Great Barrier Reef facing destruction ‘within 20 years’ say experts

Children born today could be the last generation to enjoy swimming among stunning coral reefs, marine scientists have said.

A meeting of leading wildlife experts – led by Sir David Attenborough – today warned that tropical reefs face ‘imminent destruction’ unless the world cuts the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

They say concentrations of CO2 have already gone beyond the tipping point for reefs – and need to return to the levels of the 1970s.

And Charlie Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has claimed that the Great Barrier Reef will be gone within 20 years.

‘There is no way out, no loopholes,’ he said. ‘The Great Barrier Reef will be over within 20 years or so.’



Marine biologists say this does not just mean cutting greenhouse gas emissions – but finding a way to strip existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Coral reefs aren’t just beautiful to look at, they are the most important eco-systems of the seas.

The reefs are home to one million species of sea life and provide food and jobs for millions of people.

Reefs also protect coasts from storm damage, and attract millions of tourists. They also support a quarter of all the life in the seas.

However, coral reefs are highly sensitive to rising levels of carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are thought to have gone up from around 280ppm (parts per million) to 387ppm today.

Higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere turn the seas more acid and dissolve coral.

David Derbyshire, Daily Mail Online, 7 July 2009. Full article.

0 Responses to “Great Barrier Reef facing destruction ‘within 20 years’ say experts”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply




				
  • Search

  • Categories

  • Tags

  • Post Date

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,409,070 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book


%d bloggers like this: