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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Shuo Li
November 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences presents the interdisciplinary seminar of graduate student, Shuo Li. This event will be held on Monday, November 16th, at 12:00 pm. This event will be held ONLINE ONLY and it will be available online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 974 6573 2747).
Seminar Title: Will coral reefs disappear by 2100?
Abstract: Rising ocean temperatures and decreasing seawater carbonate ion concentrations are the two most important issues affecting marine systems and have posed a significant threat to the coral reef ecosystems over the last several decades. Although coral reef ecosystems occupy a small portion of the world’s oceans, they harbor a large amount of the ocean’s biodiversity. Several studies project an imminent disappearance of coral reefs globally by 2100 due to annual mass bleaching events and carbonate dissolution in a warmer climate. However, emerging evidence indicates that corals may be able to respond to these stressors considering the temporary refuge of cooler waters induced by hurricanes and the potential adaptive processes in coral reef ecosystems. This seminar will discuss how ocean warming and ocean acidification have influenced the coral reef ecosystems and how corals are predicted to respond to future climate in the projections with and without adaptation. Compared with the “no adaptive response” model, the “rolling climatology” model predicts a significant reduction in high-frequency bleaching events by 2100, indicating an alternative scenario in which reef degradation occurs more slowly. Thus, accurately projecting coral reef futures requires improved understanding of past responses to rapid climate change (the related changes in temperature, acidification, and nutrients), and the costs and constraints imposed by adaptation.