Great Barrier’s Grief
Posted on Jan 2, 2009
Leave it to global warming to ruin both a day at the beach and an entire oceanic ecosystem. Researchers are blaming the environment’s public enemy No. 1 as well as rising seawater acidity for what has been the slowest coral growth rate at the Great Barrier Reef in more than 400 years.
Coral growth in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has slowed to its most sluggish rate in the past 400 years.
They studied massive porites corals, which are several hundred years old, and found that calcification has declined by 13.3% since 1990.
Global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater are to blame, they write in Science journal.
Coral reefs are central to the formation and function of ecosystems and food webs for tens of thousands of other marine organisms.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and the bivouac-ian backbone for many of the organisms that live in and around it.