Endangered Coral Reefs Die as Ocean Temperatures Rise and Water Turns Acidic PBS NewsHour In addition to negative consequences caused by overfishing and pollution, coral reefs face another major existential threat: increased acidity from warming...
According to data from more than 100 monitoring stations in the Florida Keys, there has been a 44 percent decline in coral reefs over the past 20 years. On many Caribbean reefs, it's even worse. The decline is up to 80 percent over the past three decades.
The nurseries have been successful, growing a small forest of elkhorn coral that Nedimyer and his volunteers almost can't replant fast enough.
But there's a bigger challenge these corals face: the impact of increased carbon dioxide in the water.
Acidification acts a lot like osteoporosis does in humans. But in marine animals, it makes their shells and skeletons brittle. The more acidic the water, the harder it is for corals to grow their skeletons. That leaves them more susceptible throughout their lives to other stressors like disease.