Coral Worse Off Than Believed
Amy Coombs writes in Science:
The first large-scale analysis of the world’s largest reef system indicates that coral destruction is faster and more widespread than researchers previously thought. Over the past 2 decades, coral has disappeared at five times the rate of Earth’s rainforests.
Long considered a hotbed of biodiversity, the Indian and Pacific oceans are home to 75% of the world’s coral reefs. For years, conservationists have been trying to document coral loss in the Indo-Pacific region, which encompasses Hawaii, Australia, and Southeast Asia, but its large size has frustrated efforts. All researchers had to go on were scattered reef studies, which no one has attempted to integrate due to the large number of national, international, and nonprofit groups collecting the data.