Coal and climate change: Death for the Reef

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg undertakes research on coral reef ecosystems: The University of Queensland.  He writes:

Back in 1999, I made an upsetting discovery. … By comparing the temperature tolerance of reef-building corals with the projected effects of rising carbon dioxide levels, I found that the oceans would soon grow too warm for corals to bear, meaning that coral-dominated systems like the Great Barrier Reef would disappear within 30-40 years.  I desperately hoped that my study was wrong and that the world had more time to solve the problem of climate change. Now, 16 years later, my conclusions have been confirmed and the message, if anything, have become even more pessimistic.  The oceans are becoming too warm and too acidic. … Why is Australia deliberately putting the Great Barrier Reef, a national treasure and economic powerhouse, at risk by continued development of cola mines?

The Conversation: 20 May 2015

Category: Climate

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