The changing climate leaves long-lasting and damaging effects to 99 percent of the world's corals at the end of a hundred years.
The warming ocean waters will result to coral bleaching. As a result, corals will expel algae zooxanthellae
living in their tissues and will cause them to turn white.
Other than the expulsion of algae from corals, bleaching also occurs due to pollution, storm runoff and overexposure to sunlight and air.
Bleached Acropora coral (foreground) and normal colony (background), Keppel Islands, Great Barrier Reef
Corals turning white aren't really dead but they will be at higher risk of being endangered and eventually dead.
The ill effects of climate change that come frequently are keeping the corals from recovering after bleaching occurred.
The study agrees that the Paris Agreement is a good start to do something about the problem. However, the study adds that “much greater emissions reductions are required to prevent the great majority of coral reefs from experiencing severe bleaching conditions annually within this century.”
Last year, the Great Barrier Reef lost 67 percent of its shallow-water corals following an event in 1998 and 2002. Even before the reef could recover, scientists made another prediction that another even that could lead to massive bleaching could occur again in 10 to 15 years.
With how the current rate of the impact on the coral reefs is going, scientists predict that 99 percent of the corals will undergo bleaching.
The study adds, “This is especially the case given the widespread coral bleaching that has been occurring globally since 2014 with global warming of 0.9 °C. This recent bleaching event and the findings presented here deserve attention in policy discussions at national and international levels.”
See: Climate Change is Altering Animals’ Genetics and Physical Traits