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Earlier projects

Temperate Coasts

Projects include:

Tropical Coasts

The 1990s have been characterised by a growing interest in the assessment of coral reef condition and the threats, both natural and anthropogenic, that reefs face now and in the near-future. One process of particular concern has been the phenomenon of 'coral bleaching'. This term is used to describe the whitening of corals which results from the degeneration and/or loss of symbiotic algae, the zooxanthellae, and/or the loss of cells containing zooxanthellae, from coral tissues. Elevated sea surface temperatures and high solar irradiance at UV wavelengths, by overcoming coral photo-protective mechanisms, play a key role in driving coral bleaching processes. Within the last decade, the mapping of remotely-sensed SST 'hotspots' has confirmed the importance of large-scale, El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) -related heating, cooling and migrations of ocean water masses as a prime determinant of widespread, mass coral bleaching episodes.

Projects include: