Through chemical analysis of the seawater around coral, our instruments measure the the daily "heart beat" of the reef to determine reef health. These daily cycles of oxygen, pH, and other chemicals indicate how quickly the reef is growing, alert us of changes in the types of animals living on the reef, and help us predict if there are thresholds beyond which the reef may dissolve away. Complementing this monitoring work, we are also transforming a part of the reef to simulate conditions 100 years from now. This research will help predict the fate of coral reefs in response to changing climate. This research will also provide a living laboratory where we can test ways to save reefs. To do this ambitious experiment we will take water pumped up from the deep ocean by The Brando's unique air conditioning system and then transfer the high acidity of this water to a small region of Tetiaroa’s reef. The reef in this acidified area will experience the conditions we expect for reefs roughly 100 years from now. This project will act like a time machine, giving scientists and guest an opportunity to study and experience a reef of the future.
Header photo credit: Alex Mustard