AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

Global Modeling and Coral Bleaching Program

Ruben van Hooidonk

Coral reefs face two potentially devastating threats from climate change. Ocean acidification reduces growth and resilience and rising temperatures cause bleaching and mass mortality. Using state of the art fully coupled climate models, both the stresses of bleaching and ocean acidification on coral reefs are analyzed globally. When these model results are combined with empirically derived thresholds (species specific tolerances), powerful projections of local reef futures can be made.

Assuming carbon emissions remain on their current path, the results show that most of the world's coral reefs (74%) are projected to experience coral bleaching conditions annually by 2045. However, there is great spatial variability in the onset of annual bleaching.

Contact Information for OCED's Global Modeling and Coral Bleaching Program Researchers: