Image 1 of 1
EILAT, ISRAEL - JULY 13: Dr Shai Einbinder [L], operation manager of the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, check notes before ascending from 35m to 15m to make another set of measurements while Prof Tali Mass [L] from the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, swims with FIRe (Fluorescence Induction and Relaxation) instrument, the latest in bio-optical technology measuring photosynthetic efficiency of different coral species. There are only three underwater instruments like that in the world. During a week of research diving led by Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, the Director of Research at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and Prof Tali Mass from the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, a team of divers took over 400 measurements between 5 and 45 m deep as part of their mission to understand coral adaptation to the depth gradient at The Interuniversity Institute (IUI) for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel. Despite sea temperatures rising faster in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba than the global average rate, the coral reef of the northernmost point of the Red Sea exhibit remarkable resilience and seem immune to the effects of global warming. Scientists are trying to understand the biological capacity of these corals to live at higher temperatures, hoping this knowledge could help reefs elsewhere in the world. The scientific community estimates that over 90% of reefs will die by 2050 due to climate change and direct human impact. The Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba corals might be one of the last remaining complete ecosystems by 2100. However, there's a glimmer of hope that this surviving coral reef could be used as a blueprint for an entirely new climate-resilient ecosystem. (Photo by Lukasz Larsson Warzecha/Getty Images).