Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A world without coral reefs

The Consensus Statement from the International Coral Reef Symposium copped some flak from the wingnut brigade for being, in their eyes, overly negative. It was all doom and gloom they said. Writing at the New York Times, Roger Bradbury, the Adjunct Professor of Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program at the Australian National University, suggests the it was, in fact, overly optimistic.
It’s past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world’s poor — will cease to be.

Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem.
Read more at the New York Times.

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