A report on the status of coral reefs in the world has been released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). According to a new report in the last decade, the world lost about 14 per cent of its coral reefs.
The report, the first of its kind in 13 years, underlined the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Ocean-acidification, warmer sea temperatures and local stressors such as overfishing, pollution, unsustainable tourism and poor coastal management pose a combined threat to the coral ecosystems.
The report was drawn from a global dataset covering four decades from 1978 to 2019. According to this, some coral reefs can be saved by arresting greenhouse gases.
There has been a steady decrease in hard coral cover in the last four decades. Large scale coral bleaching events were responsible for killing eight percent of the world's corals in 1998.This is equivalent to more than the coral that is currently living on reefs in the Caribbean or Red Sea and Gulf of Aden regions. The worst-hit are the corals in South Asia, Australia, the Pacific, East Asia, the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman.
Hard coral cover is an indicator of coral reef health. Corals occupy less than one per cent of the ocean floor but over one billion people benefit directly from the reefs.