Science Articles on Acid Oceans and Coral Reefs

Series of my science articles documenting how global warming is transforming the Oceans and threatening Coral Reefs

No Safe Havens in Increasingly Acid Oceans

Oil, gas and coal are contaminating the world’s oceans from top to bottom, threatening the lives of more than 800 million people, a new study warns Tuesday.

“It took a year to analyse and synthesise all of the studies on the impacts of climate change on ocean species,” Camilo Mora, an ecologist at University of Hawai‘i in Honolulu and lead author, told IPS.

“We are seeing greater changes, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated.” — Alex Rogers of the University of Oxford

Plankton Death To Come with Acid Oceans and Sunlight

Without major reductions in the use of fossil fuels, sunlight will kill an unknown number of ocean phytoplankton, the planet’s most important organism, a new study reports this week.

Not only are phytoplankton, also known as marine algae, a vital component in the ocean’s food chain, they generate at least half of the oxygen we breathe.

In the not so distant future, sunlight, the very source of life for phytoplankton, will likely begin to kill them because of the ocean’s increasing acidity, researchers from China and Germany have learned.

“There’s a synergistic effect between increased ocean acidity and natural light,” says Ulf Riebesell of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany.

sea-anemone

Deep CO2 Cuts May Be Last Hope for Acid Oceans

(Report from the World Oceans Conference in Indonesia, May 2009)

Ocean acidification offers the clearest evidence of dangers of climate change.

And yet the indisputable fact that burning fossil fuels is slowly turning the oceans into an acid bath has been largely ignored by industrialised countries and their climate treaty negotiators, concluded delegates from 76 countries at the World Oceans Conference in Manado, Indonesia.

Oceans Passing Critical CO2 Threshold

An apparent rapid upswing in ocean acidity in recent years is wiping out coastal species like mussels, a new study has found.

“We’re seeing dramatic changes,” said Timothy Wootton of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, lead author of the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study shows increases in ocean acidity that are more than 10 times faster than any prediction.

Say Goodbye to Coral Reefs

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.

noaa

Lose Corals and We Will be Fighting for Our Own Survival

“There would be no white sands on the beaches of Cancún without the Mesoamerican reef,” Professor Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, a marine ecophysiologist working at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Tierramérica.

Cutting CO2 Could Save Dying Corals

FORT LAUDERDALE, U.S., Jul 12 (IPS) – The rapid decline of coral reefs around the world offers a potent warning that entire ecosystems can collapse due to human activities, although there is hope for reefs if immediate action is taken, coral experts agreed at the conclusion of a five-day international meeting Friday.severely-degraded-reef-flat-at-kelso-reef-great-barrier-reef-australiaimage-c2a9-cathie-page-very-sml2

A Third of Corals Face Extinction

FORT LAUDERDALE, U.S., Jul 10 (IPS) – One third of reef-building corals already face extinction because of climate change, the first-ever global assessment has found.

Life Support Needed For Coral Reefs

FORT LAUDERDALE, U.S., Jul 8 (IPS) – Coral reefs need to be put on “life support” if they are to survive climate change, but their ultimate survival is dependant on major reductions in fossil fuel emissions, say experts.

“We’re Running the Risk of Unstoppable Climate Change” — Oceanographer

“I’m afraid it is going to take a major catastrophe in the developed world…” Chris Reid.

Oceans are the Heart and Blood of the Earth — But are They Healthy?

If continents are the Earth’s sturdy bones and the atmosphere its thin skin, then the oceans are its heart, circulatory system and blood. And despite the crucial role played by the oceans in the health of the planet, and to our own health and well-being, there is little monitoring of ocean health.

Acid Oceans to ‘Dissolve’ Coral Reefs in 30 years

Coral reefs face certain extinction in a few decades unless there are unprecedented reductions in carbon emissions, leading Australian scientists warn.

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