View all images

How will the coral reefs respond to climate change?

Researchers conducted an experiment at the Heron Island research station from 2011 to 2012 to determine how corals could be affected by future changes in ocean temperature and ocean chemistry. To do this, they created four mesocosms, a little like big tanks, and placed types of coral and other reef life in each of them. Computer controls adapted the temperature and pH levels in each to replicate both the actual conditions on the reef in the present day (the control) as well as future and past scenarios. Have a look at the gallery to see how the different mesocosms responded. Each of the following videos is made up of photos showing how the corals were affected by changing temperatures over a 15 month period.

Full details of the research can be found in the paper, Coral reef decalcification under business-as-usual, by Dove, et al., published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2013

STEAM Activities age bookmark-fill icon bookmark boy-girl broadcast icon calendar chevron-down icon close icon compass cross icon download external icon facebook gallery icon instagram icon Instagram icon linkedin links icon live-lessons icon location mail icon map next play previous professional-development right-arrow icon search share single image social-media speaker spinner icon students subject-update teacher-resources tick icon time twitter user video-lesson video youtube