On February 18th, a new study presented at the 2020 World Conference on Marine Science and Technology suggests that rising sea surface temperatures and acidic water could cause devastating damage to all existing coral reef habitats by 2100, creating new challenges for coral reef conservation efforts. Scientists predict that 70 to 90 per cent of coral reefs will disappear over the next 20 years due to climate change and marine pollution.
As a result, some organizations are trying to stem the loss of live corals grown in laboratories to dying coral reefs.
In the new study, researchers mapped marine areas suitable for coral restoration in the coming decades. The researchers simulated marine environment conditions, such as sea surface temperature, wave energy, acidity and pollution levels of water, and overfishing in coral-in-existence areas.
The researchers found that most of the marine areas where coral reefs today exist will not be suitable for coral sexist by 2045, and that the situation will worsen if the simulation is extended to 2100.
“Preliminary results suggest that ocean temperature and acidity are the most important factors in determining a site’s suitability for recovery, and that repair work is the only way to preserve corals in the future,” said Renee Setter, a biogeography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “
The researchers stress that while marine pollution poses numerous threats to marine life, new research suggests that the biggest threat to corals is climate change caused by carbon emissions, highlighting some of the devastating effects of warming on marine life.