From: ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Published June 1, 2017 09:36 AM

A brave new world for coral reefs

The future of the world’s coral reefs hangs in the balance, but it is not too late to save them, according to a major study published today in the prestigious journal, Nature.

Scientists say that the reefs we know today are changing rapidly as they struggle to cope with the combined impacts of global warming, overfishing and pollution.

“The reefs of the future will be radically different from today or 30 years ago,” says Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE). He led the study on reef futures and their capacity for rapid shifts. “But, if we take the right steps immediately, we can – and must – secure a future for reefs, recognising that the possibility of restoring them to their former condition is no longer possible.”

“Current approaches to protecting coral reefs are failing because too often we ignore the real reasons for their decline,” says co-author Professor Josh Cinner, also from the Coral CoE. “We need to understand why they are declining, and encourage changes in human behaviour to sustain reefs for the future.”

Read more at ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies

Image: Coral reef at Lizard Island. (Credit: Terry Hughes, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

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