The coral bleaching threat

Climate change warnings for coral reef may have come to pass, scientists say

As coral bleaching threat is raised for Great Barrier Reef, experts say events show that dire projections for reefs under global warming were not alarmist


Coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef seen suffering from bleaching in 1998. Bleaching occurs when ocean temperatures pass a threshold that affects the tiny animals which give coral its brilliance. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

Karl Mathiesen

After almost two years of coral bleaching, with some reefs bleaching twice and possibly three times since 2014, scientists have said that dire predictions of global coral decline made almost two decades ago may now be manifest.

The rolling underwater heatwave has now arrived upon the Great Barrier Reef, with mass die-offs expected along the northern quarter of the world’s preeminent coral ecosystem. Read more.