red sea tagged posts

Saving the World’s Coral Reefs? Scientists Look to the Red Sea for Answers

At the ‘last coral refuge in the world,’ an European-Arab-Israeli research team aims to discover why Gulf of Eilat reefs have survived rising temperatures better than others.

A research expedition of European, Arab and Israeli scientists will sail from Eilat on Tuesday to study the characteristics of the local coral reefs that have allowed it to survive the rise in sea water temperatures. The expedition follows several studies that have found the coral reefs in the Gulf of Eilat seem to show an unusual degree of tolerance to global warming at a time when other reefs around the world are facing extinction.

The goal of the research is to understand the mechanisms the corals use to withstand bleaching...

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Red Sea Rainforests

Looking down from the International Space Station (ISS), an astronaut captured this view of the northwest coastline of Saudi Arabia, where up to 260 coral reef species thrive. The salty, warm waters off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula create an optimal environment for coral reefs to grow, mainly in shallow lagoons where the shoreline meets the Red Sea. The water transitions from bright turquoise in the lagoons to deep blue as depth increases.

Fringing reefs, which start at the shore and grow toward the sea, line the northwestern Saudi Arabian coastline. Coral reef biodiversity increases to the south, where patch and barrier reefs combine with fringing reefs to form rich ecosystems. Coral reefs are known as “rainforests of the sea” for their biodiversity and their functionality in ...

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Red Sea coral reefs ‘under threat’ from Israel-UAE oil deal

Scuba divers at a coral reef while on a dive in the Red Sea waters off the coast of Israel's southern port city

Israeli environmentalists are warning that a UAE-Israeli oil pipeline deal threatens unique Red Sea coral reefs and could lead to “the next ecological disaster”. The agreement to bring Emirati crude oil by tanker to a pipeline in the Red Sea port of Eilat was signed after Israel normalised ties with the Gulf Arab nation late last year and should come into force within months. 

With experts warning of possible leaks and spills at the ageing Eilat port, and the Israeli environmental protection ministry demanding “urgent” talks on the deal, activists mobilised last week.

They held a protest in a parking lot overlooking Eilat’s oil jetty against what they see as a disaster waiting to happen, chanting that profits will be made “at the expense of corals”.

“The coral reefs are 200 me...

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Heavy damage to the coral reef in the Red Sea

Ocean acidification is yet another effect of climate change that's killing the world's coral reefs.

Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection reported Sunday that heavy damage was caused to the coral reef in the Red Sea, off the coast of the southern resort city of Eilat. This is one of the northernmost coral reefs in the world, and the only one in Israel.

National monitoring carried out by the ministry, through The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, found that the percentage of coral living on the reef has dropped dramatically.

This is a result of an unusual storm that occurred in March 2020, causing massive damage to the infrastructure and beaches in Eilat, as well as the coral reef located in Eilat’s Coral Beach Nature Reserve.

The monitoring found that at a depth of five meters in the reserve, area covered with living corals was about 25 percent lower co...

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Protect Red Sea’s Coral Reefs, Scientists Urge

Red Sea Coral Reef with abundant fish

UNESCO should declare the Red Sea’s 4000km of coral reef a Marine World Heritage Site and take additional measures critical for the reef’s survival, urges an international group of researchers led by Karine Kleinhaus, MD, of Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS).

Their article, “Science, Diplomacy, and the Red Sea’s Unique Coral Reef: It’s Time for Action,” appears in Frontiers in Marine Science. Kleinhaus and co-authors argue that while rapid ocean warming due to climate change is predicted to decimate 70 to 90 percent of the world’s coral reefs by mid-century, the coral reef ecosystem in the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba is strikingly resilient to rising sea temperatures.

Corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northernmost portion of the Red Sea, wi...

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