Coral Reefs Endangered in Egypt and the World

Up to 90% of coral reefs "may be gone by mid-century" if the rise in temperatures stabilizes below 1.5 degrees Celsius, a report says.

  • Coral reefs are home to at least a quarter of all sea animals and plants.
    Coral reefs are home to at least a quarter of all sea animals and plants

Coral reefs, known for being "rainforests of the oceans" for their rich biodiversity, are under threat everywhere as rising sea temperatures and acidification caused serious "bleaching" effects.

Pollution, excessive fishing, and global warming wiped out 14 percent of the world's coral reefs between 2009 and 2018 showed a new survey by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Coral reefs cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean floor but are home to at least a quarter of all sea animals and plants.

The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden boast the most biologically diverse coral reef communities outside of Southeast Asia.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, the Red Sea, which engulfs just over five percent of the world's coral reefs, is home to 209 types.

Katherine Jones, a Cairo-based climate change consultant, explained that "when the temperature of the ocean goes up, it absorbs more carbon dioxide, which creates carbonic acid." As a result, a lot of wildlife will be lost, and "the ecosystem will be changing in a way that affects us as humans in terms of resources," warned Jones.

Egypt has previously hosted a UN agencies conference in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh that called for the protection of coral reefs "before it's too late."

Up to 90 percent of coral reefs "may be gone by mid-century" if the rise in temperatures stabilizes below 1.5 degrees Celsius, stated a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.