Underwater lab the first to plot impact of climate change on reefs

On an idyllic coral atoll just a two-hour boat ride from Queensland’s Gladstone Harbour, out past the endless line of tankers queued to load coal for export, a half-dozen scientists work frantically against the tide.

Their objective? To explore the consequences of rising atmospheric carbon – which evidence overwhelmingly attributes to the burning of coal and other fossil fuels – on the delicate chemistry of the reef and the creatures living there.

The project team, led by David Kline, a young scientist from the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, is completing tests on a new underwater laboratory that will expose living corals on the Great Barrier Reef to the more acidic conditions forecast for oceans by the end of the century.

Jo Chandler, THE AGE, 24 May 2010. Full article.

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