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Q&A with Steve Palumbi on saving coral

Damselfish swim around coral in Palau.

Damselfish swim around coral in Palau

Image credit: Rob Dunbar
Jan 10 2019

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In the News

By Taylor Kubota

As the climate warms up, ocean heat waves are damaging coral – causing what’s known as coral bleaching. Scientists have established this fact and detailed the present and future consequences. Now, it’s time to do something about it. This is the basic motivation behind a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study conducted by a committee chaired by Stanford University marine biologist, Stephen Palumbi. The first of these reports was published Nov. 28 and the second report is scheduled to come out in 2019.

“This is the first of two reports which are intended to determine what we can do to make coral reefs more resilient to climate change,” said Palumbi, who is the Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor in Marine Sciences and a professor of biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences. “ This report is like laying out our tools to see what people are talking about, what they have tested already, how far they’ve gotten, what the risks are, the limits, the advantages, the costs. Everything that we could find out about interventions is in this report.