Climate change and rising ocean temperatures are causing massive, worldwide coral bleaching events. The ultimate solution to protecting coral reefs from climate change is the aggressive reduction in carbon emissions on a worldwide scale. Yet, given the complexity of global action needed for climate change mitigation, many conservationists are seeking actionable interventions implemented at the local scale to reduce the impacts of warming on coral reefs.
These ‘local levers’ may help reefs withstand a rapidly changing climate, at least in the near term, while we wait for concerted global action to halt global warming.
In our previous research funded by the Zegar Family Foundation (ZFF), we asked two critical questions: (1) Where in the world do corals bleach and die less or more than expected? and (2) What factors predict these coral reef ‘bright spots’ and ‘dark spots’, respectively? Here, we are seeking a continuation of our ZFF funded project in order to use the knowledge gained in our previously-funded work that identified how local stressors exacerbate coral bleaching to put into action local interventions that mitigate the effects of warming on coral reefs in Mo’orea, French Polynesia.