Lobotomizing the Web of Life: Coral Escape Limits

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 31 July 2018

Study shows ocean acidification is having major impact on marine life,

University of Plymouth, July 27, 2018.

"Carbon dioxide emissions are killing off coral reefs and kelp forests as heat waves and ocean acidification damage marine ecosystems."

...researchers say that three centuries of industrial development have already had a marked effect on our seas."

"...if CO2 levels continue to rise as predicted, the coming decades and lowering seawater pH levels will have an even greater and potentially catastrophic impact."

Volcanic CO2 Seeps Mimic our Future

"Their predictions follow a comprehensive study of the effects of recently discovered volcanic CO2 seeps off Shikine Island, Japan, which is on the border of temperate and tropical climates."

"...the volcanic seeps indicate how rising CO2 levels will affect future ecology, both in the northwest Pacific Ocean and across the world."

The Future is Now:
Wasteland of post-industrial high carbon and acid oceans of 2100
Wasteland: the ecosystem supported in post-industrial levels of carbon and acid expected in 2100.

Corral Cannot Escape

"...it is extremely worrying to find that tropical corals are so vulnerable to ocean acidification, as this will stop them from being able to spread further north and escape the damage caused by water that is too hot for them."

Time Machine of Doom

The Pre-Industrial Environment
Beauty and bounty of preindustrial coral and kelp conditions.
Beauty and bounty of "reference" area, an area of preindustrial coral and kelp conditions.

“Our research site is like a time machine. In areas with pre-industrial levels of CO2 the coast has an impressive amount of calcified organisms such as corals and oysters. But in areas with present-day average levels of surface seawater CO2 we found far fewer corals and other calcified life, and so there was less biodiversity. It shows the extensive damage caused by humans due to CO2 emissions over the past 300 years and unless we can get a grip on reducing CO2 emissions we will undoubtedly see major degradation of coastal systems worldwide.”


Recent Coral Research

Anthropocene, Climate Change News, 2018: Warming Times, Coral on the Way Out

Can corals survive climate change?

Saying Goodbye: Coral

Can corals survive climate change?

Fish Swimming Away
Habitats contracting as fish and coral flee equator


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coral escape limits in acidifying CO2 oceans


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