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Can coral reefs survive a warming planet?

Shallow water provides habitat for branching corals (Acropora spp), as seen here on a reef flat in Guam. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Jonathan Brown
Shallow water provides habitat for branching corals (Acropora spp), as seen here on a reef flat in Guam. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Jonathan Brown

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems.

More than 54 percent of reef areas in the global ocean are experiencing bleaching-level heat stress, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch. Coral reefs cover less than one percent of ocean area, but they provide habitat to a quarter of all marine species.

Guests:

Mary Hagedorn, marine biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology

Jennifer Moore, threatened coral recovery coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Resources:

NOAA: NOAA confirms 4th global coral bleaching event

The New York Times: The Widest-Ever Global Coral Crisis Will Hit Within Weeks, Scientists Say

The Washington Post: Can Corals Be Saved?

The Conversation: As climate change and pollution imperil coral reefs, scientists are deep-freezing corals to repopulate future oceans

Vox: The end of coral reefs as we know them

Heated: The only way to save coral reefs

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.