Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coral reefs doomed by climate change

Mongabay: The world's coral reefs are in great danger from dual threats of rising temperatures and ocean acidification, Charlie Veron, Former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, told scientists attending the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meeting in Sanur, Bali.

Tracing the geological history of coral reefs over hundreds of millions of years, Veron said reefs lead a boom-and-bust existence, which appears to be correlated with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. With CO2 emissions rising sharply from human activities, reefs—which are home to perhaps a quarter of marine species and provide critical protection for coastlines—are poised for a "bust" on a scale unlike anything seen in tens of millions of years….

Giant clam or Tridacna gigas. Photographed by Jan Derk in November 2002 on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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