Australian researchers recently reported a sharp decline in the abundance of coral along the Great Barrier Reef.
Australian researchers recently reported a sharp decline in the abundance of coral along the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists are seeing similar declines in coral colonies throughout the world, including reefs off Hawaii, the Florida Keys and in the Indo-Pacific region.
The widespread decline is fueled in part by climate-driven heat waves that are warming the world’s oceans and leading to what’s known as coral bleaching, the breakdown of the mutually beneficial relationship between corals and resident algae.
But other factors are contributing to the decline of coral reefs as well, including pollution and overfishing.
According to a new study, “Local conditions magnify coral loss after marine heat waves,” published in the journal Science, what’s key to coral reefs surviving climate-driven heat waves and subsequent bleaching is managing global climate change — and local conditions.
Read more at Arizona State University
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