Recent marine heatwaves have devastated crucial coastal habitats, including kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs.
Marine heatwaves, like their land counterparts, are growing hotter and longer. Sea species in southeastern Australia, southeast Asia, northwestern Africa, Europe and eastern Canada are most at risk.
Solenosmilia coral reef with unidentified solitary yellow corals.
In the cold southern oceans, underwater mountains support deep-sea reefs.
Deep sea corals off Florida.
A massive new discovery this summer of miles of corals in deep waters off South Carolina shows how much we have yet to learn about life on the ocean floor.
A healthy coral reef on Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands.
Field samples, satellite measurements and isotopic data have shed new light on corals' eating habits.
Staghorn and tabular corals suffered mass die-offs, robbing many individual reefs of their characteristic shapes.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/ Mia Hoogenboom
The 2016 bleaching event resulted in 30% mortality on the Great Barrier Reef, with many corals dying of the heat before they bleached and the loss of branching corals creating less complex reef structure.
The increasingly bleached coral at Black Point on the Cobourg Peninsula is a worrying sign of what’s to come for other coral reefs in Australia.
Coral bleaching has struck the Northern Territory, adding urgency to the need for better national management strategies for our warming oceans.
A plastic bottle trapped on a coral reef.
Coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific have been deluged with an estimated 11.1 billion pieces of plastic waste, increasing the risk of coral disease more than 20-fold.
Giant triton molluscs are a useful ally in battling the coral-grazing crown-of-thorns starfish.
AAP Image/AIMS, K Goodbun
The federal government's new funding aims to spread the net wide in investigating possible ways to protect the Great Barrier Reef's corals. Winning this battle will require a wide range of weapons.
Some reefs are strong sources of coral larvae.
A new study identifies dozens of individual reefs on the Great Barrier Reef that are especially important for coral larvae dispersal and which could help the entire ecosystem bounce back.
How the Great Barrier Reef can be helped to help repair the damaged reef.
Corals on the Great Barrier Reef that are tolerant to warmer waters can be used to help repair other parts of the reef damaged by recent coral bleaching events.
The southern Great Barrier Reef escaped both of the recent mass bleaching events. But time is running out.
AAP Image/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Tory Chase
Tropical coral reefs can be saved from climate change and other pressures, but the window of opportunity is closing. And reefs are guaranteed to be markedly different in the future.
A typical reef scene within the Chagos Archipelago.
The British overseas territory faces an environmental crisis.
Coral reefs in Australia’s northwest have experienced severe bleaching and coral mortality in 2016.
Western Australia's super-corals are adapted to high temperatures, but even they didn't escape the recent bleaching event unscathed.
We think of coral reefs as a diverse ecosystem, but each coral is an entire and complex microworld of organisms imperceptible to our eyes.
Just like humans, corals live with myriad microscopic organisms. We are just starting to understand this unseen world.
Fluorescent image of the coral
Pocillopora damicornis. The field of view is approximately 4.1 x 3.4 mm.
Andrew D. Mullen/UCSD
Could this new technology do for the microscopic marine world what the first telescopes did for the heavens above?
Nemo is actually a ‘false clownfish’.
The recent severe bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef has also affected anemones, which provide homes for clownfish.
Corals north of Cairns have been hit hardest by the recent bleaching.
AAP Image/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Kerry
An estimated one-third of corals have now died in the parts of the Great Barrier Reef hit hardest by bleaching, meaning recovery could take years or even decades.
Bleached coral can take on luminously beautiful pink and purple hues - but don’t be deceived, these corals are under stress.
The bleaching hitting the Great Barrier Reef not only harms corals. As these close-up photos show, it also deprives many other species of a home and livelihood.
Professor Morgan Pratchett surveys bleached corals on Australia’s GBR.
Cassy Thompson, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Bleaching has hit a huge swathe of the Great Barrier Reef, with many corals in the reef's remote northern reaches now expected to die as a result of warm waters linked to this summer's El Niño.
Corals grow better in the more alkaline ocean conditions that existed in pre-industrial times.
By artificially going 'back in time' to more alkaline ocean conditions, researchers have shown the damage that ocean acidification is already doing to the Great Barrier Reef.