Publication:Giant underwater waves keep corals cool

Publication:Giant underwater waves keep corals cool

By In Publication, REPORT On 2019-12-02

Alex Wyatt and authers including Professor Toshi Nagata published a paper in  Nature Geoscience, on November 18, 2019.

Surfers aren’t the only ones living for good waves. Coral reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean may be staying alive in refuges created by waves of cooler water which protect them – at least for now – from the heat of climate change, according to ocean researchers in Japan, Hong Kong and the United States.

“Reducing heating events on coral reefs is important because coral reefs are gravely threatened by recent ocean warming. High water temperatures can cause serious coral bleaching, especially during El Niño heat waves,” said Alex Wyatt, who began this study while working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo and is currently an assistant professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

When water temperatures become too hot, the colorful microorganisms that live inside the corals are expelled, leaving the corals a ghostly white. Corals can sometimes survive a temporary bleaching event, but if the microorganisms stay away for too long, entire corals and large areas of reefs can die.




Wyatt, A.S.J., Leichter, J.J., Toth, L.T., Miyajima, T., Aronson, R.B. and Nagata, T, “Heat accumulation on coral reefs mitigated by internal waves. ,” Nature Geoscience :November 18, 2019, doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0486-4.

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