spikes of white coral under water
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

coral bleaching
sunlit coral reef
Corals and Sea Anemones Turn Sunscreen into Toxins—Understanding How Could Help Save Coral Reefs
Djordje Vuckovic and Bill Mitch, The Conversation | May 6, 2022
Researchers have long suspected that an ingredient in sunscreen called oxybenzone was harming corals, but no one knew how. A new study shows how corals turn oxybenzone into a sunlight-activated toxin.
Illustration showing coral health outcomes in response to bleaching events
Infographic: How Corals Remember the Past, Prepare for the Future
Amanda Heidt | Feb 14, 2022
Scientists have documented examples of corals “remembering” prior exposure to heat stress in the field, and are now simulating these phenomena in the lab to better understand their cellular and molecular underpinnings.
Conceptual illustration of coral
Environmental Memory: How Corals Are Adjusting to Warmer Waters
Amanda Heidt | Feb 14, 2022
Corals that previously experienced heat stress respond better the next time around. Researchers are trying to figure out how, and hope to one day take advantage of the phenomenon to improve coral restoration efforts. 
Close-up shot of smooth cauliflower polyps
Comprehensive Atlas of Reef-Building Coral’s Cells Created
Christie Wilcox | May 13, 2021
Single-cell RNA sequencing helps to catalog the dozens of cell types present in a stony coral, including its elusive immune cells.
Slideshow: Restoring Coral Reefs
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
By growing mountainous star corals in the lab and outplanting them to dying reefs, we were able to grow sexually mature corals that could help reef recovery.
Restored Corals Spawn Hope for Reefs Worldwide
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
Novel technologies establish a new paradigm for global coral reef restoration, with in situ spawning of mature, environmentally resilient corals in five years instead of decades.
Infographic: How to Accelerate the Growth of Restored Corals
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
Our novel technique involves planting several small fragments of slow-growing corals onto dead coral heads. The fragments eventually fuse, forming a large colony in a fraction of the time that it takes wild corals to build reefs.
Image of the Day: Stress-Resistant Corals
Emily Makowski | Sep 19, 2019
Some corals can adjust to a range of temperatures, but this ability may be limited in a consistently warmer environment.
Guam’s Coral Reefs Ravaged by Warming Oceans
Catherine Offord | Jul 31, 2019
Bleaching killed 34 percent of the island’s reefs between 2013 and 2017, a study finds.
Marine scientist photographing bleached corals
Coral Deaths Spurred by Pollutants From Land
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 17, 2019
Runoff and waste may be more harmful to the animals than climate change.
Coral Reef Scientist Ruth Gates Dies
Catherine Offord | Oct 31, 2018
Gates was director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and a strong advocate for coral conservation.
Image of the Day: Beyond the Pale
Sukanya Charuchandra | Sep 5, 2018
Both deep and shallow reefs are prone to bleaching, concludes a new study.
Deepwater Coral Reefs Unlikely to Welcome Shallow-Water Animals
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jul 20, 2018
Historically thought to be a refuge for coral growing in the shallows, coral reefs from oceanic depths face similar threats, finds a new study.
Great Barrier Reef Experienced Five Massive Die-Offs in 30,000 Years
Catherine Offord | May 28, 2018
The reef has bounced back from “death events” in the past, but that doesn’t mean it will be resilient over the next few decades.
Ocean Heat Wave Wreaked Havoc on Great Barrier Reef
Ashley Yeager | Apr 18, 2018
Not only did many corals die in recent years, but some were actually killed by the hotter temperatures themselves, rather than bleaching.
Image of the Day: Coral on Acid
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Mar 16, 2018
Researchers exposed a coral reef to carbonated water to study the effects of ocean acidification.
Coral Sperm Banker
The Scientist Staff | Jan 31, 2018
Mary Hagedorn is racing to save Earth’s coral reefs by developing techniques for freezing the colonial animals’ gametes.
Rampant Coral Bleaching Begins to Subside
Aggie Mika | Jun 23, 2017
The most destructive global coral bleaching event on record shows signs of remission in the Indian Ocean. 
Warming to Blame for Coral Bleaching in Hawaii
Kerry Grens | May 30, 2017
Nearly half of the corals in a nature preserve off Oahu bleached in recent years, according to a study.