) changes in sea surface temperatures. In other words, a regional warming trend in the tropical Atlantic has not been associated with a decline in coral cover.