Why are corals such good indicators of past climates?
Corals are extremely sensitive to variations in their environment so make excellent climate indicators. Corals have the potential to record several centuries of highly detailed environmental information in the form of chemical proxies such as trace elements and stable isotopes.
What do coral reefs tell us?
Coral reef diversity
This area supports more than 7,000 species of fishes, invertebrates, plants, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals. Deep water reefs or mounds are less well known, but also support a wide array of sea life in a comparatively barren world.
Why are coral reefs important to scientists?
Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. Scientists estimate that there may be millions of undiscovered species of organisms living in and around reefs.