May 4, 2016

Florida's coral reefs rapidly 'wasting away' under stress of climate change

Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Australia
by
Oliver Milman
,
The Guardian
Florida’s reef is home to 100 coral species and more than 400 fish species. Photo: Jeff Hunter, Getty Images
Florida’s reef is home to 100 coral species and more than 400 fish species. Photo: Jeff Hunter, Getty Images

Florida’s coral reefs are disintegrating far more quickly than previously thought, with warming, acidifying oceans causing a “wasting away” of the coral structures that support an abundance of marine life, new research has found.

Scientists had previously thought that Florida’s reef, the only barrier reef in the continental US, wouldn’t start to break up until around 2050. But recent analysis shows that this process is already under way in parts of the reef system, driven by accelerating climate change