Coral Reefs are a vital part of the marine food web, we will all suffer dearly when they are gone.
A new global deal on climate change will come too late to save most of the world’s coral reefs, according to a US study that suggests major ecological damage to the oceans is now inevitable…
The research suggests that stabilising world carbon levels at 450ppm would still dump so much carbon dioxide in the oceans that only 8% of coral reefs would be surrounded by water with enough aragonite to maintain their structure. Some 7% of the ocean below 60 degrees south will see a shortage of aragonite, while parts of the high latitude ocean could see a pH drop of 0.2 units.
At 550ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, no coral reef would have access to enough of the mineral. Even stabilising CO2 at current levels would still leave some 60% of coral bathed in seawater with low aragonite levels.
The increased amounts of carbon dioxide going into the ocean will also affect other marine life, such as shellfish, that need the calcium mineral to build carbonate shells.
Here is a link to the study for those interested in more detail.