Global Warming May Drive Coral Species to ESA Protection

The White House is considering Endangered Species Act protection for 82 coral species threatened by water conditions linked to global warming.

Announced in the Federal Register, a formal status review will be launched by government scientists to determine the threat posed to coral reefs by warming waters, ocean acidification, intensifying storms, and pollution. Coral reefs have been projected by scientists as the first worldwide ecosystem likely to falter due to global warming.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is solicitinginformation on coral ecosystems and looking at the short- and long-term effects of climate change and other factors, saying it has found "substantial scientific or commercial information" that species in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific may be threatened.

Published: February 16, 2010