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  Limit climate change to save coral reefs

Photo of article Almost all coral reefs are expected to be subject to severe degradation, that is unless action is undertaken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions – and an assumption that corals can adapt at extremely rapid rates. And even if all the assumptions are correct, only two thirds of the coral reefs will be safe according to a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Given the important role that coral reefs play in the marine ecosystem, these findings are alarming. It is estimated that coral reefs house almost a quarter of the species in the oceans and provide critical services such as coastal protection, tourism and fishing to millions of people worldwide. All these services could be at risk as global warming and ocean acidification, both driven by human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, pose a major threat to these ecosystems.

Published: 4 October 2012



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