Rapid warming poses an existential threat to Florida's coral reefs
On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss the impacts of climate driven heat waves on Florida's coral reefs. Scientists say coral reefs around the Florida Keys are losing their color because of soaring water temperatures, which could eventually lead to extinction.
Coral reefs make up less than one percent of the ocean area, but 25 percent of marine animals depend on reefs at some point in their lives. Reefs, in addition to harboring numerous marine animals, are one of the main protective barriers against hurricanes and storm surges made more intense by global warming. A billion people rely on those ecosystems for sustenance or work and the combined revenue from food, recreation, and protection from storms attributed to coral reefs has been calculated at between $2.7 and $10 trillion a year.
Florida's coral reefs generate $2 billion in local revenue and 70,400 full- and part-time jobs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr. Juli Berwald, science writer and the author of Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs