Climate change ramping up will brutalize coral reefs if we don't do one key thing

Los Angeles, California - Climate change is still warming the seas, and a new study looked into what challenges are headed for coral reefs, as well as what we need to do to save the most biodiverse parts of the ocean.

One tactic to help coral reefs are labs like this, which grow new corals to "reforest" reefs.
One tactic to help coral reefs are labs like this, which grow new corals to "reforest" reefs.  © REUTERS

Dr. Peter Kalmus, who has been arrested for his protest actions with Scientist Rebellion, was part of a team that published a report that says 99% of coral reefs will get hit by damaging bleaching temperatures every five years starting in 2041 at the latest.

The study looked at different scenarios for how rising temperatures will smack coral reefs with warmer oceans. The team also took a deep dive into how frequently reefs will have to deal with coral bleaching, and right now the outlook isn't great.

Over 90% of coral will experience bleaching temps every 10 years, but as climate change pushes temperatures higher, that time frame will sink.

That is a dangerous prospect, because coral reefs need upwards of 10 years to recover from bleaching, if they recover at all.

Worst of all, the report Dr. Kalmus and co found that the best-case scenario is basically out of reach, so regular hefty warming events are nearly guaranteed for our ocean's coral reefs.

The team also looked for solutions, and clearly state that the best option is to drop greenhouse gas emissions. Right now, that means kicking our fossil fuel habit, the main source of emissions into our atmosphere.

The paper's findings are in line with the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's climate action playbook, and both teams say that ditching fossil fuels is key.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Environment and Climate: