Between 2009 and 2018, the planet has lost about 14% of its coral reefs – a terrifying figure that highlights the hazardous threats facing iconic creatures, as climate change continues to devastfy fragile ecosystems around the globe.
Corals in Asia and the Pacific, around the Arabian Peninsula and off the coast of Australia were most heavily affected according to the report published on Tuesday and compiled by More than 300 scientists from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.
Reefs cover only 0.2% of the ocean floor, but constitute at least 25% of all marine biodiversity.
In addition to enacting marine ecosystems, they provide food, protection against storms and coastal erosion, and jobs for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Coral loss varied depending upon region, ranging from five percent in East Asia to 95 percent in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, for example, between 2009 and 2018.
“Since 2009 we have lost more coral worldwide than all the living coral in Australia,”Inger Andersen
“Since 2009 we have lost more coral worldwide than all the living coral in Australia,” said UNEP executive officer Inger Andersen.
The UN Committee on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts with “high confidence” that 70% to 90% of all corals are to disappear due to global warming above pre-industrial standard by 1.5 ° Celsius.
In a 2C world, fewer than 1 per cent of the worldwide coral would survive.