The delicate reef ecosystem now finds itself challenged by the same human-induced factors which scientists say are responsible for climate change: rising temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Algae, responding to the environmental changes, were increasing the production of oxygen to levels their corals host found toxic.
Florida reef 270km Great barrier reef 2300km Belize Barrier Reef 300km
The map "emissions increase unabated" predicts when sections of the reef will next experience two bleaching events in a decade, if nothing is done to reduce global carbon emissions.
This shows that by 2025 and 2030 many parts of the reef will start to experience bleaching events twice per decade, with almost the entire reef bleached by 2065.