Coral reefs around the world could be on the brink of extinction by the end of the century because oceans are becoming more acidic, warns scientists.
The richest marine ecosystems, the coral reefs, are in danger
In a recent study, researchers revealed that the climate changes cause the oceans to become more acidic and that will affects the coral reef.
In addition, the scientists said that volcanic activity also suggests a grim future for the coral reefs which are the richest marine ecosystems in the world.
In Papua New Guinea, three natural-occurring volcanic cracks which emit carbon dioxide have helped scientists see the bigger picture of how coral reefs could look in the next 100 years.
The study has shown that reducing the diversity and complexity of coral reefs is due to the changing pH of oceans from 8.1 to 7.8. The authors of this study claimed that lowering the pH below 7.8 could have catastrophic effects on corals.
Once the acidity grows near the volcano cracks, the shells of corals remain permanent, but it changes dramatically. Instead of providing a diverse environment with a variety of coral types, the area became dominated by massive corals looking like boulders.
Climate changes affect coral reefs
Climate change experts estimate that by the end of the century, ocean acidity will increase due to carbon dioxide emissions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted that increasing carbon dioxide levels will reduce the pH of the oceans from the current 8.1 to 7.8 by the end of the century.
In a recent study published Thursday, it is revealed once again, that carbon dioxide emissions cause climate changes that negatively impact on coral reefs, in special, and marine life, in general.
Study’s author, Bradley Eyre (a professor at Southern Cross University) said that corals may die because the oceans are becoming more acidic due to heavy carbon dioxide emissions. According to him, coral reefs will net dissolve by 2,100, meaning that corals will lose more than they’ll gain.