All over the world, biologists have examined the condition of corals. Scientists analyzed the data: it turned out that the area of reefs in the world has decreased by half since the 1950s. Corals have suffered from global warming, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.
A survey of coral reefs in 87 countries found that species diversity on reefs has decreased by more than 60%, and the total reef cover has been reduced by about half. At the same time, the deteriorating state of ecosystems has affected people who live near reefs. Three hot spots were hit hardest: the waters of Indonesia, the Caribbean Sea, and the South Pacific. Climate change in the future will accelerate the degradation of these ecosystems at times and lead to disaster.
The results of the work were published in the journal “One Earth”.
The ability of coral reefs to support the ecosystem has dropped by about 50%. This speaks of the need to protect corals not only in certain regions of the Earth, but throughout the world as a whole, since the life of a huge number of people depends on the survival of these ecosystems.
William Chung, one of the study authors, professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada
The authors of the work are confident that already this century, a fifth of all coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, will completely disappear. The problem is not only warming, corals are threatened by new infections and parasites that are spreading across the Pacific and Indian oceans.