|archmage||Date: Tuesday, 03-September-2013, 9:22 PM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
|In a landmark study, scientists at The University of Queensland (UQ) have simulated future ocean conditions and found climate change will jeopardise the future of coral reefs. |
The study published today in prestigious scientific journal, PNAS, finds coral reefs dissolve rapidly once exposed to warmer, more acidic ocean conditions associated with business-as-usual CO2 emission rates predicted for the latter half of this century.
The collaborative study, led by Associate Professor Sophie Dove from UQ's School of Biological Sciences, concludes that increases in temperature and acidity cause major disruptions to coral reefs like those growing around the world famous Heron Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Associate Professor Dove said even under fairly low emission scenarios, most corals bleached and died.
"Given corals are essential to coral reefs, this is not good news," Associate Professor Dove said.
In a world-first, the nine-month study used computers to control CO2 content and temperature of water flowing over small patches of coral reef at UQ's Heron Island research centre.
Associate Professor Dove describes one of the most significant challenges of climate change as being able to accurately reduce future uncertainties.
"By simulating future environments above complex reef systems, we come closer to understanding what might happen as the oceans warm and acidify," she said.
Read more/Full article/source - http://phys.org/news/2013-09-coral-reefs-greater-threat.html