Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Top marine scientists warn reefs in rapid decline
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) July 9, 2012


More than 2,600 of the world's top marine scientists Monday warned coral reefs around the world were in rapid decline and urged immediate global action on climate change to save what remains.

The consensus statement at the International Coral Reef Symposium, being held in the northeastern Australian city of Cairns, stressed that the livelihoods of millions of people were at risk.

Coral reefs provide food and work for countless coastal inhabitants globally, generate significant revenues through tourism and function as a natural breakwater for waves and storms, they said.

The statement, endorsed by the forum attendees and other marine scientists, called for measures to head off escalating damage caused by rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, overfishing and pollution from the land.

"There is a window of opportunity for the world to act on climate change, but it is closing rapidly," said Terry Hughes, convener of the symposium, held every four years, which attracted some 2,000 scientists from 80 countries.

Jeremy Jackson, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Institution in the United States, said reefs around the world have seen severe declines in coral cover over the last several decades.

In the Caribbean, for example, 75-85 percent of the coral cover has been lost in the last 35 years.

Even the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the best-protected reef ecosystem on the planet, has witnessed a 50 percent decline in the last 50 years.

Jackson said while climate change was exacerbating the problem, it was also causing increased droughts, agricultural failure and sea level rises at increasingly faster rates, which implied huge problems for society.

"That means what's good for reefs is also critically important for people and we should wake up to that fact," he said.

"The future of coral reefs isn't a marine version of tree-hugging but a central problem for humanity."

Stephen Palumbi, director of Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, said addressing local threats, such as poor land development and unsustainable fishing practices, was also critical.

More than 85 percent of reefs in Asia's "Coral Triangle" are directly threatened by human activities such as coastal development, pollution, and overfishing, according to a report launched at the forum earlier Monday.

The Coral Triangle covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, The Solomon Islands, and East Timor and contains nearly 30 percent of the world's reefs and more than 3,000 species of fish.

International Society for Reef Studies president Robert Richmond stressed that the consensus statement was not just another effort at documenting the mounting problems.

Instead he said it was also about making the best available science available to leaders worldwide.

"The scientific community has an enormous amount of research showing we have a problem. But right now, we are like doctors diagnosing a patient's disease, but not prescribing any effective cures," he said.

"We have to start more actively engaging the process and supporting public officials with real-world prescriptions for success."

.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Climate change suspended reef growth for two millennia
Melbourne FL (SPX) Jul 06, 2012
Climate change drove coral reefs to a total ecosystem collapse lasting thousands of years, according to a paper published this week in Science. The paper shows how natural climatic shifts stopped reef growth in the eastern Pacific for 2,500 years. The reef shutdown, which began 4,000 years ago, corresponds to a period of dramatic swings in the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). "As human ... read more


WATER WORLD
Fukushima was 'man-made' disaster: Japanese probe

Aussie patrol boats are 'under pressure'

Japan Diet to publish Fukushima disaster probe

Jakarta, Canberra boost asylum cooperation

WATER WORLD
Microsoft sets October release for Windows 8

Recognizing Telstar and the Birth of Global Communications

US court lifts Samsung phone ban, keeps tablet block

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Receives DARPA ALASA Contract Award

WATER WORLD
Top marine scientists warn reefs in rapid decline

Hosepipe bans lifted in Britain after record rains

Climate change suspended reef growth for two millennia

China's Three Gorges Dam at full capacity: Xinhua

WATER WORLD
Argentina court upholds glacier protections against mining

Study: Wrong diet doomed 1912 polar try

Scientists to produce first 3-D models of Arctic sea ice

Canada builds up arctic region defenses

WATER WORLD
US drought hits global grain outlook: FAO

Vertical farm in abandoned pork plant turns waste into food

Screening horticultural imports: New models assess plant risk through better analysis

Scientists urge new approaches to plant research

WATER WORLD
Russia mourns flood dead as questions mount

Russian official sacked over slack flood response

Indian floods kill threatened rhinos

Familar whispers surround Russia flood disaster

WATER WORLD
Mali to form 1,200-strong elite force to protect transition

UN soldier dies as DR Congo rebels take Uganda border post

Developing world has less than five percent chance of meeting UN child hunger target

S.African game farmer jailed for 8 years over rhino horn

WATER WORLD
Seabirds studied for clues to human aging

Hong Kong's land shortage forces bereaved to sea

Diet of early human relative Australopithecus shows surprises

Outside View: 18th-century words for today




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement