"About 14% of the world’s coral has been lost in less than a decade, a study of
the health of coral reefs has found.
In the largest analysis of coral reef health ever undertaken, scientists found
that between 2009 and 2018 the world lost about 11,700 sq km of coral – the
equivalent of more than all the living coral in Australia.
Meanwhile, the report, released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network on
Tuesday, found that reef algae, which grows when coral is under stress, soared
by 20% between 2010 and 2019.
The report features data collected by more than 300 scientists from 73
countries across 40 years, including 2m individual observations.
The study, which analysed 10 regions with coral reefs, showed that coral
bleaching events caused by raised sea surface temperatures were the biggest
factor behind coral loss. It found that one such mass bleaching event in 1998
led to the loss of 8% of the world’s coral, or about 6,500 sq km, with the
biggest impact observed in the Indian Ocean, Japan and the Caribbean.
Experts said the decline of the last decade came amid continuous raised sea
surface temperatures. They called for urgent action and said climate breakdown
was the biggest threat to the world’s reefs.
However, the report also offers signs of hope. Scientists found that despite
the stresses reefs were under, many remained resilient and had the potential to
recover under the right conditions, particularly if action was taken
immediately to halt global heating."
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics