ONLY 46% of the world’s reefs could be currently regarded as in good health and about 60% of the world’s reefs may be at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change; by 2050, it is predicted that all coral reefs will be in danger.
“Super” corals being developed in Japan may help give coral reefs a chance despite warmer and more acidic water. Too much greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in our atmosphere have been increasing the ocean’s temperature and making the water more acidic. Coral reefs support roughly 30% of all ocean life, so destroying coral reefs will ultimately cause less fish to live in our oceans.
Head researcher Arthur Jury has been studying corals that grow in Kane’ohe Bay, Hawaii. These corals are more resilient, since the water in this bay is considerably more acidic and warmer than the areas around it. The reefs in Kane’ohe Bay were devastated by sewage and urbanization in the early 1970s. The sewage was controlled in late 1970s and the super coral paved the way for the reefs to grow back. Jury says that these super corals can be the key to helping our reefs bounce back from the climate change we are currently experiencing.
Jury and his team of scientists may have found a key to helping our coral reefs recover from climate change. However, even these tough corals can die if the oceans become too warm and acidic. We should not be complacent when it comes to finding ways to slow down climate change. Hopefully, the future generations will be able to witness the regrowth of coral reefs around the world.