Climate change is predicted to affect tropical marine systems in the following ways:
- Warmer sea surface temperatures will increase the risk of heat stress events and mass coral bleaching.
- Tropical cyclones are likely to be more intense, resulting in physical destruction and weakening of the reef structure.
- Extreme rainfall events will increase, with larger amounts of low-salinity freshwater and sediment extending further out from the coast.
- Sea levels will gradually rise, affecting coastal erosion, the magnitude of storm surges and the area available for shallow water marine organisms.
- Ocean circulation and upwelling patterns will change.