Coral reefs are an underwater ecosystem that provides a large habitat to many species of fish, sea star, crabs, oysters, sponges and a large variety of marine life. As climate change is affecting everything on the planet, how can coral reefs remain untouched from its devastating effects? According to a new study by researchers at the University of Hawaii, half of the coral reef ecosystems worldwide will permanently face unsuitable conditions by 2035 under a worst-case scenario.
The unsuitable and harmful environmental conditions will likely be the cause of the corals dying off. As corals provide a suitable habitat to marine life it will cause marine species to struggle to survive due to disruptions in the food chain. This has been proved in a study published in scientific journal PLOS Biology.
Using an ensemble of worldwide environmental change models, the review compared situations of five natural stressors projected from the 1950s during that time 2100, reports Xinhua news agency.
These stressors included ocean surface temperature, hurricanes, ocean acidification, land use and human populace, the researchers said in a news release.
By 2055, it is projected that the vast majority of the world's coral reefs would confront unsuitable conditions based on at least one of the five stressors studied, the study said.
It was expected that climate change will pose negative impacts on coral reefs, but this research shows that they are worse than expected because of an expansive combination of environmental change-instigated stressors," said lead author Renee O. Setter in the news release.
It was amazing to find that so many global coral reefs would be overpowered by unacceptable natural circumstances so soon because of numerous stressors, she said.
Researchers are planning to enter the next phase of their work, which will investigate what environmental change is projected to mean for individual coral species, as per the news discharge to affect individual coral species, according to the news release.