World’s Oceans Face Worst Coral Die-Off in History, Scientists Warn

Written by on October 9, 2015 in Climate Change, Environment, Wildlife with 12 Comments
A before and after image of the bleaching in American Samoa. The first image was taken in December 2014. The second image was taken in February 2015 when the XL Catlin Seaview Survey responded to a NOAA coral bleaching alert. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

A before and after image of the bleaching in American Samoa. The first image was taken in December 2014. The second image was taken in February 2015 when the XL Catlin Seaview Survey responded to a NOAA coral bleaching alert. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

By EcoWatch.com

We recently reported on how Hawaii could be facing the worst coral bleaching in its history this year as surrounding water temperatures rise at unprecedented rates. Now scientists are warning that it’s not just Hawaii but the entire world that is in the midst of the worst coral die off in history.

Related Article: Coral Reefs Could Be a Thing of the Past Due to Warming Seas

A consortium of scientists today from the University of Queensland, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), XL Catlin Seaview Survey and elsewhere confirmed today that we are facing a third global coral bleaching event. The first major global coral bleaching event occurred in 1998 when a “huge underwater heatwave” triggered by the El Niño of that year killed 16 percent of the coral reefs around the world, according to the group. The second bleaching event was triggered by the El Niño of 2010.

NOAA is “predicting another strong El Niño and has now announced the third global bleaching event,” says the group. “The event is expected to impact approximately 38 percent of the world’s coral reefs by the end of this year and kill over 12,000 square kilometers [4,600 square miles] of reefs.”

Related Article: Are Suncreens Causing Cancer and Killing Coral Reefs?


The massive bleaching has occurred in recent years because of rising temperatures. Coral reefs, often referred to as “rainforests of the sea” simply “haven’t been able to adapt to the higher base temperatures of the ocean,” say the scientists. “Although reefs represent less than 0.1 percent of the world’s ocean floor, they help support approximately 25 percent of all marine species. As a result, the livelihoods of 500 million people and income worth over $30 billion are at stake.”

The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute director Ove Hoegh-Guldberg told The Guardian “the current event was directly in line with predictions he made in 1999 that continued global temperature rise would lead to the complete loss of coral reefs by the middle of this century.”

“It’s certainly on that road to a point about 2030 when every year is a bleaching year … So unfortunately I got it right,” he said.

Coral reefs are threatened on so many fronts. “Today, many coral reefs are threatened by overfishing and pollution, as well as ocean acidification, disease and warmer ocean temperatures,” says NOAA. “Even if corals survive a mass bleaching event, their vulnerability to infectious disease increases and their ability to reproduce decreases.” The coral scientists estimate we’ve lost 40 percent of corals around the globe in the last 30 years alone.

Related Article: 25% of Fish Sold at Markets Contain Plastic or Man-Made Debris

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  1. 569832056491487@facebook.com' Daily Motivational Quotes says:

    Hey you, reading this! YES… you! When was the last time you remembered how Awesome you are? Do you know that you are UNIQUE? There`s no one on this planet who has the same dreams, talents, abilities and passions that you have? So Make a decision today that you are going to live a great life, full of great service, inspiration contribution because what you have the world needs! And if you ever need some encouragement, I`m here for you! A Friend! There is a LIKE button on our page, when you hit it, all of a sudden nothing but positive and inspirational posts start to pop up on your news feed ?

  2. 1663029370609124@facebook.com' Josh Krause says:

    Mass coral die off after Fukushima who would’ve thought……

  3. 1478302859140410@facebook.com' Edward Willis says:

    Isn’t there a life form in the sea that loves the coral reefs?

  4. 903219503090523@facebook.com' Balvinder Uppal says:

    It is really sad?

  5. 897355800346113@facebook.com' Michael Chelich says:

    Its not the heat, its THE RADIATION!!!

  6. 1069507823083465@facebook.com' Joshuahn Jackstonburg says:

    Yet they have survived through much warmer periods in Earth history ~

  7. 846390018778996@facebook.com' Cindy Edwards says:

    Radiation also

  8. 1484314598537972@facebook.com' CL Hanson says:

    Are they dying because the ocean is getting too warm and or acidic?

  9. 1478302859140410@facebook.com' Edward Willis says:

    After doing a little research and discovering what I remember from watching a show on this is another threat to coral reefs it’s the lionfish.

  10. 419268154925083@facebook.com' Diane Berge says:

    Why do we want things to remain the same everything lives, evolves, dies thats the cycle

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