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A UNESCO-supported exploration mission has resulted in the discovery of very rare coral reefs, immersed more than 30 meters deep. Their particularity? They are in perfect health and seem to have resisted global warming.
The acidification of the oceans related to global warming is one of the major causes of the money laundering of coral reefs. This is why the discovery of these scientists, who have completed an exploration in partnership with UNESCO, is important.
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These corals in the form of immersed roses between 35 and 70 meters deep measure 3 km long and 2cm in diameter, making it one of the largest reefs in the world. "The vast majority of known coral reefs in the world are at depths up to 25 meters. This discovery seems to indicate that there are many other great reefs, located at depths of more than 30 meters, in this That is called the "twilight zone" of the ocean, of which we simply ignore the existence, "says UNESCO in a statement.
According to scientists who led the exploration, the fact that these corals were not impacted by global warming also represents a major discovery. "Deeper reefs may be better protected from global warming," assumes Dr. Lætitia Hedouin, researcher at the CNRS who participated in the exploration.
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Video: Bathybot, the robot that will observe the abyss in the Mediterranean (Dailymotion)
The mission, which so far required 200 hours of deepwater diving, will therefore continue. Temperature sensors have been deposited in the coral area identified to better understand how and why these corals have resisted climate change, as well as in the hope of finding others.
"Coral reefs are an important source of food for other organizations. Their location can facilitate biodiversity research. Organizations living on reefs can play an important role for medicinal research and reefs can also provide Protection against coastal erosion and tsunamis ", underlines UNESCO.
According to IPCC forecasts, coral reefs could completely disappear in the case of global warming of 2 ° C.
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