This is news for no one, climate change and human activity are a threat to coral, which is home to a quarter of marine biodiversity. That is why this team of Jordanian scientists is working to strengthen the barrier in the Red Sea.
It is well known that global warming, and therefore that of the oceans, affects coral in a negative way. This is why the teams of Dr. Foad Al Horani, a professor of coral eco-physiology, based in the port of Aqaba in northern Jordan, are working on local species.
In concrete terms, their work consists of creating a reservoir of species for the rest of the world. By using this coral “toolbox”, they are striving to create more resistant ones with a more complete genetic heritage. By combining different species, each resistant to a type of disease or stressor, within a few years, new ones are born, stronger than each of the original species.
Preserving the aquatic heritage
Among the other avenues explored by scientists around coral reefs, some consist of freezing and conserving individuals in anticipation of possible mass extinction… Experts are indeed not optimistic despite the fact that the varieties found in the Red Sea are among the most resilient, and the best equipped against ocean warming.
For Jordan, which has only 27km of coastline on the Red Sea, affected by tourism, the country’s economic activity (ferries, fishermen), and shared with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, this initiative aims to preserve the quality of the water and coral found there, particularly in the Gulf of Aqaba…