Reef systems are on the verge of extinction by the 2070s, mainly owing to global warming, pollution, habitat degradation and overfishing. According to estimates, coral reefs in the western Indian Ocean have a serious danger of collapse in the next 50 years. According to The Guardian, the analysis warned that it would result in a massive loss of biodiversity, affecting the livelihoods and food supplies of hundreds of thousands of people. The study, which was published in the journal ‘Nature Sustainability,’ looked at coral reefs in ten nations across the western Indian Ocean.
Rising sea temperatures, which produce more bleaching episodes – when corals eject algae dwelling in their tissue, turning them white – were discovered to be a significant danger to reefs surrounding island nations. Reefs in Madagascar’s east and south, the Comoros archipelago off Africa’s east coast, and the Mascarene Islands have all been designated as severely endangered. According to The Guardian, several reefs throughout the whole east African coast have been classed as susceptible to collapse.
The study’s leader, David Obura, chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, stated that the global decrease of coral reefs was already established. He said the most immediate threat is from climate change in the next 50 years. According to The Guardian, he did highlight that new analyses gave better clarity on the origins and degree of the harm.
According to Obura, when a reef collapses, it becomes functionally extinct as a reef system. Some species may still be found there, but they will no longer build a reef, he noted. He went on to say that all services, including coastal protection from sea-level rise, tourism, and fisheries, are in jeopardy.