Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020 | UPSC


The world’s coral reefs have suffered terribly in 30 years, but are resilient: Study

      WHY IN NEWS:

Status of Coral Reefs of the World:2020, prepared by the Australian government, said reducing local pressures on coral reefs to maintain their resilience was critical.




  • Coral reefs have suffered terribly in the past three decades.
  • Yet, they are resilient and would be able to withstand challenges posed by a warming world.
  • The study also said reducing local pressures on coral reefs to maintain their resilience would be critical in the years to come.


  • The data acquisition and homogenization stage was completed two months ago (April 2020), with the acquisition of 195 datasets from 75 countries.
  • These datasets include more than 1,7500,000 observations of 23 different variables recorded from more than 100,000 transects.


  • Monitoring data collected in the field was also essential to understand the status of the trends in coral reef condition.
  • There were many shocking aspects noted in the report as well. For instance, the 1998 coral bleaching event killed eight per cent of the world’s coral.
  • Subsequent events between 2009 and 2018 killed 14 per cent of the world’s coral.

  • There was 20 per cent more algae on the world’s coral reefs in 2019 than in 2010.
  • The increase in the amount of algae, was associated with declines in the amount of hard coral.
  • The study noted that since 2010, almost all regions had exhibited a decline in average coral cover.
  • According to estimates, coral reefs would experience further declines in the coming decades as sea temperatures arose.
  • However, the increases in global coral cover between 2002 and 2009 and in 2019 offered hope.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It showed that coral reefs globally remained resilient and could recover if conditions permitted.
  • For instance, coral reefs in east Asia, which has 30 per cent of the world’s coral reefs, had more coral on average in 2019 than they did in 1983. This, despite the area being affected by large-scale coral bleaching events during the last decade.

  • Ongoing investment in the development of methodological approaches, new technologies, capability and capacity that expands geographic coverage and enhances the quality, accessibility and interoperability of data is essential.
     SOURCES:    DownToEarth  | Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020 | UPSC

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