Climate change is the greatest threat to coral reefs. Climate change impacts coral reefs through:
- Increasing coral bleaching episodes and growth of fleshy algae from warmer water temperatures
- Increasing damage to the reef from more frequent and intense weather events such as cyclones and flooding
- Reducing the rate of coral skeleton growth and weakening of the limestone reef structures due to ocean acidification
We must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing fossil fuel use and making the switch to alternative energy sources now to protect our reefs. While we make these transitions, its also important to boost reef resilience by reducing pressures from more local and regional causes (such as poor water quality or overfishing).