The World's Coral Reefs Could Disappear in 30 Years

Medscape Staff

April 19, 2022

The world's oceans are facing dire threats, and the coral reef ecosystems of the world will become functionally degraded by 2050 without urgent intervention, according to the Vibrant Oceans Initiative, conducted by an international team of environmentalists.

What to know:

  • Unrestrained tourism, declining water quality, and overfishing continue to endanger coral ecosystems, but climate change has become their biggest threat.

  • Even with drastic emission reductions, the earth will keep warming within 1.5º C above preindustrial levels, which could cause 70% to 90% of the world's coral to vanish in the next 30 years.

  • Strengthening the conditions for successful coral reef conservation is one of the most pressing challenges facing the world this century.

  • The problems can be mitigated with reduction of emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and managing local pressures on resilient reefs to allow these reefs to thrive and replenish neighboring reefs.

  • Coral reefs are home to over a quarter of all ocean life and are a source of food, livelihoods, and cultural heritage for 500 million people.

This is a summary of the article, "Urgent Action Required to Protect World’s Coral Reefs From Disappearing Within Three Decades, Warn Experts," presented by the Vibrant Oceans Initiative on April 14, 2022. The full article can be found on eureka.org.

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