Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate Change Could Displace Millions In Asia's Coral Triangle

Date:
May 14, 2009
Source:
World Wildlife Fund
Summary:
Coral reefs could disappear entirely from the Coral Triangle region of the Pacific Ocean by the end of the century, threatening the food supply and livelihoods for about 100 million people, according to a new study. Averting catastrophe will depend on quick and effective global action on climate change coupled with the implementation of regional solutions to problems of over-fishing and pollution.

Etika Rupeni carefully lays a transect tape along a coral garden at Great Astrolabe Reef in Fiji.
Credit: Copyright World Wildlife Fund

Coral reefs could disappear entirely from the Coral Triangle region of the Pacific Ocean by the end of the century, threatening the food supply and livelihoods for about 100 million people, according to a new study from World Wildlife Fund.

Averting catastrophe will depend on quick and effective global action on climate change coupled with the implementation of regional solutions to problems of over-fishing and pollution, according to The Coral Triangle and Climate Change: Ecosystems, People and Societies at Risk,  a WWF-commissioned study presented at the World Oceans Conference in Manado, Indonesia May 13.

“This area is the planet’s crown jewel of coral diversity and we are watching it disappear before our eyes,” said Catherine Plume, Director of the Coral Triangle Program for WWF-US. “But as this study shows, there are opportunities to prevent this tragedy while sustaining the livelihoods of millions who rely on its riches.”

The report offers two dramatically different scenarios for the Coral Triangle, which is comprised of the coasts, reefs and seas of the countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. The Coral Triangle occupies

Just one percent of the Earth’s surface, but is home to fully 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs, 76 percent of reef-building coral species and more than 35 percent of coral reef fish species. It is also serves as vital spawning grounds for other economically important fish such as tuna.   

“In one scenario, we continue along our current climate trajectory and do little to protect coastal environments from the onslaught of local threats,” said Queensland University Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, who led the study. “In this world, people see the biological treasures of the Coral Triangle destroyed over the course of the century by rapid increases in ocean temperature, acidity and sea level, while the resilience of coastal environments also deteriorates under faltering coastal management. Poverty increases, food security plummets, economies suffer and coastal people migrate increasingly to urban areas.”

The report also highlighted opportunities to avoid a worst-case scenario in the region through significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and international investment in strengthening the region’s natural environments, solutions that would help to build a resilient and robust Coral Triangle in which economic growth, food security and natural environments are maintained.

“Climate change in the Coral Triangle is challenging but manageable, and the region would respond well to reductions in local environmental stresses from overfishing, pollution, and declining coastal water quality and health,”  Hoegh-Guldberg said.

Even under the best case scenario however, communities  in the region can expect to experience  dramatic losses of coral, rising sea level, increased storm activity, severe droughts and reduced food availability from coastal fisheries. But effective management of coastal resources would mean the communities would remain reasonably intact and more resilient in the face of such hardships.

WWF officials said world leaders have a role to play in helping Coral Triangle countries strengthen management of their marine resources and through international action on climate change.

“We must forge a strong international agreement to bring about sharp reductions in greenhouse gases at the UN Climate Conference at Copenhagen in December,” Plume said.


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. "Climate Change Could Displace Millions In Asia's Coral Triangle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130953.htm>.
World Wildlife Fund. (2009, May 14). Climate Change Could Displace Millions In Asia's Coral Triangle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130953.htm
World Wildlife Fund. "Climate Change Could Displace Millions In Asia's Coral Triangle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130953.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) 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