Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How is climate change affecting corals?

Climate change is already having negative impact on many species, and in years to come things will likely become even worse. Among the species most sensitive to climate change are definitely corals, and if the world fails to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions corals could in years to come totally disappear from our seas and oceans.

Professor Ove Hoegh Guldberg from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland has already warned world leaders about this issue by saying that climate change is making coral bleaching far more frequent than ever before.

He also pointed out that the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system, with its variety of colorful corals, could be gone within four decades unless world reduces greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels.

The excessive carbon emissions are the main reason behind the increasing ocean acidification that is currently one of the biggest threats to survival of corals. If world continues with current levels of carbon emissions corals will soon become unable to cope with it, and will forever perish from the face of the earth.

By continuing current levels of greenhouse gas emissions we could very soon reach the point of no return where we won't be able to limit further temperature increases which will lead to not only extinction of corals but many other species too, both in land as well as in seas and oceans.

Corals play extremely important role in marine food chain, and their extinction would no doubt create huge marine biodiversity loss. It's definitely the time for action but are world leaders finally ready to go beyond the talk and actually do something to protect our planet from climate change?

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