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World News April 17, 2024

Coral reefs are experiencing mass bleaching in warming oceans globally

Top reef scientists have declared the fourth global bleaching event, attributing it to warming ocean waters due to human-induced climate change. Coral reef bleaching has been confirmed in at least 53 countries, territories, or local economies since February 2023. Bleaching occurs when stressed corals expel algae, their food source, leading to potential coral death if severe and prolonged. Coral reefs are vital ecosystems that sustain marine life, protect biodiversity, and support local economies through tourism. This global event, spanning major ocean basins and both hemispheres, is the second in the last decade, following a severe event from 2014 to 2017. Climate change is identified as the primary threat to coral reefs, with efforts underway to understand coral resilience to heat and reduce carbon emissions. Despite challenges, some reefs, like the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, have shown resilience, possibly due to their deeper water location.

Source – CGTN

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