Predicting the Degradation of Coral Reefs Due to Climate Change

Completion date August 15, 2013

(Credit: Jeffrey Maynard)

(Credit: Jeffrey Maynard)

Location: Worldwide

Where and when will corals be affected by ocean changes?

After careful analysis, this project has found that the world’s coral reefs are likely to experience yearly bleaching, a form of severe stress, within the next 40-60 years. This research uses the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate models to project sea surface temperature, pH, as well as salinity and the corresponding response of corals. The research team has developed a web tool to display their sobering results: within decades, coral reefs around the world will be subjected to temperature and pH conditions unlikely to support coral ecosystems as we currently know them.

Project partners:

Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs