Researchers Identify A Coral Specie That Might Survive The Global Warming; Genetic Diversity Found

First Posted: Nov 19, 2016 04:20 AM EST

One of the problems that the scientists are facing today is the dying of coral reefs. It has been reported that the Great Barrier Reef is currently facing the death of corals due to coral bleaching. Climate change continues to hit more damages on corals reefs. But, a new research shows that a certain type of coral specie manages to survive given the extreme cold.

If the global temperature is going to continue at 0.5 degrees Celsius not counting the 1-degree increase in the last 130 years, the scientists are scared that the ocean acidification and coral bleaching could result for the ecosystem to collapse globally.

However, as the new research shows, that at a certain time in the history of the Earth that the planet experiences extreme cold, some coral species might actually be heftier than most people think.

Coral species in the Caribbean increased steadily between 2.5 million and 3.5 million years ago. However, 2 million years ago, the planet Earth had experienced an extreme coolness with the glaciers covering most of the northern hemisphere. It resulted in the fall of sea level, leaving a shallow water near the coast that was ideal for corals, according to Science Daily.

Despite the mass extinction, Orbicella is a coral species that manages to survive, according to the report that was published in the journal Current Biology by the researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

Dr. Carlos Prada a researcher said that the reason for surviving of the coral species is that it is equipped with high genetic diversity. In the future, it could help cope the rising of temperature caused by global warming, according to The Independent.

Dr. Prada said that "We see hope in our results that Orbicella species survived a dramatic environmental variation event. It is likely that surviving such difficult times made these coral populations more robust and able to persist under future climatic change."

Some animals and plants will not be able to survive if the environment continues to change. Nonetheless, species that are made up with a huge amount of genetic variation is more likely to survive the environmental change and still form a feasible population.

Dr. Prada added that "Having a lot of genetic variants is like buying a lot of lottery tickets."

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