ABC News Online, Monday 26th October 2009
An international meeting on climate change in Copenhagen has heard the prospects of saving the world's coral reefs now appear so bleak there are plans to freeze samples to preserve them for the future.
Researchers say most coral reefs will struggle to survive even if tough new regulations on carbon emissions are put in place.
Legislators from 16 major economies have been meeting in the Danish capital to try to agree the way forward on climate change.
One if the issues they have been considering is what to do with coral reefs, which make up less than 0.25 per cent of the ocean floor.
But for about 500 million people worldwide they are a key source of food, income and coastal protection.
At the meeting, politicians and scientists have been acknowledging that global emissions of carbon dioxide are rising so fast that we are losing the fight to save coral and the world must develop an alternative plan.