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NOAA Coral Reef Watch Spearheads UNESCO Report

November 2, 2018 05:51 AM
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Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: Update
© UNESCO

CICS-MD Scientist Erick Geiger and CICS Consortium Scientist Scott Heron from NOAA Coral Reef Watch co-authored a UNESCO update report assessing the historical, recent, and projected heat stress and bleaching at natural World Heritage properties with coral reefs. Dr. Heron led the effort and the publication.

The report considered the implications of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, reflecting the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The analysis concluded that under this scenario, all 29 World Heritage-listed coral reefs would avoid annual severe heat stress this century, with only four sites exposed to twice-per-decade severe heat stress. The findings emphasize the importance of achieving Paris Agreement goals to secure a sustainable future for the planet’s most iconic reef systems. The report is available free from UNESCO at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002656/265625e.pdf. Heron, Scott F., Ruben van Hooidonk, Jeffrey Maynard, Kristen Anderson, Jon C. Day, Erick Geiger, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Terry Hughes, Paul Marshall, David Obura and C. Mark Eakin, 2018: Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: Update to the First Global Scientific Assessment. Paris, UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

See the ESSIC Article on the UNESCO Report: NOAA Coral Reef Watch Analysis Featured in UNESCO Report.

 

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