Carbon leaks shows what coral reef would be like in futureJune 1st, 2011 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, June 1 (IANS) Natural carbon dioxide seeps have given scientists rare insights into what tropical coral reefs could look like if human-induced CO2 concentrations continue to rise unabated.At present rates of increase, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels of about 750 parts per million or more by 2100.
About a third of this extra CO2 absorbed by the world’s oceans would trigger their increased acidification which impacts coral reef ecosystems, the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Climate Change, reports.
Australian Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) scientist Katharina Fabricius has led two research expeditions, with members from six countries, to study three natural CO2 seeps in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.
This unique location is the only presently known cool, CO2 seep site in tropical waters containing coral reef ecosystems, according to an AIMS statement.
The study has given scientists unprecedented insights into what coral reefs would look like if greenhouse emissions and resulting ocean acidification continues to increase at present rates.
“In the past, we have relied on short-term laboratory experiments to tell us what happens to marine organisms exposed to ocean acidification,” Fabricius said. “Those experiments indicated deleterious effects on the performance of many species.”
While lab experiments are important, Fabricius said the natural CO2 seeps in Milne Bay provided a more complete picture about the ecological consequences for coral reef communities when exposed to higher levels of CO2 for many decades.
- Sea cucumbers could protect endangered corals - Feb 01, 2012
- Could corals survive more acidic oceans? - Apr 02, 2012
- Warming casts shadow over survival of coral reefs - Sep 17, 2012
- Fish learn to cope with high CO2 in oceans - Jul 03, 2012
- Warming climate damaging reefs, impacting fish - Jul 11, 2012
- Radical methods needed to save oceans, say experts - Aug 21, 2012
- Tropical fish adapt to rising sea temperatures - Dec 06, 2011
- 75 percent of world's coral reefs under threat: report - Feb 24, 2011
- 'Rising CO2 levels threaten aquatic food webs' - May 08, 2012
- Acidic oceans endangering baby corals - Apr 19, 2012
- Carbon emissions speed up ocean acidification - Jan 23, 2012
- Using Mother Nature's method to save oceans' marine life - Jan 20, 2011
- Oceans absorbing half of greenhouse emission - Aug 02, 2012
- CO2 threatens fish's very survival in oceans - Jan 16, 2012
- Coral reefs can recover from devastating effects of global warming - Jan 09, 2010
Tags: atmospheric carbon dioxide, co2 concentrations, coral reef communities, deleterious effects, ecological consequences, greenhouse emissions, intergovernmental panel on climate change, katharina fabricius, lab experiments, marine organisms, milne bay province, natural carbon, ocean acidification, papua new guinea, rare insights, research expeditions, seeps, tropical coral reefs, tropical waters, unprecedented insights