The coral reef crisis : the critical importance of < 350 ppm CO2
Veron, J. E. N., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Lenton, T. M., Lough, J. M., Obura, D. O., Pearce-Kelly, P., Sheppard, Charles (Charles R. C.), Spalding, M., Stafford-Smith, M. G. and Rogers, A. D.. (2009) The coral reef crisis : the critical importance of < 350 ppm CO2. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol.58 (No.10). pp. 1428-1436. ISSN 0025-326XFull text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.09.009
Temperature-induced mass coral bleaching causing mortality on a wide geographic scale started when atmospheric CO2 levels exceeded similar to 320 ppm. When CO2 levels reached similar to 340 ppm, sporadic but highly destructive mass bleaching occurred in most reefs world-wide, often associated with El Nino events. Recovery was dependent on the vulnerability of individual reef areas and on the reefs previous history and resilience. At today's level of similar to 387 ppm, allowing a lag-time of 10 years for sea temperatures to respond, most reefs world-wide are committed to an irreversible decline. Mass bleaching will in future become annual, departing from the 4 to 7 years return-time of El Nino events. Bleaching will be exacerbated by the effects of degraded water-quality and increased severe weather events. in addition, the progressive onset of ocean acidification will cause reduction of coral growth and retardation of the growth of high magnesium calcite-secreting coralline algae. If CO2 levels are allowed to reach 450 ppm (due to occur by 2030-2040 at the current rates), reefs will be in rapid and terminal decline world-wide from multiple synergies arising from mass bleaching, ocean acidification, and other environmental impacts. Damage to shallow reef communities will become extensive with consequent reduction of biodiversity followed by extinctions. Reefs will cease to be large-scale nursery grounds for fish and will cease to have most of their current value to humanity. There will be knock-on effects to ecosystems associated with reefs, and to other pelagic and benthic ecosystems. Should CO2 levels reach 600 ppm reefs will be eroding geological structures with populations of surviving biota restricted to refuges. Domino effects will follow, affecting many other marine ecosystems. This is likely to have been the path of great mass extinctions of the past, adding to the case that anthropogenic CO2 emissions could trigger the Earth's sixth mass extinction. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- )|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Marine Pollution Bulletin|
|Number of Pages:||9|
|Page Range:||pp. 1428-1436|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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