Coral reefs threatened with extinction by 2050

  • 1998: 58% coral reefs threatened
  • 2011: 75% coral reefs threatened
  • 2030: 90% coral reefs threatened
  • 2050: 100% coral reefs threatened

This sums up ‘Reefs at Risk Revisited’, a 130 page report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and 24 other organisations, which was presented yesterday and forms an update to the original report, which was released in 1998.

Major threats placing a combined pressure on the reefs are global warming, which causes coral bleaching (a die-off of the symbiotic algae), ocean acidification due to increased CO2 levels in the waters, which hinders CaCO3 formation and speeds up reef erosion, overfishing and other forms of pollution.

New satellite data allowed a 64 times greater resolution for the new report.

Coral bleaching record

Among many other climate records, the year 2010 also saw the worst Caribbean coral bleaching event on record, according to a PloS ONE publication in November.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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