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Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:01 AM

Great Barrier Reef loses more than half its coral cover

Source: The Guardian

Coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef has dropped by more than half over the last 27 years, according to scientists, a result of increased storms, bleaching and predation by population explosions of a starfish which sucks away the coral's nutrients.

At present rates of decline, the coral cover will halve again within a decade, though scientists said the reef could recover if the crown-of-thorns starfish can be brought under control and, longer term, global carbon dioxide emissions are reduced.

"This latest study provides compelling evidence that the cumulative impacts of storms, crown-of-thorns starfish (Cots) and two bleaching events have had a devastating effect on the reef over the last three decades," said John Gunn, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Coral reefs are an important part of the marine ecosystem as sources of food and as protection for young fish. They are under threat around the world from the effects of bleaching, due to rising ocean temperatures, and increasing acidification of the oceans, which reduces the corals' ability to build their calcium carbonate structures.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/01/great-barrier-reef-coral-cover



Acidification of the ocean is another effect of rising carbon dioxide levels, caused by fossil fuel burning.

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Reply Great Barrier Reef loses more than half its coral cover (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2012 OP
lunatica Oct 2012 #1
GliderGuider Oct 2012 #2
SunSeeker Oct 2012 #3
okasha Oct 2012 #4
riderinthestorm Oct 2012 #5
closeupready Oct 2012 #6
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2012 #7
closeupready Oct 2012 #9
lonestarnot Oct 2012 #8
hatrack Oct 2012 #10

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:53 AM

1. Thank you for posting this

It's all catching up with us. No one will listen to this either.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:08 AM

2. A third of the CO2 we emit stays in the air, and another third dissolves in the oceans.

There is no way to geoengineer our way past global warming's evil twin.

We are cooking the planet and dissolving the fish.

The only way to stop doing this is to stop burning fossil fuels - permanently.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:04 AM

3. This just breaks my heart.

I can't believe what we're doing to the paradise we've been given.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:48 PM

4. And will continue to die

until the US government and others force industries to rely on other than fossil fuels. And, oh, yeah--stop taking bribes from Big Oil disguised as PAC contributions.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:23 PM

5. A heartsick K&R. Although you're preaching to the choir on DU

We all know and understand what's happening. Tremendously sad.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:27 PM

6. From what I read about this elsewhere, starfish populations

are booming due to agricultural runoff, and one of their main food sources is, yep, coral.

Scientists have estimated that they are responsible for about a third of such damage, but that the reef could recover over a period of 20-30 years if certain fixes were adopted.

I'll try to find the cite I read.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:46 PM

7. There's some about that in the last 3 paragraphs of the Guardian article

I've reached my 4 paragraphs quoting limit, though.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:58 PM

9. Thanks - on the bright side,

I was also reading that parts of the northern area of the reef still appear relatively untouched.

Still, this story is alarming and sad, no question.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:47 PM

8. Sadness.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:16 PM

10. Good luck on that "global carbon dioxide emissions are reduced" part of it . . .

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