The results of analyses of samples of corals from the Tara Pacific cruise, carried out by the Monaco Scientific Centre and partly funded by the Société des Explorations de Monaco, have been presented at the Goldschmidt 2020 conference, which took place by video link from Hawaii.

The conference is one of the most important annual international conferences on geochemistry and related subjects and is organised by the European Geochemistry Association and the Geochemical Society.

The Tara-Pacific expedition, which took place between 2016 and 2018 and which was co-organised by the Monaco Scientific Centre, involved a large sampling of corals by crossing from East to West of the Pacific Ocean. Forty percent of the world’s coral reefs are concentrated there. A long period of analysis followed. At the end of the sea mission, several researchers who participated in this public campaign and presented their work.

In the study by doctoral student Marine Canesi, the elementary composition of 40 tropical Porites and Diploastrea corals was analysed at the Laboratory of Climate Sciences and the Environment thanks to funding from the Société des Explorations de Monaco. This work made it possible to establish new temperature calibrations.

This method was applied to two coral colonies in the Palau archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. The analyses initially allowed testing and validating the new calibrations resulting from this study. Secondly, the study focused on the geochemical response of Palau’s corals to thermal stresses linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which has occurred since the end of the 19th century in Palau.

In recent centuries, the intense warming of the ocean has degraded the health of tropical corals, sometimes leading to their death. Paleoclimatic reconstructions of such events help to develop increasingly reliable prediction models to better predict the impact of human activities on coral ecosystems. Therefore, it is essential to obtain reliable reconstructions over several tens or even hundreds of years of the sea surface temperature, Monaco Explorations said.

ORIGINAL SOURCE & PHOTO: Monaco Explorations