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Coral Reefs Just Might Survive

Marine biologist John Pandolfi discusses historical reconstructions that suggest there yet be hope for saving Earth's ailing coral reefs.

Can coral reefs survive?

Coral reefs are in serious trouble worldwide, endangered by overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change. But hope is not yet lost.

Dr. John Pandolfi, a marine biologist and professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, talks about how reefs are surprisingly resilient to threats. In a study recently published in the journal Ecology, he reconstructed a more-than 100,000-year history for coral reefs in Papua New Guinea. This reconstruction shows that  reefs bounce back from periods of severe stress with much more vigor than people had ever imagined.

Consequently, conservation efforts that give coral reefs even a little bit of breathing room could pay giant dividends in saving the reefs and the countless species that depend on them.

Music for Curiouser and Curiouser is provided by Jamie Miller and by David Matheson.