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The World’s Coral Reefs in a Race Against Climate Change
By Joanna Lentini, January 9, 2018 @ 08:00 AM (EST)
Source: National Geographic

 

A new study published in Science confirms devastating damage endured by the world’s coral reefs in recent years due to rapid climate change and human influence. The analysis provides a health check-up of 100 coral reefs around the globe through review of records from 1980 to 2016 from government documents, scientific studies, and media reports. The result paints a grim picture. 

As recently as the 1980s, reefs could expect roughly 25-30 years between bleaching episodes. Today, abnormally high water temperatures occur around every 6 years, while reefs need decades to recuperate. “It’s like getting hit by a serious disease every couple of years, or at such short intervals that you don’t have time to recover in between,” says study co-author Julia Baum, a marine biologist at the University of Victoria.

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