The ability of ecosystems to adapt to changes in their environment largely depends on the type and impact of environmental stressors. The Coral reefs, in particular, they are sensitive to these conditions and their adaptation is the subject of scientific debate.
A team of researchers, led by the University of Hawaii (USA), designed an experiment called CMIP5 to calculate global models aimed at improving knowledge of climate change. Through it, they looked at global projections of five environmental stressors which included: Temperature from the surface of the sea, acidification oceans, storms tropical, the land use and projections of human population.
“Although the negative impacts of climate change on coral reefs are well known, this research shows that they are actually worse than expected due to a broad combination of climate change-induced stressors.”ensures Rene Setter, principal author of the work and doctoral student at the American university.
The work took into account past data and projections up to the year 2100. “It was enlightening to discover that the corals would face multiple stressors which represents an even greater obstacle and challenge that must be overcome to increase the chances of survival”Setter continues.
Rising sea temperatures and heat waves threaten coral reefs
According to their results, in a scenario without changes, in the year 2050, it is expected that environmental conditions they will be poorly adapted to the world’s coral reefs, if only one stressor is taken into account. When several factors are considered, the date drops to 2035.
Similarly, it is predicted that by 2055, the majority of the world’s coral reefs (99%) will face unsuitable conditions based on at least one of the five factors studied. In 2100, in fact, the 93% of these underwater structures will be threatened by two or more stressors.
“We know that corals are vulnerable to increasing sea surface temperatures and at the marine heat waves because of global warming. It is important to include the full anthropogenic impact and the stresses they bear in order to better understand the general risks of these ecosystems”To add Eric Franklin, co-author of the study at the same university. “This has big implications for our local Hawaiian reefs, which are vital to local biodiversity, culture, fishing and tourism.”emphasizes Erik Franklin.
The research team is now preparing to enter the next phase of their work: to take a closer look at how the climate change affects different species coral. By identifying those who are most likely to survive these adverse conditions or most vulnerable, they hope to identify the species most at risk.
Character font: SINC Agency
Reference article: https://www.agenciasinc.es/Noticias/La-mitad-de-los-arrecifes-de-coral-del-mundo-estaran-en-malas-condiciones-en-2035