Say Goodbye to Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs will be the first global ecosystem to collapse in our lifetimes.

By Stephen Leahy

GIJON, Spain, May 22 (IPS) – The one-two punch of climate change that is warming ocean temperatures and increasing acidification is making the oceans uninhabitable for corals and other marine species, researchers said at a scientific symposium in Spain.

And now other regions are being affected. Acidic or corrosive waters have been detected for the first time on the continental shelf of the west coast of North America, posing a serious threat to fisheries, Richard Feely, an oceanographer with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told attendees in Gijon, Spain Wednesday.

More than 450 scientists from over 60 countries are participating in the “Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans” symposium.

“Surface waters off the coast of San Francisco had concentrations of carbon dioxide that we didn’t expect to see for at least another 100 years,” Feely told IPS. Continue reading