Most coral reefs are at risk unless climate change is drastically limited

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Only under a scenario with strong action on mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions and the assumption that corals can adapt at extremely rapid rates, could two thirds of them be safe. Otherwise all coral reefs are expected to be subject to severe degradation. Coral reefs house almost a quarter of the species in the oceans and provide critical services -- including coastal protection, tourism and fishing -- to millions of people worldwide. Global warming and ocean acidification, both driven by human-caused CO2 emissions, pose a major threat to these ecosystems. This comprehensive analysis highlights how close we are to a world without coral reefs as we know them. 'The window of opportunity to preserve the majority of coral reefs, part of the world's natural heritage, is small.' 'We close this window, if we follow another decade of ballooning global greenhouse-gas emissions.'

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