TORONTO -- When a heat wave hit the Phoenix Islands Protection Area in the South Pacific in the early 2000s, more than three-quarters of the region's coral was destroyed.

That's not an aberration. Coral is considered to be at severe risk due to climate change. The world's most famous coral ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef, even nearly lost its UNESCO heritage designation because of it earlier this summer.

What's different about the Phoenix Islands example, though, is what happened when two other heat waves baked the area years later.

As CTV News Science and Technology Specialist Dan Riskin explains in this week's Riskin Report, new research suggests that corals may be able to adapt their way through a warming world.

Sign up for The Climate Barometer, delivering climate and environmental news to your inbox every week