NASA begins study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts to Reefs
Climate change is impacting coral reefs now. Recent pan-tropical bleaching events driven by unprecedented global heat waves have shifted the playing field for coral reef management and policy. While best-practice conventional management remains essential, it may no longer be enough to sustain coral reefs under continued climate change. Nor will climate change mitigation be sufficient on its own. Committed warming and projected reef decline means solutions must involve a portfolio of mitigation, best-practice conventional management and coordinated restoration and adaptation measures involving new and perhaps radical interventions, including local and regional cooling and shading, assisted coral evolution, assisted gene flow, and measures to support and enhance coral recruitment. We propose that proactive research and development to expand the reef management toolbox fast but safely, combined with expedient trialling of promising interventions is now urgently needed, whatever emissions trajectory the world follows.
Coral reefs are early casualties of climate change, but not every coral reacts the same way to the stress of ocean warming. Now a Northwestern University research team is the first to provide a quantitative "global index" detailing which of the world's coral species are most susceptible to coral bleaching and most likely to die. The world currently is experiencing the longest global coral bleaching event ever recorded, with the Great Barrier Reef and U.
No matter what you believe is causing it, climate change is dramatically affecting our oceans and our planet. How do I know this? With more than dives under my belt, I have spent hours in the ocean recording scientific data and observing the local coral, fish and ecosystem.