Global ocean warming accelerates threats to coral reefs, need to remove CO2

In How fast are the oceans warming?, L. Cheng, J. Abraham, Z. Hausfather, & K. Trenberth, 2019, Science, 363:128-129, reassess global ocean temperature data and finds that the heat content of the ocean is increasing considerably faster than had been realized, and at an accelerating rate over the last 15 years.

Source: NY Times – and Environment

The world passed the temperature tipping point for mass coral bleaching in the 1980s (T. J. Goreau, & R. L. Hayes, 1994, Coral bleaching and ocean “hot spots”, AMBIO, 23: 176-180), and as predicted 30 years ago coral bleaching episodes have gotten more frequent and severe to the point that we have now lost most of the world’s corals (T. J. F. Goreau, R. L. Hayes, & E. Williams, 2018, We Have Already Exceeded the Upper Temperature Limit for Coral Reef Ecosystems, Which are Dying at Today’s CO2 Levels, GCRA White Paper, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Talanoa Dialog).

At the time that we passed the bleaching tipping point the rate of shallow ocean warming on this scale (compared to the 2006-2015 average) was only around -15, compared to +5 now!

The clear future prognosis is for greatly increased future surface temperatures and mass bleaching heat stroke events to steadily wipe out the most vulnerable corals.

Coral reefs are the world’s most valuable ecosystem ( below, De Groot et al., 2012, Global estimates of the value of ecosystems and their services in monetary units, Ecosystem Services 1:50–61). Since most global economic ecosystem service losses are from coral reef degradation (Costanza et al., Changes in the global value of ecosystem services, 2014, Global Environmental Change, 26:152-158), we can expect severe economic consequences for all tropical coastal countries, especially for island nations.

The last hope to preserve coral reefs and the species and people who depend on them now lies in urgent large-scale:

  1. deployment of Biorock Coral Arks, the only method that protects corals from dying from extreme high temperature bleaching events
  2. atmospheric carbon dioxide removal to reduce CO2 to safe pre-industrial levels (Geotherapy)

The survival of coral reefs and of billions of people who depend on them are at stake.

Historical overview of impacts from land-based pollution on CBNRM as it applies to marine fisheries & coral reefs in the tropics

An historical overview of impacts from land-based pollution on
community based natural resource management (CBNRM) as it applies to marine fisheries & coral reefs in the tropics.

Paul Andre DeGeorges1,2*

1Tshwane University of Technology, Nature Conservation, Pretoria, South Africa
2Mayflower Drive, Greenbackville, Virginia 23356, USA


The purpose of this review is to provide an historic record of the author’s experience from the 1960s through the 1990s with coral reefs and the impacts of land-based pollution and other actions by man on this important ecosystem, from the islands of the Caribbean and Central America to the West/East Coasts of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. This is tied into the concept of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), its origins in Southern Africa tied to Africa’s mega-fauna and how it can apply to fisher communities in the tropics. It concludes that unless human population pressures and the current forms of “development and conservation” both linked to pollution and habitat degradation are addressed, the future for both man and these unique ecosystems are in jeopardy. A key to this solution is how the Developed World relates to the Developing World. It is hoped that this review will provide insight to future generations of ecologists, researchers, resource managers, politicians, donors and NGOs (non- governmental organizations) as to the issues they will confront if both mankind and nature are to have a viable future, living in harmony. Currently, they appear to be in conflict with each other and only man can resolve these issues based upon how he interacts with Mother Nature.

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