UCL Division of Biosciences


Two successive heatwaves kill 70 per cent of coral in Central Indian Ocean

16 July 2019

A new joint study of coral reefs by Dr Daniel Bayley from (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and researchers at ZSL (Zoological Society of London) has discovered that two-thirds of the shallow reefs in the Central Indian Ocean have died after two successive marine heatwaves.


The joint research, conducted with Bangor University, Oxford University and the University of Western Australia compared reefs surrounding islands in the Central Indian Ocean before and after two back-to-back extreme heatwaves only 12 months apart and found that hard corals in the Central Indian Ocean plummeted by an estimated 70 per cent.

Despite this dramatic loss, the research results also suggest that some coral species are more resilient to rising temperatures which offers hope for these vital habitats.

Read the rest of this news story here.