A diver explores corals on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, the largest living structure on Earth
Coral Reefs Could Be Gone in 30 Years
World Heritage reefs will die of heat stress unless global warming is curbed, a new UN study finds.
The world’s coral reefs, from the Great Barrier Reef off Australia to the Seychelles off East Africa, are in grave danger of dying out completely by mid-century unless carbon emissions are reduced enough to slow ocean warming, a new UNESCO study says.
And consequences could be severe for millions of people.
The decline of coral reefs has been well documented, reef by reef. But the new study is the first global examination of the vulnerability of the entire planet’s reef systems, and it paints an especially grim picture. Of the 29 World Heritage reef areas, at least 25 of them will experience twice-per-decade severe bleaching events by 2040—a frequency that will “rapidly kill most corals present and prevent successful reproduction