DMPQ-Discuss how Climate change is effecting world’s Coral reefs.

Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally and directly support over 500 million people worldwide, mostly in poor countries. They are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, largely due to unprecedented global warming and climate changes, combined with growing local pressures.

A spike of 1–2°C in ocean temperatures sustained over several weeks can lead to bleaching, turning corals white. Over the last three years, reefs around the world have suffered from mass coral bleaching events as a result of the increase in global surface temperature caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Iconic reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the United States have all experienced their worst bleaching on record with devastating effects. The bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017, killed around 50% of its corals.

Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally. Despite covering less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, reefs host more than one quarter of all marine fish species. Reefs provide a variety of ecosystem services such as subsistence food, protection from flooding and sustaining the fishing and tourism industries. Their disappearance will therefore have economic, social and health consequences. Coral reefs are also key indicators of global ecosystem health. They serve as an early warning sign of what may happen to other less sensitive systems, such as river deltas, if climate change is not urgently addressed.

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