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Scientists Are Breeding Super Coral That Can Survive Climate Change: VICE on HBO, Full Episode



They still look beautiful, but coral reefs are dying at staggering rates — experts project that 90 percent of the world’s reefs will be gone by 2050. But a growing group of scientists around the world are searching for innovative solutions to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Coral reefs are among the earth’s most precious natural resources. They harbor a million species and provide food for 500 million people around the world. But warming waters, pollution and overfishing have badly damaged these precious ecosystems; roughly 50 percent of the world’s corals have been lost in just the last 30 years.

“The rates of change in our environment are far outpacing the intrinsic capacity of coral reefs to survive.” said Dr. Ruth Gates, the Director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, where she is pioneering research that could help corals survive. “If we don’t mitigate at all, coral reefs will not be the things we’re worrying about, it will be the survival of our species.”

Dr. Gates is just one of the scientists devising innovative ways to take coral reef restoration into their own hands. Her lab has started to breed and distribute, “super coral” — the strongest breeds of coral that can thrive in warmer environments.

And in Curaçao, a small coral rich island in the Caribbean Sea, a team of scientists are finalizing a technology that could distribute fertilized coral eggs across the ocean, repopulating reefs worldwide.

VICE’s Ben Anderson visited with scientists who are working around the clock to solve one of the most significant environmental problems of our time.

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Written by lena

Foodie, Performer, Water Protector, Avid Baker, Syndicate Aggregator. I probably still live in my mom's basement.

23 Comments

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  1. “If we don’t mitigate at all, coral reefs will not be the things we’re worrying about, it will be the survival of our species.”

    WATCH NEXT: The Crazy Solution For Keeping The Melting Arctic Frozen – http://bit.ly/2pJzkXe

  2. Thank you to these people and organizations who are stepping in where the government is failing. They are literally saving humanity

  3. I live in the Philippines near Apo Island and have dove almost every dive area in the country. The reefs here are in BAD shape from overfishing (dynamite & cyanide still also), and local pollution. The locals here don't know and don't care, for the most part. Every town, city, and resorts poop goes rite into the sea (see Boracay recent news) and throwing plastic water bottles overboard is common. The ongoing population boom here spells disaster soon. Tubbataha is the only place I've seen with intact reefs and lots of marine life. Apo still has OK coral but hardly any fish left. Only the turtles are doing well. Same off Panglao. The local level protection areas have very little if any enforcement, and corruption can be found throughout. Next dive trip…Sangalaki and Komodo!

  4. I don't get why everybody is saying we are destroying the world beyond repair, did everybody forget the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. People are just afraid that the human race will destroy itself. Once we have fucked up the world to a point that it is no longer livable for our species, we will be the ones that go extinct and the world will be reset with time, to become suitable for a different life form to evolve.

  5. If only this wasn't necessary! If only the Australian government would stop it's wanton destruction of the Great Barrier Reef! They sicken me. There must be consequences (beyond the total destruction of our planet) for those that drag us down the path to climate change, in the face of all the facts and data.

  6. Corals have survived on Earth for at least 542 million years through all sorts of variations in climate. They don't need humans who have existed for a couple of million years and probably not much longer due to their utter stupidity. It is getting colder at the moment.

  7. Its amazing stuff,but you also need to educate the young people on protecting our oceans they are our future.

  8. Yey. Its a good thing they breed them. That way we can have something to sell once we find where they breed them

  9. Coral dies and grows all the time and the reason there dying is the sewage people dump in the oceans it’s not caused by climate change

  10. The content is a little disappointing. Coral reefs are not disappearing only because of climate change but overfishing, disease and human pollution as well. The Caribbean has been having great success in coral gardening and creating fish sanctuaries. In fact, in Oracabessa, Jamaica, after 6 years of creating a fish sanctuary and coral gardening the fish biomass increased by 1,700% and previously absent fish species have returned. Now that's something! Given the chance, reefs bounce back relatively quickly.

  11. If the coral reefs was fighting communism, the Americans would probably fund its protection as they fund their army… With billions (trillions?) of dollars. Too bad coral reef is just a neutral factor of human survival.

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