A recent study reports that the loss of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef due to climate change poses a catastrophe not just for marine life, but would cost $37.7 billion during the next century.
Bleaching caused by ocean acidification and increases in salinity and water temperature may destroy the reef in mere decades.
Dr. John Schubert, the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, stated that the report should be a “wake-up call” to the severity of climate change. Schubert further claimed that while lowering greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to saving the reef, more radical ideas, such as transplanting temperature-resistant corals from other areas should be considered.
Australia’s carbon emissions currently are rising at a rate of 1.6% per year and are expected to continue increasing without drastic measures and regulations.
Australia delays climate measures, but raises targets
(05/06/2009) Australia on Monday abruptly shifted its climate policy to give polluting industries more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Coral reefs decimated by 2050, Great Barrier Reef’s coral 95% dead
(11/17/2005) Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could lose 95 percent of its living coral by 2050 should ocean temperatures increase by the 1.5 degrees Celsius projected by climate scientists. The startling and controversial prediction, made last year in a report commissioned by the World Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Queensland government, is just one of the dire scenarios forecast for reefs in the near future. The degradation and possible disappearance of these ecosystems would have profound socioeconomic ramifications as well as ecological impacts says Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, head of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Marine Studies.