Popular Science

Coral reefs might be in more trouble than we thought

A giant die-off suggests our predictions are overly-optimistic
coral reefs

Photo by Thomas DeCarlo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Coral reefs died in an unprecedented warming event in the South China Sea in 2015

Warning: coral reefs might be a lot more sensitive to global warming than originally predicted.

As a result of moderate ocean warming amplified by local weather conditions, forty percent of corals in a remote circular reef in the South China Sea died, according to a new study in Scientific Reports. By analyzing the bleaching history from the cores of living corals, researchers also concluded that the event is the most severe and massive of its kind in the past 40 years.

In June 2015, the winds were unusually calm in the

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