I suppose this very good news will come as something of a surprise to many people. The mystery being why.
Simple common sense and a passing knowledge of the recent climate history of the Earth would mean that these research findings would have been completely expected.
It's simple really. The organisms that build coral reefs today have been around for a long time. In just the last 10,000 years (a very short period of time geologically) they have lived through the Holocene Climate Optimum (much warmer than today and quite long lasting), a cool period, a possible warm period in "Minoan" times (around 1500 BC), another cool period, the Roman Climate Optimum (around 2,000 years ago and warmer than today), yet another cool period, the Medieval Warm Period (around 1,000 years ago and warmer than today) and then the most severe cold spell of the last 10,000 years, so cold it is known as the Little Ice Age, which only "ended" in 1850 (though the overall warming trend had set in at least a couple of hundred years earlier).
This graph roughly corresponds to the above (the results of proxy temperature reconstructions are never going to be totally in agreement):
And they have survived. Of course they've got survival strategies that we are only just starting to become aware of (see below). Just as do polar bears and emperor penguins.
Andrew BoltMonday, May 25, 2009 at 12:04am
How often has Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg warned us that the Great Barrier Reef is about to die any second now from man-made warming? Example:
And how often have his predictions proved wrong?
That hasn’t stopped him from being showered by millions and hailed by the ABC as a noble prophet. It hasn’t stopped his latest scare from being laughed out of court. But now, bit by bit, the evidence against his alarmist is building, even in the New Scientist: