The first comprehensive global survey of the impact of both acidification and climate change on coral reefs was conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. If we continue another decade with current behavior, all coral reefs on Earth will degrade. Why do governments ignore this terrible loss?
Coral reef ecosystems cover less than 1 percent of the world’s ocean area yet are home to about.... Moreover, the value of the ecosystem services they provide—in terms of shoreline protection, tourism and fisheries—is estimated to be $375 billion annually.
Without any mitigation—a “plan” we’re currently pursuing—they found that all reefs would be subject to degradation.The reason for this staggering degree of damage is that corals are doubly harmed by greenhouse gases—they’re severely affected by both warmer waters (an effect of climate change as a whole) and ocean acidification.
All this is likely to be gone within decades, though, if we don’t quickly change our carbon emission habits. [emphasis mine]
I don't understand why governments are ignoring the obvious signs of climate change. It's like they don't want to address the issue. They think by ignoring the problem it will go away -- or they expect the next generations to deal with it.
Thanks so much for the article Ruth.
The reason governments, at least the U.S. is ignoring it it because campaigns are financed by corporations. Check out this article about the Koch brothers. I heard a proposal to allow a $75 tax credit for each eligible voter to donate to any political candidate, party, or campaign while disallowing all other contributions. That would give equal voice to every citizen. That was proposed by a university professor who said it meets constitutional requirements. A number of others have championed the idea. This it seems to me is a great solution to counter the Citizens United ruling. It would be nice if it picked up steam.
In the 2010 congressional elections, the Kochs and their partners spent at least $40m, helping to swing the balance of power in the US House of Representatives towards right-wing Tea Party Republicans. It has been reported that the Kochs are planning to raise and spend more than $200m to defeat Obama in 2012. But the brothers could easily kick in more without anyone knowing due to loopholes in US law.
The Koch brothers also spend a lot of money undermining climate cha.... I don't think there is a way to stop that. A federal government a public awareness campaign to counter climate denial would work well to inform everyone who doesn't understand the problem, causes, and solutions. Obama should be ashamed of himself for not having such a program.
Over 27 years the Great Barrier Reef lost half of its live coral. Not only are corals attacked by acidity and heat, stronger storms have an effect too.
The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%), according to a new study...
The study clearly shows that three factors are overwhelmingly responsible for this loss of coral cover. Intense tropical cyclones have caused massive damage, primarily to reefs in the central and southern parts of the Reef, while population explosions of the coral-consuming Crown-of-thorns starfish have affected coral populations along the length of the Reef. Two severe coral bleaching events have also had major detrimental impacts in northern and central parts of the GBR.
Barnards after cyclone Larry. (Credit: AIMS Long-term Monitoring Team)