The third mass coral bleaching event in recorded history is underway, signalling a biodiversity disaster on an unprecedented scale

It may come as a surprise to learn that we are in the middle of the third great coral bleaching event in human history. And scientists are calling it the severest yet. The last great bleaching event was in 1998 when 11% of the world’s coral reef coverage was lost. Some areas like the Maldives lost as much as 90% of their reefs. This event is worse, possibly much worse. 38% of the planet’s reefs will be affected, with 12,000 sq km of reefs killed off entirely according to experts.

“If things go badly, this is going to be the biggest global biodiversity disaster since the last mass extinction,” says marine ecologist Gregor Hodgson founder of Reef Check, a non-profit organisation that maps reefs around the world and empowers local people to protect them. “Best case scenario, the damage will be extreme – there’s consensus that it will certainly be worse than ’98.”

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Source: Guardian Environment