EMBARGO LIFTED: 4am AEDT, Thursday 24 October 2013
Nature paper reveals coral animals produce the ‘smell of the ocean’ – influencing cloud formation and protecting themselves against rising seawater temperatures.
Australian marine scientists have found the first evidence that coral itself may play an important role in regulating local climate.
They have discovered that the coral animal—not just its algal symbiont—makes an important sulphur-based molecule with properties to assist it in many ways, ranging from cellular protection in times of heat stress to local climate cooling by encouraging clouds to form.
These findings have been published in the prestigious weekly science journal Nature.