So, I found this little gem today while going thru my daily search routines.
“Coral reefs will dissolve within 100 years in acidic seas, say marine experts
By David Derbyshire In San Diego
Last updated at 10:37 AM on 23rd February 2010
The world’s most stunning coral reefs will have dissolved within 100 years, a new study claims.
Scientists say rising levels of acid in the seas and warmer ocean temperatures are wiping out the spectacular reefs enjoyed by millions of divers, tourists and wildlife lovers.
The destruction would also be a disaster for tropical fish and marine life which use coral reefs as nurseries and feeding grounds.
Dr Jacob Silverman, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington said rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were making seas more acidic.
His studies suggest reefs stop growing and start breaking up when the amount of the greenhouse gas reaches twice its pre-industrial level.
If current trends continue, this is expected to be by the end of the 21st century.
‘These ecosystems, which harbour the highest diversity of marine life in the oceans, may be severely reduced within less than 100 years,’ he said.
Reef-building corals are highly sensitive to the acidity and temperature of the seawater in which they grow, Dr Silverman told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.
Oceans soak up carbon dioxide greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, but in doing so become more acidic.
When the acid levels rise too high it prevents coral from extracting minerals from seawater to build their hard skeletons.
Dr Silverman’s team studied the metabolism of a northern Red Sea coral reef to work out how sensitive it was to changes in the climate.
The research showed that the ability of the coral to build new structures depended hugely on water acidity. Sea temperature played a smaller role.
Dr Silverman said: ‘A global map produced on the basis of these calculations shows that all coral reefs are expected to stop their growth and start to disintegrate when atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches 560 parts per million – double its pre-industrial level – , expected by the end of the 21st century.’
Another speaker at the meeting highlighted a second threat to coral linked to global warming.
Dr Simon Donner said increasing ocean temperatures made reefs more susceptible to bleaching, caused by the loss of algae on which coral depend.
Corals have a symbiotic relationship with the microscopic algae that live in their tissues.
As well as giving coral its vibrant colour, the algae provide the reef creatures with most of their energy.
When sea temperatures rise too high the association between coral and algae breaks down. The coral then effectively expel the algae and turn white. Once this happens the coral is deprived of energy and dies.
Dr Donner, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, said: ‘Even if we froze emissions today, the planet still has some warming left in it. That’s enough to make bleaching dangerously frequent in reefs worldwide.’
Mass bleaching events were extremely rare 30 years ago but had become increasingly common in recent years, he said.
In 2006, severe bleaching struck the southern part of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world.”
My O My O My!
Its been stated that the ocean heat has been subsiding for sometime now. Over at Watts Up With That, Bob Tisdale wrote an article about cooling ocean temperature trends. And here is a graph of that trend:
Now, While I think that there can be disturbing anomalies of coral reefs, the continued misdirection of scientists that still feed at the trough of the global warming band wagon, and the journalists that write about them has all but worn out its welcome with me.
It really is time that both sides of the story was told and not the one that main stream media portrays.