Researchers have found coral that appears to be adapting to ocean acidification.

A study undertaken by experts in Australia and Hawaii has discovered corals growing in more acidic oceans may be able to handle an increase in acidity.

The team found that some corals seem to be adapting to life in acidic oceans by developing the ability to continue growing when ocean acidity is higher.

During the study, coral that lives in low acidity conditions grew much slower when an increase in acidity occurred, compared with coral already living in high acidity conditions.

Ocean acidification is a pressing threat to reef-building corals, but it remains poorly understood how coral calcification is inhibited by acidification.

Using a novel geochemical approach, the team revealed the calcification mechanisms underlying coral adaptive responses and resistance to ocean acidification.

By maintaining high pH but only moderately elevated dissolved inorganic carbon concentration inside the calcifying fluid, the team found corals are able to calcify faster and acquire increased tolerance to acidification.

The study is accessible here.