The Great Barrier Reef, one of the coral reefs threatened by ocean acidification.
Credit: Wise Hok Wai Lum / Wikipedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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Coral Reefs: Creative Solutions for Oceans in Crisis

When you think of climate change, what do you think of? Global temperature rises? Sea level rising? Melting glaciers? You’re not wrong, but there’s another major issue to add to the list: ocean acidification. A direct result of increased carbon dioxide emissions absorbed by the sea, ocean acidification affects all sorts of marine organisms. However, one of its greatest impacts is on coral reefs. These reefs are crucial to the ocean ecosystem, supporting more than one quarter of marine biodiversity, but they’re in danger. The combination of ocean acidification and warming oceans often cause coral reefs to bleach and erode, threatening the organisms that live there as well as cultural services and tourism built around them. In this Smithsonian Associates-sponsored event, coral reef biologist and assistant curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences Rebecca Albright will share the struggles these reefs face and possible solutions, plus their strengths and limitations. Albright will also discuss next steps and how scientists and policymakers can work hand in hand to save the reefs. The event begins at 6:45 p.m. on April 15. Registration is available at $20–$25.