The government in the state of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has set up 10 monitoring stations to assess and survey the health of the Arabian Gulf state’s coral reefs. Ibrahim Bakla, the head of the country’s Marine Evaluation and Control Unit at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi said that each of the 10 stations will monitor water temperature fluctuations every hour for a year to determine how water temperatures impact coral growth. They will also look at live coral, dead coral and the prevalence of coral disease and the impacts on the reef.
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Abu dhabi coral reefs. Photo by New York University Abu Dhabi
The monitoring stations are located at Ras Ghaanda, Al Saadiyat, Al Dabeya, Al Hayl, Delma, Makasseb, Al Yasat, Baraka and Sir Bani Yas.
Bakla said that the health of coral reefs in Abu Dhabi have deteriorated over the years due to coastal development and rising sea temperatures. The Arabian Gulf is the hottest sea in the world and the data from these monitoring stations will help scientists learn how corals adapt to an increase in ocean temperatures around the world.