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A Natural Global Warming Lab
A field station in American Samoa has been set up in an attempt to understand the effects of climate change on coral reefs. In a lagoon on Ofu Island, the water temperature is hotter than average with wide fluctuations in temperature. If global warming proceeds as projected, eventually water temperature throughout the tropics will resemble that of this lagoon. Water as warm as Ofu's is usually deadly to coral, but colonies thrive there. A group of graduate students and faculty are transplanting coral from the warm lagoon to the cooler forereef, and vice versa, hoping to understand why these particular corals can survive the heat.
See the results in "Coral & Ubiquitin"
Aeby, G. et al. (2008, June 10). The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of American Samoa. The Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment. PDF retrieved 15 September 2008 from http://ccmaserver.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/coral2008/pdf/AmSamoa.pdf
Craig, P. et al. (2001). High temperatures tolerated by a diverse assemblage of shallow water coral in America Samoa. Coral reefs 20: 185-189. PDF retrieved 15 September 2008 from http://www.springerlink.com/content/x8rywk9a39caj9tj/fulltext.pdf
Piniak, G. et al. (2004, October). Persistence of coral reefs under extreme environmental stress in American Samoa. US Geological Survey. Retrieved 11 August 2008 from http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2004/10/fieldwork3.html
Smith, L. (2004, December 12). University of Hawaii American Samoa Projects. University of Hawaii. Retrieved 11 August 2008 from http://www.hawaii.edu/coral/American%20Samoa.htm
Smith, L. & Birkeland, C. (2003, October). Managing NPSA’s Coral Reefs in the Face of Global Warming: Research Project Report for Year 1. University of Hawai`i at Manoa. PDF retrieved 15 September 2008 from http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/basch/uhnpscesu/pdfs/sam/Smith2003AS.pdf
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