Threats

Bleaching in the Keppel Islands, Australia. Photo © Paul A. Marshall, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
The IPCC predicts that an increase in ocean temperatures of 1.5°C could lead to the loss of 90% of coral reefs, and an increase of 2°C could cause coral reefs to all but disappear. ref

Coral reefs face multiple global and local threats. The combination of global climate change and local threats has resulted in major declines in coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Over 50% of corals may have been lost in the last 30 years, ref and corals are now listed as “most at risk of extinction” by the opens in a new windowConvention on Biological Diversityopens PDF file . ref

This section provides an overview of the major threats affecting coral reefs as well as on the ecological response of corals to these threats. For more in-depth information, take the Coral Reef Resilience Online Course. Read a description of the course or  opens in a new windowenroll in the course.

Resistance to bleaching The Ocean Agency

Two different species of corals experiencing varying levels of resistance to bleaching. Photo © The Ocean Agency

 

 

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