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Coral reefs will transition to net dissolving before end of century

Under present-day average tropical ocean Ωar (3.3), coral reef sediments are net precipitating and coral calcification and NEC are positive . However, the model shows there has already been on average a reduction in coral reef sediment precipitation from 18.1 to 4.3 mmol m−2 day−1, a reduction in NEC from 210.7 to 78.5 mmol m−2 day−1, and a reduction in coral calcification of 111.4 to 92.8 mmol m−2 day−1 since pre-industrial time when the average tropical ocean Ωar was ~4.5. When the average tropical ocean Ωar reaches ~2.92 in ~2048, coral reef sediments will become net dissolving. By 2082, global average coral reef NEC will become negative (i.e., net dissolving). By 2078 (Ωar = 2.62), sediment dissolution will exceed the global average coral reef NEC. For coral reefs with 5% coral cover and 95% sediment cover, probably a common future scenario with increasing coral cover loss, this transition to net dissolution will also occur in 2085 (Ωar = 2.55).

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