Corals bleached (got very sick) in 2006 on the Great Barrier Reef, due to high temperatures. Experts thought the corals would die, but they didn't. Instead, corals have made a spectacular recovery. What happened? According to Science Daily:
the rapid recovery is due to an exceptional combination of previously-underestimated ecological mechanisms.
“Three factors were critical. The first was exceptionally high re-growth of fragments of surviving coral tissue. The second was an unusual seasonal dieback in the seaweeds, and the third was the presence of a highly competitive coral species, which was able to outgrow the seaweed.
“But this also all happened in the context of a well-protected marine area and moderately good water quality”, said Dr Diaz-Pulido.
“It is rare to see reports of reefs that bounce back from mass coral bleaching or other human impacts in less than a decade or two,” he adds
Before we get too smug about the future, we must heed the warnings of scientists that this is not going to be a typical outcome. OK, but I still want to be happy about a bit of good news. Tweet