New research says climate change could devastate nearly all of Earth’s coral reef habitats by 2100.
Among the existing, around 70-90% of coral reefs are likely to disappear in the next 20 years because of warming oceans, acidic water, and pollution, said scientists from the University of Hawaii Manoa.
They made their findings public on last Monday at an ocean sciences conference.
A few ecological activists and coral reef researchers have been working closely on the restoration of coral. They tried to grow live corals in a lab, and then put them back into aquatic environments to restore dying reefs.
But the researchers warned, this may not be adequate to save Earth’s coral reefs.
The new study made cluster on the ocean areas that would be best suited to this type of coral restoration. They also took into consideration factors like acidity, water temperature, human population density and fishing frequency.
After investigating the world’s oceans, they reached a serious remark: “By 2100, few to zero suitable coral habitats will remain.”
Unfortunately, existing ocean parts where coral reefs live today won’t be healthy by 2045. And, the circumstance of these environments is only likely to get worse by 2100, according to the team’s simulations.
Only a few sites will be viable for the restoration of a coral reef by 2100, like portions of Baja California and the Red Sea — even these aren’t suitable territories for reef because they’re close to rivers.
The researchers warned that human-made climate change was the big killer, a small part of the larger threat.
“Cleaning up the beaches and battling pollution are praiseworthy. But, we need to continue those efforts,” Setter said in that release.
“But tackling climate change is really what we need to be advocating for shielding corals.”
Coral reef die-off
Earlier, scientists warned that the world’s reefs are heading for “massive death” as ocean warming and acidification destroy entire swaths of reefs.
The Great Barrier Reef is a case for a large scale of “bleaching” events by above-average water temperatures in the last two decades.
Then, a drastic marine heatwave in 2016 and 2017 has destroyed about half of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is such habitat for a diverse range of marine life.
Moreover, the extinction could cause ecological collapse as third of all sea species depend on reefs, experts warn.
Also, coral reefs protect the shorelines and coastal infrastructure.
In recent years, activists are in the quest of saving the reefs. Almost nothing will be unless we take drastic action on climate change.
Climate Change and River salinity in coastal areas.
Climate change causes substantial changes in river salinity. Accordingly, it leads to the crisis of drinking water as well as the shortage of irrigation water.
Shortly, the changes in river salinity will unpleasantly affect the productivity of many capture fisheries. Negatively, it will affect the wild habitats of freshwater fish and giant prawns.
The health of Mangrove trees is declining.
A new study says the health of mangrove trees of the Sundarbans has significantly declined over the last 30 years due to salinity increase.
Consequently, the decline in health could critically hamper the ability to spring back. It makes it prone to unexpected climate-related hazards.
Also, the salinity increase in the water may induce a shift in the Sunderbans mangrove forest from Sundari to Gewa and Guran.
Accordingly, Bagerhat, Barguna, Barisal, Bhola, Khulna, Jhalokati, Pirojpur, and Satkhira districts will be most adversely affected.
Climate Change, Soil Salinity in Coastal
Soon, the salinity level in the soil will surge in many areas of Barisal, Chittagong, and Khulna districts significantly. A study on the soil of the coastal regions of Bangladesh, the Soil Research Development Institute projects a median increase of 26% in salinity by 2050, with increases over 55% in the most affected areas.
Zulker Naeen is a South Asia Fellow at Climate Tracker and freelance climate journalist from Bangladesh. He has three years of experience in the field. Zulker developed all his courses with the support of other experienced Climate Tracker staff credited on the course landing page.
As a young climate advocate, his fellowship aims to share knowledge of climate change. Climate Tracker is a global media network closely works on Climate Change.