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Stanford scientists searching for strongest coral

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stanford marine biologists are searching for the world's strongest coral. Right now they're in the South Pacific studying why some coral reefs survive the effects of climate change while others die.

Professor Stephen Palumbi and his research team are currently on an expedition in American Samoa on a little island called Ofu.

Scientists worry coral reefs are at risk of dying as climate change raises ocean temperatures, but Palumbi says his team has found reefs that are actually thriving in warm lagoons.

"They are growing in water temperature that's 92-94 degrees Fahrenheit and that's the question, how are they managing to do that? We've been measuring their growth rate and they are growing quite well," Palumbi said.

Researchers are measuring the growth by placing coral in stress tanks. Their hope is to find reefs that are just as strong as those in the Cook Islands and then find the best ways to protect them.

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stanford university, climate change, green
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