Scientists report a surprising coral reef resilience to bleaching, as well as a growing 0.1°C per decade heat stress tolerance.
The Great Barrier Reef region has reportedly warmed by 0.8°C in the last 150 years (Page et al., 2023). This is warming rate of about 0.05°C per decade.
Scientists (Lachs et al., 2023) are now reporting that corals in Palau are rapidly developing an improved capacity to tolerate heat stress, with an estimated tolerance enhancement of about 0.1°C per decade. In other words, corals are quickly adapting to modern warming rates and associated heat-stress-induced bleaching.
Image Source: Lachs et al., 2023
As an example, a marine heatwave bleaching event affected 75-98% of Great Barrier Reef coral cover in April, 2020 (Page et al., 2023).
However, the resilient corals recovered within a span of months. In fact, there was slightly more deep coral coverage in October (65.5%) than before bleaching began in April (62.3%).
Image Source: Page et al., 2023
The warnings peddled by climate alarmists often characterize Earth’s 500 billion corals as critically endangered by modern global warming.
But the science itself says corals have been and continue thriving in the Current Warm Period – just as they have in past warm periods.
Last year Long et al., 2022 squelched at least 4 false climate alarm narratives.
- Coral reefs “develop rapidly in the warm period” (Roman, Medieval), and “coral reefs develop slowly in the cold period” (Little Ice Age, the Dark Ages Cold Period). Why? Because “warm periods are conducive to coral growth.”
- Coral reef growth rates have rapidly accelerated in the last 300 years, or since the industrial revolution commenced.
- Sea levels were 2 meters higher than they are today ~4,000 years ago, and still about 1 meter higher than today 1,000 years ago, or during the Medieval Warm Period. Lower sea levels produce a “decline in the coral reef development rate”.
- The South China Sea surface temperatures were “3 to 6°C higher than today” from about 5,000 to 4,000 years ago; coral reefs developed rapidly in that warmth.