One of the hardest things about preparing for climate change is trying to anticipate how much species will be able to adapt to changing conditions. There’s was a really interesting paper recently in Global Change Biology that provides a nice model for how to do that. The paper is called “Incorporating adaptive responses into future projections of coral bleaching”.
The researchers tested a number of hypothesis about how corals might be adapting to increased temperatures and tested them based on historic temperature predictions and coral bleaching data. They found that current estimates of the relationship between temperatures and bleaching were over predicting current bleaching levels. Incorporating their quantitative estimates of adaptive capacity greatly improved the current and future predictions of coral bleaching