Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is unlikely to save most coral reefs

Frieler, K., Meinshausen, M., Golly, A., Mengel, M., Lebek, K., Donner, S. D. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2013) Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is unlikely to save most coral reefs. Nature Climate Change, 3 2: 165-170. doi:10.1038/nclimate1674

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Author Frieler, K.
Meinshausen, M.
Golly, A.
Mengel, M.
Lebek, K.
Donner, S. D.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Title Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is unlikely to save most coral reefs
Formatted title
Limiting global warming to 2C is unlikely to save most coral reefs
Journal name Nature Climate Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1758-678X
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nclimate1674
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 165
End page 170
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Abstract Mass coral bleaching events have become a widespread phenomenon causing serious concerns with regard to the survival of corals. Triggered by high ocean temperatures, bleaching events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. Here, we provide a comprehensive global study of coral bleaching in terms of global mean temperature change, based on an extended set of emissions scenarios and models. We show that preserving >10% of coral reefs worldwide would require limiting warming to below 1.5C (atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) range: 1.3-1.8C) relative to pre-industrial levels. Even under optimistic assumptions regarding corals' thermal adaptation, one-third (9-60%, 68% uncertainty range) of the world's coral reefs are projected to be subject to long-term degradation under the most optimistic new IPCC emissions scenario, RCP3-PD. Under RCP4.5 this fraction increases to two-thirds (30-88%, 68% uncertainty range). Possible effects of ocean acidification reducing thermal tolerance are assessed within a sensitivity experiment.
Keyword Climate change
Coral bleaching
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 16 September 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 62 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 96 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 03 Apr 2013, 18:37:12 EST by Dominique Pomfret on behalf of Global Change Institute