The study found a link between heat exposure and bleaching, revealing that the most severely damaged areas were those that were most affected by heat exposure. . Of the 3,863 mini-reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, 29% were found to have lost more than two-thirds of their corals. Coral bleaching is likely to become more common as ocean temperatures warm, and scientists warn that many corals will not survive if temperatures rise by another 2 degrees Celsius.
Sea level rise due to global warming could have serious consequences for coral reefs as they rely on shallow water for survival. Coral reefs have built up layers of coral over many years to cope with natural sea level rise, but in recent years there have been concerns about the loss of coral reefs. However, researchers fear that the decline in coral reefs in recent years means that they will not be able to grow rapidly enough to keep up with projected sea-level rise.
This can affect the ability of reefs to reduce wave energy and regulate water circulation, making them more susceptible to wave destruction.
A recent study by researchers in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans measured the growth rates of 200 coral reefs and compared their growth rates with a 2.6°C increase in temperature. As a result, only 3-6% of the reefs surveyed in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans were able to compensate for projected sea level rise, while the remaining reefs saw depth rises of more than 0.5 m, causing waves to swell on the reefs. It became clear that the devastating impact on the region would get worse.
"The two hazards posed by climate change - rising ocean temperatures and increasing acidity - will, if they continue to rise at their current rates, coral reefs disappear within decades and become a global catastrophe.