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Author Topic: The Great Barrier Reef is also screwed
Doug
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Babbler # 44

posted 14 December 2007 06:16 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
IT is probably too late to save the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs from global warming.

Even if governments implement far-reaching measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, they will not prevent the annihilation of coral reefs around the world.

These are the conclusions of analysis by leading marine scientists to be published today in the prestigious journal Science.


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22922985-5009760,00.html


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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Babbler # 12603

posted 14 December 2007 06:32 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Odd news site... There are 2 articles on this topic there if you follow the links on the right. The second link here talks more about why:

quote:

The study found emissions of carbon dioxide, the main "greenhouse" gas contributing to global warming, are boosting acidity so much that sea water covering 98 per cent of all coral reefs may be too acidic by 2050 for some corals to live, and while others may survive they would be unable to build reefs.


Site also points out that an estimated 1 billion people use reefs as a food source (I think thats high though). If feeding people isn't your thing, won't someone please think of the money!

quote:
They produce $US375 billion ($426.31 billion) a year in economic value worldwide, according to The Nature Conservancy environmental group,

ETA:

Painful to read the comments on that article. Here is an article dealing with CO2 levels in the ocean causing it to become acidic, and theres a large number of comments from people saying 'Mars is warming, our warming must be natural too!'. Funny to watch people come up with anti-warming statements like that when the issue is ocean acidity.

[ 14 December 2007: Message edited by: Noise ]


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Policywonk
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Babbler # 8139

posted 14 December 2007 01:11 PM      Profile for Policywonk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Funny to watch people come up with anti-warming statements like that when the issue is ocean acidity.

It's both ocean temperature warming and acidity, but both are affecting the ability of the oceans to act as a carbon sink.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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Babbler # 12603

posted 15 December 2007 11:58 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's both ocean temperature warming and acidity, but both are affecting the ability of the oceans to act as a carbon sink.

For the topic of the great barrier reef, isn't it mainly the increasing acidity of the oceans (Carbonic acid) thats the threat? Or does the warming waters themselves have a direct effect on the reef? I'm under the impression it's the acidity (which is directly related to the CO2 in the atmosphere, and not so much the warming affect).

I know it's all tied together of course, but it's funny to watch the comments on 'Mars Warming' that that has anything to do with this topic

[ 15 December 2007: Message edited by: Noise ]


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 December 2007 12:38 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Corals grow in clean, clear, nutrient-free water that's between 68 and 80 degrees farenheit. This limits their growth to between 30 degrees north and south of the equator and in water that is less than 50 feet deep. I think leaching and diseases come into play with temperature changes. Over-fishing is a problem for reefs. Coral reefs should be alive and full of colour.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Policywonk
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posted 16 December 2007 03:37 PM      Profile for Policywonk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sea surface temperature is considered the primary factor in coral bleaching. Decalcification due to acidification is also problem for corals and other calcifying species, and may also be a factor in coral bleaching.
From: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 16 December 2007 04:30 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
• Increases in ocean temperatures associated with global climate change will increase the number of coral bleaching episodes. High water temperatures stress corals leading to “bleaching” — the expulsion of colorful, symbiotic algae that corals need for survival, growth, and reproduction. While coral species have some capacity to recover from bleaching events, this ability is diminished with greater frequency or severity of bleaching. As a result, climate change is likely to reduce local and regional coral biodiversity, as sensitive species are eliminated.

• Increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel combustion will drive changes in surface ocean chemistry. The higher the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, the greater the amount of CO2 dissolved in the surface ocean. Higher dissolved CO2 increases ocean acidity and lowers the concentration of carbonate which corals and other marine organisms use, in the form of calcium carbonate, to build their skeletons. Thus, continued growth in human emissions of CO2 will further limit the ability of corals to grow and recover from bleaching events or other forms of stress.

• The effects of global climate change will combine with more localized stresses to further degrade coral reef ecosystems. Although climate change itself will adversely affect coral reefs, it will also increase the susceptibility of reef communities to degradation and loss resulting from natural climate variability such as El Niño events as well as disease, over-fishing, disruption of food webs, and pollution from neighboring human communities.

- Source: Coral Reefs and Global Climate Change


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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