Coasts drown as coral reefs collapse under warming and acidification — ScienceDaily

A new study shows the coastal protection coral reefs currently provide will start eroding by the end of the century, as the world continues to warm and the oceans acidify.

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Sophie Dove from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at The University of Queensland (Coral CoE at UQ) investigated the ability of coral reef ecosystems to retain deposits of calcium carbonate under current projections of warming and ocean acidification.

Calcium carbonate is what skeletons are made of — and it dissolves under hot, acidic conditions. Marine animals that need calcium carbonate for their skeletons or shells are called ‘calcifiers’. Hard corals have skeletons, which is what gives reefs much of their three-dimensional (3D) structure. It’s this structure that helps protect coasts — and those living on the coasts — from the brunt of waves, floods and storms. Without coral

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Securing a Future for the World’s Coral Reefs

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Prof. Carlos M. Duarte, a professor in Marine Science at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KAUST, held a media briefing during the Summit Week of the Saudi G20 Presidency to talk about Securing a Future for the World’s Coral Reefs in the G20 International Media Center in Riyadh.

Professor Duarte highlighted the need for international collaboration as key, as no single nation has the capacity to reverse the threat to coral reefs alone.

Professor Duarte, said:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to the conservation of coral reefs and learning from the resistance of the coral reefs in the Red Sea to damage to be able to share the lessons that we have learnt with the rest of the world but we can’t do that alone

“We need a global partnership

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scientists say Florida reefs have lost nearly 98% of coral

The United States’ coral reefs are in fair condition, according to a recent reef condition status report, but vulnerable to decline. Scientists estimate that along the coast of Florida, where degradation is most severe, perhaps as little as 2% of original coral cover remains.



a fish swimming under water: Photograph: Wilfredo Lee/AP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Wilfredo Lee/AP

The report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (Noaa) and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science last week, assesses reefs along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, from the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to Guam, Hawaii and American Samoa. It is the first of its kind to do so using standardized monitoring data on a national scale. Analyzing records from 2012 to 2018, researchers identify ocean warming and acidification, coral disease and fishing as ongoing threats to coral reefs, indicating a “dire outlook” for these ecosystems.



a fish swimming under water: A parrotfish is swims over a dead coral reef in the Florida Keys national marine sanctuary near Key West, Florida.


© Photograph: Wilfredo Lee/AP
A parrotfish is

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Vital role of coralline red algae for coral reefs — ScienceDaily

Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity. As they can withstand heavy storms, they offer many species a safe home, and at the same time, they protect densely populated coastal regions as they level out storm-driven waves. However, how can these reefs that are made up of often very fragile coral be so stable? A team of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University of Bayreuth have now discovered that a very specific type of ‘cement’ is responsible for this — by forming a hard calcareous skeleton, coralline red algae stabilise the reefs, and have been doing so for at least 150 million years.

The wide variety of life they support is immediately apparent on images of tropical coral reefs. Their three-dimensional scaffolding provides a habitat for a large number of species. However, the skeletons of the coral are often so fragile that they would not be able to

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