New research has found that coral reefs in the greater Caribbean region have been warming for over 100 years and, in some cases, for nearly 150.
The latest research was conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Colleen Bove and colleagues. The research was presented on March 9, 2022, in the journal PLOS Climate.
The researchers built a database of 5,326 reefs and used on-location observations and satellite observations to assess temperature changes from 1871 to 2020. They found warming ranging between 0.5 and 1C across the board. The data and research show that if warming continues at a similar rate, the ecosystems will warm a further 1.5C by 2100.
Commenting on their research, the authors stated:
“Our study indicates that coral reefs have been warming for at least a century and many reefs across the Caribbean have already warmed by a degree Celsius. This explains why we have seen such devastating declines in the health of this invaluable ecosystem.”
You can read the research results here.