Survival of Coral Reefs Requires Radical Rethink of What Conservation Means, Say Scientists

A new study encourages a new perspective on coral reef conservation: forgetting biodiversity and focusing on survival, The Guardian reports.

Scientists encourage a new perspective on coral reef conservation, suggesting concentrated effort to save parts of the reefs instead of their entirety, reports Michael Slezak for The Guardian. According to a new paper published in the journal Nature, current attempts to save coral reefs biodiversity are not working, and a new technique must be used if the reefs are to be saved at all. Half of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral was killed in 2016 and 2017.

The study encourages conservationists to focus increasing the number of species of coral that can withstand warmer ocean temperatures. This would not save the biodiversity that makes reefs so incredible, but it would save the reefs from completely dying off. This suggestion is contingent on the world achieving the goals set for them at the Paris Agreement in 2015. Not all scientists agree with this plan, arguing that it is unnatural and would be ineffective.

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