Corals are a recent addition to this body of prophecy. Scientists now know that deep-sea corals off the coast of California live for hundreds of years—and they record a ring for every year of their growth, just like a redwood. What their growth rings tell us about past ocean conditions can also illuminate our planet's future.
Ocean acidification is bad news for shellfish, as it makes it harder for them to form their calcium-based shells. But climate change could also have multiple other impacts that make California bays less hospitable to shelled organisms like oysters, which are a key part of the food web.
Rachel Bay received a Sloan Foundation fellowship to fund research on the molecular mechanisms of thermal tolerance in corals, an increasingly critical physiological process as ocean temperatures shift and warming events occur.
Since 2013, sea star wasting disease has brought about massive mortality in multiple sea star species from Mexico to Alaska. The East Coast has not been immune, as the disease has affected the shores from New Jersey to New England.