Assessment of warm-water coral reef tipping point thresholds

Warm-water coral reefs are facing unprecedented Anthropogenic driven threats to their continued existence as biodiverse, functional ecosystems upon which hundreds of millions of people rely.

We draw upon a literature search and the recent Global Tipping Points Revision initiative to consider warm-water coral reef ecosystem tipping point threshold sensitivity.

Considering observed and projected stressor impacts we recognise a global mean surface temperature (relative to pre-industrial) tipping point threshold of 1.2 °C (range 0.7–1.5 °C) and an atmospheric CO2 warming threshold of 350 ppm (range 326–400 ppm), whilst acknowledging that interacting stressors, ocean warming response time, overshoot and cascading impacts have yet to be sufficiently assessed but are likely to lower this threshold.