While we know that coral reefs are already in endanger, this certainly shows that the time to act on protecting them is now. As cruisers, we are the ones who are often in closest contact with them, so it’s important to keep in mind what our impact is on our oceans.
Climate change and acidifying ocean water are likely to have a highly variable impact on the world’s coral reefs in space, time and diversity, international coral scientists cautioned last week. The picture that is emerging from studies of past coral extinctions and present impacts on today’s reef systems is complex and subtle and will demand much more sophisticated management to preserve reefs intact.
“New research confirms that coral reefs are indeed threatened by climate change, but that some current projections of global-scale collapse of reefs within the next few decades probably overestimate the rapidity and uniformity of the decline,” the researchers say. “A considered view of all the most recent evidence suggests that some coral reef systems will decline more rapidly – especially those subject to other human pressures such as overfishing – while others may change in composition, but manage to persist for longer,” says lead author Professor John Pandolfi of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland.
For the complete story, go to www.coralcoe.org.au.