“If temperatures keep rising through business as usual emissions, we’ll see bleaching on most reefs around the world,” he says. ; They are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, largely due to unprecedented global warming and climate changes, combined with growing local pressures. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A report in November found that climate change is the biggest threat to US coral reefs. Climate change will affect coral reef ecosystems, through sea level rise, changes to the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, and altered ocean circulation patterns. Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally and directly support over 500 million people worldwide, mostly in poor countries. It happens when heat-stressed polyps, the sessile animals that construct coral reefs, eject the photosynthetic algae which usually reside within them. And yet, we have lost 50% of the world’s reefs and they continue to decline in the face of anthropogenic threats including climate change, pollution, unsustainable tourism, and destructive fishing. Protecting reefs in the face of global warming has flummoxed scientists and policymakers, with many concluding that a significant share of the world’s reefs will inevitably disappear. Estimates indicate that coral reefs account for $2.7 trillion per year in ecosystem service value.
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