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Posted Mon Mar 9 2009: from Carnegie Institution, via EurekAlert:
Coral reefs may start dissolving http://apocadocs.com/s.pl?1236638256
Stanford, CAŚ Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on ocean water are making it increasingly difficult for coral reefs to grow, say scientists. A study to be published online March 13, 2009 in Geophysical Research Letters by researchers at the Carnegie Institution and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem warns that if carbon dioxide reaches double pre-industrial levels, coral reefs can be expected to not just stop growing, but also to begin dissolving all over the world. ... Prospects for reefs are even gloomier when the effects of coral bleaching are included in the model. Coral bleaching refers to the loss of symbiotic algae that are essential for healthy growth of coral colonies. Bleaching is already a widespread problem, and high temperatures are among the factors known to promote bleaching. According to their model the researchers calculated that under present conditions 30 percent of reefs have already undergone bleaching and that at CO2 levels of 560 ppm (twice pre-industrial levels) the combined effects of acidification and bleaching will reduce the calcification rates of all the world's reefs by 80 percent or more.... "If we don't change our ways soon, in the next few decades we will destroy what took millions of years to create."
[Read more stories about: coral bleaching, ocean acidification]

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