Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hot Southern Summer Threatens Coral With Massive Bleaching Event

Date:
January 3, 2009
Source:
World Wildlife Fund
Summary:
A widespread and severe coral bleaching episode is predicted to cause immense damage to some of the world's most important marine environments over the next few months.

A widespread and severe coral bleaching episode is predicted to cause immense damage to some of the world's most important marine environments over the next few months.
Credit: iStockphoto/Tammy Peluso

A widespread and severe coral bleaching episode is predicted to cause immense damage to some of the world’s most important marine environments over the next few months.

A report from the US Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts severe bleaching for parts of the Coral Sea, which lies adjacent to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the Coral Triangle, a 5.4 million square kilometre expanse of ocean in the Indo-Pacific which is considered the centre of the world’s marine life.

“This forecast bleaching episode will be caused by increased water temperatures and is the kind of event we can expect on a regular basis if average global temperatures rise above 2 degrees,” said Richard Leck, Climate Change Strategy Leader for WWF’s Coral Triangle Program.

The bleaching, predicted to occur between now and February, could have a devastating impact on coral reef ecosystems, killing coral and destroying food chains. There would be severe impacts for communities in Australia and the region, who depend on the oceans for their livelihoods.

The Coral Triangle, stretching from the Philippines to Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, is home to 75 per cent of all known coral species. More than 120 million people rely on its marine resources.

“Regular bleaching episodes in this part of the world will have a massive impact on the region’s ability to sustain local communities,” said Leck. “In the Pacific many of the Small Island Developing States, such as the Solomon Islands, rely largely on the coast and coastal environments such as coral reefs for food supply. This is a region where alternative sources of income and food are limited.

“Time is crucial and Australia needs to step up to the plate. Following the government’s lack of resolve to seriously reduce future domestic carbon emissions, Australia has a huge role to play in assisting Coral Triangle countries and people to adapt to the changes in their climate.“

The Australian government this week announced a 2020 target for reducing its greenhouse gas pollution by 5 per cent, which WWF criticised as completely inadequate. Reductions of at least 25 per cent by 2020 are needed to set the world on a pathway to meaningful cuts in greenhouse pollution.

Australia’s Coral Sea, which will also be affected by coral bleaching and climate change, is a pristine marine wilderness covering almost 1,000,000 square kilometres and is extraordinarily rich in marine life, including sharks and turtles, with a series of spectacular reefs rising thousands of metres from the sea floor.

WWF is urging the Australian government to declare the Coral Sea a marine protected area, as well as working to establish a network of marine protected areas that will assist ocean environments to adapt to the changes caused by rising temperatures, and to absorb the impacts from human activity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Wildlife Fund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Wildlife Fund. "Hot Southern Summer Threatens Coral With Massive Bleaching Event." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228201342.htm>.
World Wildlife Fund. (2009, January 3). Hot Southern Summer Threatens Coral With Massive Bleaching Event. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228201342.htm
World Wildlife Fund. "Hot Southern Summer Threatens Coral With Massive Bleaching Event." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228201342.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins