Climate change caused 2,500 year collapse of Panamanian coral reef

partly dead coral reefClimate 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 Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). “As humans continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the climate is once again on the threshold of a new regime, with dire consequences for reef ecosystems unless we get control of climate change,” said coauthor Richard Aronson, a biology professor at Florida Institute of Technology.

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Some corals resistant to ocean acidification

With atmospheric and oceanic CO2 levels rising and the consequent acidification of the oceans, marine life has to adapt rapidly if they want to stay around. Especially calcium carbonate skeleton building organisms are affected by the rapidly dwindling seawater pH … Continue reading

Caribbean coral reef decline predates damage from climate change

coralThe decline of Caribbean coral reefs has been linked to the recent effects of human-induced climate change. However, new research led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests an even earlier cause. The bad news – humans are still to blame. The good news – relatively simple policy changes can hinder further coral reef decline.

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Diverse ecosystems vulnerable to extreme weather

Extreme weather such as hurricanes, torrential downpours and droughts will become more frequent in pace with global warming. Consequently, this increases the risk for species extinction, especially in bio diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests.

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Earlier heat stress helps corals overcome climate change

Coral reefA team of international scientists working in the central Pacific has discovered that coral which has survived heat stress in the past is more likely to survive it in the future.

The study, published March 30 in the journal PLoS ONE, paves the way towards an important road map on the impacts of ocean warming, and will help scientists identify the habitats and locations where coral reefs are more likely to adapt to climate change.

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In marine reserves reef sharks do well

After some good news about blue whales perhaps now there is also something hopeful to say about sharks. That however would still depend on whether we will be able to create and maintain protected areas in tropical reef systems along … Continue reading

Mediterranean biodiversity versus a globalising planet: from Suez Canal to your tuna pizza

“In reserves off Spain and Italy, we found the largest fish biomass in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, around Turkey and Greece, the waters were bare” – Enric Sala, National Geographic Society.