Biologists are directing the evolution of corals to prepare them to fight climate change
Off the coast of American Samoa, the tropical sun beats down on a shallow tidal lagoon, heating the water to a sizzling 35 °C for a few hours each day. Such temperatures would kill off most coral reefs, and yet the Samoan lagoon hosts courtyards of antler-like branching corals and mound corals the size of refrigerators.
“The fact that they're there means they've adapted to survive,” says Steve Palumbi, a marine biologist at Stanford University in California. “The real question is: how did they do that and can all corals do that?”