Climate Change and Paleoclimate Reconstruction


      Studying, predicting and mitigating the effects of climate change on corals this coming century will involve the simultaneous application of research from a number of biological, oceanographic and atmospheric disciplines. Central to these investigations are studies of likely adaptation scenarios, both to higher temperatures and lower pH, and research into the likely future patterns of ocean warming and acidification in the tropics.


      NCORE is engaged in field projects that study corals which have apparently acclimatized to environments with variable CO2 levels and studies related to the combined effects of increasing both temperature and pCO2 on a suite of Caribbean coral species to predict species survival trajectories. There are long-term field studies (>20 years of continuous NSF support) that monitor the effects of climate change on coral reef ecosystems in the eastern Pacific. They have generated one of the longest datasets of its kind worldwide, and the only one to span multiple mass bleaching and mortality events. Interdisciplinary research in this area includes identifying reef areas most likely to escape the worst effects of warming in the short- to mid-term , and modeling the effects of mesoscale eddies on coral bleaching response and recovery.


Key Questions


How will global warming and episodes of coral reef bleaching impact reefs, and how should these impacts be planned for and mitigated?


How will ocean acidification and the reduced calcification potential of reef-building organisms impact the resilience of coral reefs? What role do these stresses play in explaining the growing incidence and severity of disease on coral reefs?


What can paleoclimate reconstruction tell us about the past to assist in the formulation of ecoforecasting models?




Project PI(s) Sponsor Dates
The role of algal symbiont diversity in determining the resistance of scleractinian corals to bacterial bleaching Baker, Andrew (MBF) US-Israel Bi-National Science Foundation 10/1/2007 to 9/30/2009
Calibration ofProxy Records from Coral Skeletons to Instrumental Data from St. Croix, USVI Swart, Peter (MGG) NOAA 9/1/2007 to 8/31/2008
Verification of the Use of Sclerosponges for Paleoclimatic Research Swart, Peter K (MGG) NSF 8/1/2007 to 7/31/2008
Collaborative Research: Causes for Diversity of Cold-Water Coral Mound Fields in the Straits of Florida Grasmueck, Mark (MGG) NSF 8/1/2007 to 7/31/2009
Biscayne Bay's Nearshore Habitats: Linking Seasonal Patterns In Benthic Community Structure With Salinity And Temperature Lirman, Diego (MBF) NPS 7/15/2007 to 12/31/2009
Integrated Ecological Assessment of Antigua and Barbuda  Kourafalou, Vassiliki (MPO), Lirman, Diego (MBF), McManus, John (MBF), Mcmanus, Liana (MAF), Reid, R. P (MGG), Shay, Lynn K (MPO), Zika, Rod (MAC) Stanford Foundation 6/1/2007 to 8/31/2008
Collaborative Research: Experimental Investigations of Coral Biomineralization: Understanding the Biomineralization Response to Ocean Acidification Langdon, Chris (MBF) NSF 5/1/2007 to 4/30/2010
Evaluating The Effects of Increasing PCO2 on Coral Larval Survivorship, Recruitment, and Post-Settlement Growth  Langdon, Chris (MBF) Mote Marine Laboratory 4/1/2007 to 3/31/2008
Changing by degrees: Monitoring the adaptive response of reef-building corals to climate change and coral bleaching in the US Virgin Islands following severe bleaching in 2005 Baker, Andrew (MBF) NOAA 3/1/2007 to 9/30/2008
Nitrogen Isotope Studies of Polution In The Coastal Waters of Florida  Swart, Peter K (MGG) Florida Water Environment Association 1/1/2007 to 12/31/2007
Coral resiliency to bleaching and lesioning under normal and elevated  pC02 Langdon, Chris (MBF) Conservation International 10/1/2006 to 9/30/2008
Autonomous pH and alkalinity sensors: in situ testing at La Parguera, Puerto Rico Langdon, Chris (MBF) NSF 10/1/2006 to 9/30/2010
The Role of Experience in Climate Change Detection, Risk Perception and Behavior Broad, Kenneth (MAF) NSF 8/1/2006 to 1/31/2008
Monitoring the adaptive response of corals to climate change Baker, Andrew (MBF) Wildlife Conservation Society 7/1/2006 to 6/30/2008
Resiliency of corals to changing saturation state: a field study Swart, Peter (MGG), Langdon, Chris (MBF), Millero, Frank (MAC) NSF 7/1/2006 to 6/30/2008
Climate Change Detection, Risk Perception and Behavior in Florida Broad, Kenneth (MAF) Decision Research/NSF 6/1/2006 to 12/31/2007
El Niño-Southern Oscillation Disturbances on Eastern Pacific Coral Reefs: Patters and Mechanisms Recovery Glynn, Peter (MBF) NSF 10/15/2005 to 9/30/2008
Climate change and coral reefs: Integrating calcification, photosynthesis and symbiosis flexibility into species survival trajectories for Caribbean reef corals Baker, Andrew (MBF), Langdon, Chris (MBF) NSF 10/1/2005 to 11/30/2008
Collaborative Research: A Depositional and Paleoecological Model of Neogene Reef Development in the Dominican Republic  McNeill, Donald F (MGG)  NSF 5/1/2005 to  4/30/2007
Center for the Study of Individual and Group Decision Making Under Climate Uncertainty Broad, Kenneth (MAF) Columbia University/NSF 3/1/2005 to 8/31/2009
Effects of Climate Change on Ecosystem Services Provided by Coral Reefs and Tidal Marshes Broad, Kenneth (MAF) EPA 11/1/2004 to 9/30/2007
Center for the Study of Individual and Group Decision Making Under Climate Uncertainty  Broad, Kenneth (MAF), Podesta, Guillermo (MPO) NSF 6/15/2004 to 8/31/2009