Coral Reefs Could Be Gone in 30 Years

01-iucn-coral-reef.ngsversion.1498257025282.adapt.676.1

The world’s coral reefs, from the Great Barrier Reef off Australia to the Seychelles off East Africa, are in grave danger of dying out completely by mid-century unless carbon emissions are reduced enough to slow ocean warming, a new UNESCO study says. And consequences could be severe for millions of people.

The decline of coral reefs has been well documented, reef by reef. But the new study is the first global examination of the vulnerability of the entire planet’s reef systems, and it paints an especially grim picture. Of the 29 World Heritage reef areas, at least 25 of them will experience twice-per-decade severe bleaching events by 2040—a frequency that will “rapidly kill most corals present and prevent successful reproduction necessary for recovery of corals,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization concluded. In some areas, that’s happening already.

By 2100, most reef systems will die, unless carbon emissions are reduced. Many others will be gone even sooner. “Warming is projected to exceed the ability of reefs to survive within one to three decades for the majority of the World Heritage sites containing corals reefs,” the report says.

Reefs, often referred to as the rainforests of the oceans, occupy less than one percent of the ocean floor, but provide habitat for a million species, including a fourth of the world’s fish. They also protect coastlines against erosion from tropical storms and act as a barrier to sea-level rise.

Follow the link to learn more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/coral-reef-bleaching-global-warming-unesco-sites/

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *