Lobate coral

  • Exhibition Text

    • Coral is a useful indicator of local past climate. This piece of coral (Porites lobata) is a skeleton built of calcium carbonate extracted from seawater by coral polyps. Coral formed in the winter has a different density than that formed in the summer, creating annual bands. This piece came from a coral that grew from approximately 1740 to 1900. Because coral grows near the ocean surface, the thickness of the layers varies with changes in temperature, salinity, and cloud cover.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Climate/Climate Change

      Keywords: Salinity, Porites lobata, Climate, Climatology, Ocean temperature

      Audience: General