Coral Bleaching Hub

The Ocean Agency - Bleaching | Ocean Image Bank

The Coral Bleaching Hub has been created to share key messages and resources about Coral Reef Bleaching, its impacts, causes and solutions currently being implemented and developed, supporting managers and policy makers through policy and planning, and encouraging cooperation amongst ICRI members.

The world is on the verge of a possible fourth mass global coral bleaching event. The current climate model predictions for coral reefs suggest that bleaching impacts will increase in frequency and magnitude as the oceans warm due to human-induced global warming caused by climate change.

Predictions for 2024 signify that a fourth global mass bleaching event is highly probable, further exacerbated by El Niño (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) climate patterns, with coral reefs within the Southern Hemisphere likely to experience high-levels of bleaching. As of 8th March 2024, the Reef Authority (Australia) confirmed that a mass bleaching event is occurring on the Great Barrier Reef with aerial surveys of two thirds of the marine park showing widespread coral bleaching consistent with patterns of heat stress that has built up over the summer months.

Previous global mass bleaching occurred in 1998, 2010 and from 2014-2017. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring network (GCRMN), and operational network of ICRI, demonstrated in 2021, through its ‘Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020‘ report, that large scale coral bleaching events are the greatest disturbance to the world’s coral reefs with the 1998 bleaching event alone killing 8% of the world’s coral, and the subsequent disturbance events resulted in a loss of 14% of the world’s coral from 2009 – 2018. And with the possibility of a fourth mass bleaching event in 2024, concern is abound amongst the coral community, but this bleaching event is not a surprise, and preparations for management, monitoring and recovery are in motion.

It is critical to remember that bleached corals are not dead corals, and they can recover if ocean temperatures return to normal. Solutions are being deployed to help build the resilience of coral reef, so they can better withstand the impacts of climate change into the future.

This hub serves to support managers, practitioners, policy makers, and nations to better understand coral bleaching, the recommended actions to be taken, before, during and post-bleaching events, share valuable resources and tools to develop capacity, and support a global network of practitioners to build the resilience of coral reefs to better withstand the impacts of climate change in the future.

Use the boxes below to expose the hub and access a range of resources, see latest observations and knowledge-building resources. If you have any resources that you would like to add to this bleaching hub, please contact the ICRI Secretariat.