Cut global emissions to save coral reefsNovember 18th, 2009 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Nov 18 (IANS) The fabulously beautiful coral reefs might be lost forever unless global emissions are immediately slashed by 25 percent, below 2000 levels.
This is the grim warning by some of the world’s foremost marine and environmental scientists who briefed MPs in Canberra.
“The ‘outstanding universal values’ of the GBR (Great Barrier Reef), recognised by its inclusion on the World Heritage List in 1981, are now threatened by rapid climate change,” said Terry Hughes, director of ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.
“Coral reefs are in the front line of the effects of climate change because of their sensitivity to both relatively small temperature rises and to acidification of the oceans due to increased levels of dissolved CO2,” said Western Australian Premier’s Fellow and professor Malcolm McCulloch.
To date, atmospheric caron dioxide (CO2) has risen to 390 parts per million, resulting in an increase in temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius and a rise in ocean acidity, said an ARC release.
“Unprecedented coral bleaching and extensive mortality due to thermal stress affected over 50 percent of the GBR in 1998 and 2002, when summer maximum water temperatures were elevated by only 1-2 degrees Celsius. Some parts of the GBR have still not fully recovered,” said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, professor at the ARC Centre.
“Ocean acidification will impact all marine calcifying organisms, potentially disrupting the entire ecology of the world’s oceans, resulting in severe socio-economic impacts on fisheries and other marine industries,” said Hoegh-Guldberg.
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- Could corals survive more acidic oceans? - Apr 02, 2012
- Carbon emissions lead to dangerous changes in oceans - Apr 02, 2010
- Just 10 yrs left to save Oz's Great Barrier Reef: Expert - Apr 10, 2011
- Warming climate damaging reefs, impacting fish - Jul 11, 2012
- Warming casts shadow over survival of coral reefs - Sep 17, 2012
- Unusual corals likely to survive global warming - Feb 22, 2010
- Could unbridled climate changes lead to human extinction? - Jun 19, 2010
- Rising CO2 levels may reduce coral reefs ability to fight climate change - Oct 29, 2008
- Corals and algae in Indian Ocean may survive future global warming - Feb 17, 2010
- 75 percent of world's coral reefs under threat: report - Feb 24, 2011
- Coral reefs will survive ravages of warming: Scientists - Apr 17, 2012
- Ocean changes may have dire impact on people across the planet - Jun 19, 2010
- Coral bleaching will go from bad to worse in 2010: Study - Nov 20, 2010
- Tropical fish adapt to rising sea temperatures - Dec 06, 2011
Tags: centre of excellence, coral reef, coral reefs, degrees celsius, economic impacts, effects of climate change, environmental scientists, global emissions, great barrier reef, james cook university, maximum water, professor malcolm, rapid climate change, reef studies, sydney nov, terry hughes, thermal stress, universal values, water temperatures, world heritage list