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Monday, 6 June 2016

Coral Reefs On Life Support



Coral reefs fall victim to overfishing, pollution, ocean warming

Three-year study of reef health is one of largest, longest ever undertaken

HOUSTON -- (June 7, 2016) -- One of the longest and largest studies of coral reef health ever undertaken finds that corals are declining worldwide because a variety of threats -- overfishing, nutrient pollution and pathogenic disease -- that ultimately become deadly in the face of higher ocean temperatures.
The study by marine biologists from Rice University, Oregon State University and other institutions was published today in Nature Communications on the eve of World Oceans Day, an annual global celebration of Earth's oceans. The findings are based on a continuous three-year experiment to measure how humans impact reef health. Data from the experiment on reefs in the Florida Keys suggests that widespread coral deaths, including the ongoing global bleaching event that affected 90 percent of the Great Barrier Reef this year, are being caused by a combination of multiple local stressors and global warming.


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