Public Lecture

Coral Reefs and Climate Change

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
August 19, 2014

What is coral bleaching? Why does the acidity and temperature of the ocean matter to corals? What is driving the stressors to coral reef systems and how are they projected to fair in the coming decades? Dr. Joanie Kleypas gives an engaging and colorful presentation of life below the ocean’s surface and how human activity is damaging coral ecosystems. Dr. Kleypas utilizes the latest in ocean modeling to project future ocean conditions juxtaposed with the global distribution of coral reefs, concluding with stories about promising attempts at reef restoration and strategies for reducing climate impacts on our oceans.

Chapters (navigate to in the progress bar or at the lower-right corner of the video):
1. Beginning (00:19)
2. Global map of coral reefs, area of coral reefs in comparison to Texas (01:38)
3. Coral reefs defined (02:45)
4. Threats to coral reefs such as climate change, pollution, exploitation (03:45)
5. Carbon cycle-sources and sinks, gas law, acidification; (04:14)
6. Global temperature projections, corresponding ocean pH changes (06:16)
7. Coral bleaching, the biology of coral, coral secretions form reefs as an abiotic structure of calcium carbonate (07:34)
8. Coral symbiosis with algae that photosynthesize, coral bleaching and ocean temperature, significant coral loss by mid-century (08:28)
9. Heat stress impacts on coral and NOAA global simulation of heat stress (11:14)
10. Map of severe coral reef bleaching (12:45)
11. Ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide into ocean, acidification chemistry, damage to shell formation (13:14)
12. Overview of the pH scale and ocean chemistry, impact on plant and animal life (15:22)
13. Acidification and corals, marine ecosystems and biodiversity loss (18:05)
14. Coral life cycle, implications for restoration, species interactions-bioerosion (20:40)
15. Media reporting (25:39)
16. Restoration strategies: reduce stressors, improved modeling to guide restoration (27:00)
17. Coral spawning event video, sources and sinks of larvae and relation to ocean currents (30:43)
18. Reef restoration techniques (33:30)
19. Summary: identify adaptation ability of different species, reduce stressors (33:48)
20. End (35:04)