Corals and global warming: the Mediterranean VS the Red Sea
Corals and global warming: the Mediterranean versus the Red Sea Project conceivers: Zvy Dubinsky, Bar-Ilan University, Israel,Stefano Goffredo and Giuseppe Falini, Alma Mater Studiorum- University of Bologna, Italy www.CoralWarm.eu
Institutions:Bar-Ilan University; University of Bologna Project duration: 5 years ERC support: 3.3 million euros
CO2 and Mineral Saturation Increase in atmospheric CO2 (see fig) increases pCO2 in surface seawater. Potentially inhibiting effect on calcifying organisms (corals and coralline algae) due to decrease in saturation state of CaCO3 with increasing pCO2. Possible stimulatory effect of increased CO2 on some algae Decreasing calcification along with increasing sea level may result in reefs being unable to keep up. Likewise corals may change the density of their skeletons in response to decreased calcification, if density is lower then corals more susceptible to physical damage from storms and bioerosion
The anthropogenic CO2 emissions and ozonedestruction result in processes detrimental tovarious marine biota, in addition to their publicizedsocial, political and economic aspects. Theseinclude seawater warming, ocean acidification andsea level rise.
As a result of increasesin pCO2 and changingCaCO3 saturation state,there was a 10 %decrease in calcificationfrom 1890 - 1990 and9 - 30 % from 1990 -2100. Gattuso et al, 1999
Thus, there is unprecedented urgency to quantify the effects of global warming on calcifying organisms and the associated ecosystem.CoralWarm focuses on the effects oftemperature warming on corals, including synergistic effects with theongoing seawater pH decrease.
The aim of the project is creating a predictive model of coral survival and reef community structure changes for Mediterranean and Red Sea species, under various Global Climate scenariosCoralWarm will provide the first estimate oftemperature warming impact on the Mediterraneanand the Red Sea coral system. The scenario for thenext century will be outlined
CoralWarm’s highly interdisciplinary character lies in the collaboration and ideas exchange among various disciplines of the academic world Zvy Dubinsky, Oren Levy, Yuri Giuseppe Falini, Stefano Goffredo, Kamenir Erik Caroselli, Francesco Zaccanti, Paola Fantazzini, Luca Pasquini Photobiology, physiology, gene expression, biostatistics Crystallography, mineralization, histology, biometry, population dynamics, nuclear magnetic resonance, mechanical propertiesExternal collaborators: Mutaz Al Qutob (Department of Biology, Al-Quds University),Mary Alice Coffroth (Department of Biological Sciences, State University of NewYork), Jaap Kaandorp (Section Computational Sciences, University of Amsterdam),Aldo Shemesh (Department of Evironmental Sciences and Energy Research,Weizmann Institute of Science)