Science

Coral Reef Ecosystem Threatened By Rising Carbon Dioxide

By Rodney Rafols , Nov 14, 2016 10:27 PM EST
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The oceans might be vast, but it has some of the most vulnerable ecosystems today. Much of the oceans' resources aren't managed very well. One of those that are vulnerable is corals, as coral reef ecosystem is threatened by rising carbon dioxide.

Global carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. This is one reason why global warming is also continuing. With that many ecosystems are under threat, especially the vulnerable ones. Coral reefs are some of the most vulnerable ecosystems. Coral reefs are home to many small marine species, and once these reefs lessen or die out, many of them would be endangered as well.

A study made by Duke University and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale has noted that a number of places would be at risk by rising sea temperatures. Some of these places include parts of Australia, Southeast Asia and Western Mexico. Along with this coral reefs are affected as well, since many of these reefs can be found in those areas.

Linwood Pendelton is the study's lead author and a senior scholar at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He said that many of the coral reefs in those areas would not be able to escape the harm of climate change. The study has shown how climate change affects coral reefs and the people dependent on them, as well as ways which could help communities cope with a changing climate.

Severe acidification of ocean waters will first affect areas in the lower latitudes, according to Duke Today. This is because those areas carry more carbon dioxide. Some of those areas that are identified include Japan, China and parts of southern Australia as well as Baja California. While these places would find the ocean more acidic, environmental stresses would be first felt in other parts of Australia, Oceana and Southeast Asia.

Chris Langdon, a Professor in the Department of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami said that non-governmental organizations will have to act fast to counter this threat. There must be more effort for the communities they represent in order to get governments to act, as Science Daily notes. Data collection and information is key in building new policies, which so far has not been to par in giving enough information about the threat to coral reefs and climate change.

As climate change continues, coral reef ecosystems are threatened by rising carbon dioxide. Much has to be done to minimize its effects. The UN has said recently that millions could be affected by the continuing climate change.

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