UQ’s Professor John Pandolfi said the study used information from surprisingly accurate 18th century nautical charts and satellite data to understand coral loss over more than two centuries in the Florida Keys.
“We found that some reefs had completely disappeared,” Professor Pandolfi said.
The study was led by Loren McClenachan, Assistant Professor at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, USA.
Professor McClenachan said more than half of the coral reef habitat mapped in the 1770s was no longer there. In some areas, particularly near land, coral loss was closer to 90 per cent.
Photo: Robert Havasy/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)