Figure : corals-and-people

Climate Change Effects on Coral Reefs

Figure 20.9

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, U.S. Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Lisamarie Carrubba, Isabel K. Parés-Ramos

This figure appears in chapter 20 of the Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II report.

The diagram demonstrates how coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. Caribbean are likely to change in potentially warmer and more acidic waters caused by climate change, including elevated sea surface temperatures and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. The severity of these impacts increases as CO2 levels and sea surface temperatures rise. If conditions stabilized with concentrations of atmospheric CO2 at 380 ppm (parts per million), coral would continue to be carbonate accreting, meaning reefs would still form and have corals. At 450–500 ppm, reef erosion could exceed calcification, meaning that reef structure is likely to erode and coral cover is likely to decline dramatically. Beyond 500 ppm, corals are not expected to survive.b09adbe5-6a17-4d3c-ab96-b3d9e306af67 Sources: NOAA and USFS.

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This figure was created on June 05, 2017.

This figure was submitted on December 06, 2018.

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