If you live in an ocean, you have a better chance of living to see the end of a coral bleached starfish than you do of surviving it.
The news that a massive coralshark outbreak in the Caribbean is being blamed on climate change is causing alarm across the world, with many scientists warning that the planet’s oceans could be facing the worst of it.
It’s not just the US, either.
The Caribbean is already seeing severe bleaching events, with corals now being bleached by up to 90% more than normal.
Scientists from the Caribbean region are warning that this could be a sign of things to come if the world does not act now.
In an interview with Bloomberg, James Cook University marine ecologist Dr Stephen Eppen told Bloomberg he’s concerned about corals dying off as much as 80% of the time.
If the climate continues to warm and the sea becomes more acidic, the chances of corals surviving the bleaching are much lower than if they remain in relatively healthy conditions, he said.
The bleaching in the region is particularly damaging, as it’s affecting reefs that are already stressed by global warming, which has led to coral death rates rising.
“The bleached coral can be quite fragile.
It can’t regenerate, it can’t repair itself, it’s going to have a hard time surviving,” Eppel said.
“And if it doesn’t survive, it will probably die off.”
This year, a team of scientists in the Pacific discovered an outbreak of coral bleaching on the Pacific island of Hilo.
Scientists are concerned that the outbreak could spread to other islands in the world if global warming continues to worsen.
In a study published in Science Advances, researchers from the University of Hawaii found that the amount of coralline algae in Hilo’s oceans has risen dramatically over the past few decades, and the bleached corals were more susceptible to climate change.
In their study, they found that reefs on Hilo were more vulnerable to climate warming than other reefs around the world.
The researchers said that the increase in corallines could be linked to global warming due to climate disruption from increased CO2 levels, which they said could be contributing to coral bleaches.
“We can’t rule out the possibility that the corals are becoming more susceptible because of the rising CO2 in the atmosphere,” said lead author, Hina Ihara, a research scientist at the University’s Department of Marine Biology.
“But it could also be due to the corallin response to CO2.”
This increase in CO2 could be due, in part, to the increased amounts of water that humans are pumping into the oceans.
A warmer world means more water in the oceans, which in turn, leads to more algae, which are more susceptible.
As a result, more corals need to grow, which could lead to more damage to corals.
Scientists have found that climate change has been contributing to an increase in the amount and types of corally-infested reefs.
It’s also impacting the coralls’ ability to form a symbiotic relationship with other algae, according to a report published in the journal Science Advance.
Corals also have to compete with the rising amount of CO2 and other stresses on their ecosystems.
If corals cannot cope with this stress, they die, Eppens said.
Coralline corals in the Hilo region, for example, are already facing a lot of stress from the rising levels of CO 2.
In addition to climate changes, rising CO 2 levels are also making corals less effective at capturing sunlight, which means that corals have fewer days to live.
“If you have corals that have lost the ability to grow in CO 2 conditions, then they are unable to use sunlight for photosynthesis,” he said, explaining that this means they die.
“And that means that the rate of growth slows down.
And that’s a big factor.”
The corals also lose an ability to repair themselves in an acidic environment.
This means they are less able to repair their corals’ damaged corals and therefore more susceptible when corals get bleached.
Scientists say that if this situation continues, corals will die off as their reefs continue to deteriorate.
Corals are already losing their ability to heal from bleaching, which can lead to the death of many corals, as well as the coral reefs that they depend on.
Dr Stephen EPPEN (left) and Dr Hina Hina (right) of Hilo University, have warned that climate disruption and bleaching could lead the coralfish to become increasingly susceptible to the conditions.