OREANDA-NEWS. In the period from 2009 to 2018, the World Ocean lost about 14 percent of corals, The Guardian reports, citing a report published by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

Scientists analyzed the condition of coral reefs and found that in less than ten years the world has lost 11.7 thousand square meters of coral - more than the area of all living reefs in Australia. The report presents data collected by 300 specialists from 73 countries over 40 years.

Scientists explain the massive loss of corals by their discoloration, provoked by an increase in water temperature. One such bleaching in 1998 resulted in the destruction of 8 percent of all corals (about 6.5 thousand square meters), with the greatest negative impact on reefs recorded in the Indian Ocean, Japan and the Caribbean.

Experts are sounding the alarm, saying that climate change poses a huge threat to the safety of corals. But there is also encouraging data in the published report: scientists found that many reefs were able to survive the negative external impact and retained the potential to recover under the right conditions.

Coral reefs cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean floor, but at least a quarter of all marine life lives in them. The death of corals is associated, in addition to an increase in water temperature, with uncontrolled fishing, unstable development of coastal areas and deterioration of water quality.