Half a trillion corals: World-first coral count prompts rethink of extinction risks

Posted: March 2, 2021 by oldbrew in Ocean dynamics, research

Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]

Another climate alarm founders on the rocks of reality. Only recently the World Economic Forum was claiming that corals were at risk of extinction. Now, the data says ‘no’. A co-author of the study noted: “Coral restoration is not the solution to climate change. You would have to grow about 250 million adult corals to increase coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef by just one percent.”
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For the first time, scientists have assessed how many corals there are in the Pacific Ocean—and evaluated their risk of extinction, reports Phys.org.

While the answer to “how many coral species are there?” is ‘Googleable’, until now scientists didn’t know how many individual coral colonies there are in the world.

“In the Pacific, we estimate there are roughly half a trillion corals,” said the study lead author, Dr. Andy Dietzel from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU).

“This is about the same number of trees in the Amazon, or birds in the world.”

The results are crucial for the research and conservation of corals and coral reefs as they decline across the world due to the effects of climate change.

“We need to know the abundance of a species to assess its risk of extinction,” Dr. Dietzel said. “However, there is very little data on most of Earth’s wild animal and plant species—not just corals.”

Dr. Dietzel said the eight most common coral species in the region each have a population size greater than the 7.8 billion people on Earth.

The findings suggest that while a local loss of coral can be devastating to coral reefs, the global extinction risk of most coral species is lower than previously estimated.

Full report here.
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Global Fund for Coral Reefs launches fundraising campaign (January 2021) – “It is estimated that more than half the world’s coral reefs have been lost due to climate change, over-fishing and growing local pressures.”
[Talkshop comment – think again]

  1. stpaulchuck says:

    corals are way smarter than the CAGW clowns. They have existed through ice ages and inter glacial periods and are doing just fine. Some places might be having issues but the smart little corals will move elsewhere that is kinder to them. A bigger problem is silting from rivers and accumulation of chemicals harmful to them (and fish, etc.) from river output from what I’ve read over time.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Research suggests some Pacific islands are getting bigger
    3 Mar 2021

    Researchers have discovered that hundreds of islands appear to be growing in the Pacific Ocean, despite the threat of rising sea levels.
    . . .
    Dr Murray Ford is a coastal geomorphologist, he looks at how land is formed and what shapes it.

    He said coral reef sediment is responsible for the island growth: “Everyone’s seen pictures of lush coral reefs, and those corals lay down a skeleton…and that skeleton is able to be broken down by waves and different fish that will chew up the coral and poop out sand – and that’s the foundation for forming an island.” [bold added]


  3. tom0mason says:

    I hope they counted the corals that flourish at and around the H-Bomb tested Bikini atolls.

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