Coral Reefs and People in a High-CO2 World: Where Can Science Make a Difference to People?

L. Pendleton, A. Comte, C. Langdon, J.A. Ekstrom, S.R. Cooley, L. Suatoni, M.W. Beck, L.M. Brander, L. Burke, J.E. Cinner, C. Doherty, P.E.T. Edwards, D. Gledhill, L.Q. Jiang, R.J. van Hooidonk, L. Teh, G.G. Waldbusser, J. Ritter

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Reefs and People at Risk: Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere put shallow, warm-water coral reef ecosystems, and the people who depend upon them at risk from two key global environmental stresses: 1) elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and 2) ocean acidification. These global stressors: cannot be avoided by local management, compound local stressors, and hasten the loss of ecosystem services. Impacts to people will be most grave where a) human dependence on coral reef ecosystems is high, b) sea surface temperature reaches critical levels soonest, and c) ocean acidification levels are most severe. Where these elements align, swift action will be needed to protect people's lives and livelihoods, but such action must be informed by data and science. An Indicator Approach: Designing policies to offset potential harm to coral reef ecosystems and people requires a better understanding of where CO
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016


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