Scientists carried out a new research showing that rising temperatures reduce stress on coral reefs of 30-150 meters ( mesophoten zone) from the sea surface. Previously, researchers used sea-surface temperature data collected by satellites to predict the temperature-related stress on corals. New research shows that the sea surface temperature alone could not accurately predict the thermal load of the coral.
Deeper corals are considered safer from the warming of the ocean than their flat counterparts. The researchers studied two decades of data sets on sea level, sea surface temperature and temperature differences between surface and mesophoton zones to develop a predictive tool to understand how corals are affected by rising temperatures.
Doctoral student Travis Schramek, lead author of the study said, quoted by ANI, "We are now adding the dimension of depth to the problem, where we previously only measured the surface area of what temperature stress for coral." Skimming We have seen that the heat induced Stress permeates all the way into the mesophilic zone during major bleaching events. "
Scientists used a network of reef temperature recorders operated by CRRF divers at key locations in Palau. The recorders were set deep to 90 meters depth. A team of divers conducted weekly dives for 20 years to observe changes to the reefs as part of the temperature monitoring program. Deeper zones show a bleaching that coincides with the higher temperature along with the shallow reefs, as observations show.
Travis Schramek combined the measurements of sea level and surface temperature and found that sea level levels strongly indicate temperature changes at lower levels. Schramek with the team used this data to predict the temperature in shallow coral reefs and deeper reefs.
"One surprising finding from the study is that the oceanic conditions along the dramatic reef walls that form the boundaries of Palau are very representative of the wider western Pacific," said Eric Terrill, an oceanographer quoted by ANI.
Schramek believes that research can now be used to predict temperature changes and their impact on coral reefs. He added, "If we can better understand how stressed they are, we can better understand how we can protect them," ANI said.
The results were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Letters. The research team says they can use new knowledge to predict thermal stresses and better understand the coral reef system. This could help them develop a conservation policy to protect the diverse and valuable ecosystem.