New research has shown that the world’s coral reefs are dying at a rapid rate due to the effects of global warming.
According to a study by World Resources Institute, ocean temperatures and acidity levels are higher than “any other time in at least the last 400,000 years.”
Warmer ocean temperatures are the leading cause of coral bleaching, which is the whitening of coral reefs that weakens the reefs, inevitably causing their death.
The report, Reefs at Risk Revisited, notes it remains to be seen how the outcome of coral destruction will impact marine creatures like the fish and coastal communities whose economy is driven by them, but adds that “the outlook is grim.”
Coral reefs across the planet’s oceans house more than 4,000 species of fish and 800 types of coral, but global warming and human activities have put 75% of all coral reefs under threat.
Coastal communities’ activities such as overfishing, destructive fishing, coastal development, as well as watershed-based and marine-based pollution and drainage have put the reefs at a great risk.