The study found that corals became 15% weaker due to extreme hot causes, causing some fragments of the reef to be ripped off.
Dr Tracy Ainsworth of the University of New South Wales in Australia worked on the study. She advised BBC News that her entire research team, made up of scientists who have worked on corals for more than a decade, was shocked to find that they were "actually fragile".
More often, the temperature rises to cause something known as coral bleaching – when the coral expels significant algae that live in its tissues. In these cases, the coral itself remains intact. Dr. Ainsworth explained, what they see here is that when coral tissue dies, it falls and is torn off by the skeleton.
Explaining to the newspaper, Dr. Laura Richardson of the College of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, UK, said the vital discovery was "the speed at which the reef skeleton breaks down when you have these intense heat waves."
Such damage to a living coral reef is affecting your entire marine ecosystem, as warned by another member of the analysis team, Dr. Bill Leggat of Newcastle College in New South Wales. "The scary factor is – it could be a new phenomenon due to climate change. And the impacts are even more extreme than we thought, "he told the News Channel.
Dr Ainsworth said this could be the "coal mine canary" for these ecosystems. She mentioned that the findings were a strong warning that "things go awry on some reefs around the world."
Commenting on the analysis, Dr James Guest of the University of Newcastle in the UK, who has been researching coral reef habitats for more than 15 years, said: a huge problem before policy makers decide to do something about it. "
During the extreme temperature event the team investigated, occurring at the Low Barrier Reef between 2016 and 2017, there was an approximate shortage of 3 to half corals. "If you plan on throwing 30-50% of the shrubs in England in two years, it will be quite amazing," said Dr Guest.
In addition to being critical habitats for marine life, coral reefs are essential for people in coastal communities who depend on them for fishing, tourism and protecting the beaches. Scientists say the necessary measures are needed to protect these delicate ecosystems from the effects of climate change.