Categories
The Anthropocene

Half of global coral cover destroyed since the 1950s

The world’s coral reef cover has halved since the 1950s, ravaged by global heating, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction, a trend that is projected to continue as the planet continues to heat in the 21st century.

Diversity of species on reefs has dropped by more than 60% and total reef cover had approximately halved.

“Marine heatwaves are rapidly intensifying, leading to more frequent and severe bleaching events, including on some of the world’s most isolated and pristine coral reefs”.

“Over the last few years, Caribbean reefs have been clobbered by hurricanes and new diseases, both linked to ocean warming. Frankly, the global picture for coral reefs is pretty grim”.

The world’s oceans absorbed more than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases and average water temperatures have continued to rise as the planet heats.