A new study says coral reefs worldwide could be “devastated” by climate change, but the effects could be much worse than previously thought.
The study was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch program, which collects data on coral reef health and activity, and has been criticized for relying on outdated, biased data.
The new research, which is being published in the journal Nature Climate Change, says a growing number of coral reefs around the world are “at high risk of dying,” with many experiencing dramatic declines in abundance.
The report comes after a report last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which said coral reefs were at high risk.
That report estimated that as many as 90 percent of all coral reefs could be at risk of destruction by climate changes.
A report from last year also found that about 30 percent of reefs around Earth could be lost to rising sea levels due to climate change.
But this new study uses a new methodology to calculate how many reefs are at risk.
The scientists looked at data collected by a new monitoring network, called the Global Coral Reef Monitoring System, which monitors coral populations and shows how they are changing.
It found that the average number of reefs per island is dropping, and that as reefs become less healthy, the chances of them becoming vulnerable to coral bleaching and disease are increasing.
The researchers found that at the end of the 20th century, the average coral reef size in the world was just about the same as it is now, with some areas having shrunk by as much as 40 percent.
That trend is likely to continue because the oceans are warming, according to the study.
“Our findings indicate that global coral reef loss is already being felt,” the researchers wrote.
“Coral reefs are not a sustainable or resilient system in the face of climate change.”
They added that the current coral bleachers are more likely to cause coral to die than help it grow back.
“The loss of coral and its ecosystem services is likely the largest single threat to coral reefs,” they wrote.
In some areas, coral reefs are also being devastated by invasive species.
In the United States, the report found that there are about 7.4 million coral reefs, but in some regions of the country, as many or more than 100 million coral could be dying.
The number of species that have invaded coral reefs is projected to increase by about 20 percent over the next 100 years, according the report.
The research team is calling on the U.N. to conduct an international coral reef conference next year to help find ways to stop this rising tide of coral die-offs.
The United States has one of the highest coral bleached coral populations in the industrialized world, with an estimated 1.2 million coral bleaches recorded in the past two years.
It also has one the highest global temperatures.
Coral reefs in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean are at the top of the list of areas at risk, with populations growing by more than 80 percent.
The most vulnerable areas are found in Indonesia, Australia, India, and South Africa.