The authors of this paper conducted a global assessment of coral bleaching by adapting the NOAA Coral Reef Watch bleaching predation method. The results of their model suggest that most coral reefs will be exposed to annual or biannual bleaching events and will need to increase the thermal tolerance of their symbionts by 0.5-1° in the next 30-50 years based on minimum levels of warming. When moderate estimates of warming are made (based on increased emissions) total thermal adaptation may exceed possible level. Therefore, emissions play an important role in determining the likelihood for coral reef persistence.
Author: Donner, S.D., W.J. Skirving, C.M. Little, M. Oppenheimer, and O. Hoegh-Guldberg
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Global Change Biology 11: 2251-2265. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.01073.x