The coral reefs of planet Earth could be extinct by the end of this century

According to researchers, climate change could destroy almost all coral reef ecosystems around the world by 2100. The increase in water temperature and warming of the oceans have a catastrophic impact on the ocean ecosystems, currently. Global warming at its current phase can make the mission of restoring the coral reefs much more difficult – or even impossible. Even a stable and healthy coral reef system is predicted to be wiped out soon.

“By 2100, it’s looking quite grim,” Renee Setter, a biogeographer at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa, said in a statement.

Setter and her colleagues have described the ocean ecosystems in which coral reef currently exists on the basis of sea surface temperature estimates. These estimates are affected by serious changes in the water reaction that has become much acidic than the normal. Impacts of pollution and illegal fishing practices were also described by them, which showed these coral reefs are in disastrous living and threatened conditions.

According to the researchers, only a few sites like the Red Sea and small areas of Baja California in Mexico barely could support reefs by the end of the century. “Honestly, most sites are out,” Setter stated. The increase in the emission of greenhouse gases that causes the atmosphere to trap heat results in the temperature rise of the global surface and ocean. When carbon dioxide mixes with ocean water, it increases the acidity of the water – leading to the destruction of the coral reefs.

Trying to clean up the beaches is great and trying to combat pollution is fantastic. We need to continue those efforts, But at the end of the day, fighting climate change is really what we need to be advocating for in order to protect corals and avoid compounded stressors.

Renee Setter

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, approximately 75% of the tropical coral reefs in the world encountered extreme warm temperatures, sufficient to cause bleaching incidents between 2014 and 2017. Half of the coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef died due to mass bleaching between 2016 and 2017. In fact, coral reefs sustain hundreds of ocean species, promote tourism, and improve the local economies. The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, a World Heritage Site, worth $56 billion according to an evaluation in the 2017 Deloitte Access Economics survey.

Source: NBC

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