Coral reef survival hinges on ‘urgent and rapid’ emissions cuts
(Eco Business, 17 Mar 2017) The future of the Great Barrier Reef – and other reefs around the world – will ultimately depend on how successfully we can limit ocean warming.
This is the blunt conclusion of a new study, just published in Nature, which examines the impacts of recent coral bleaching events on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The event in 2016, for example, left just 9 per cent of surveyed reefs untouched.
The study finds that sea surface temperature is the biggest driver of bleaching, while local efforts to improve water quality or restrict fishing have little impact on limiting its severity.
This means that “immediate action to curb future warming” is essential if coral reefs are to survive, the authors warn.