The Great Barrier Reef could be dead in 20 years unless there is a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a marine biology expert in Australia said in early April.
Rising sea temperatures were bleaching the coral and causing it to die, said Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
At the same time, increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were turning the world’s oceans more acidic and preventing corals from forming their limestone skeletons, he said. Prof Hoegh-Guldberg and Professor Terry Hughes provided expert advice to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report was delayed due to objections from China, the US and Saudi Arabia.
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Altered Oceans Report by the Los Angeles Times - By Kenneth R. Weiss, Usha Lee McFarling - Dec 27, 2006
This report makes the extent of damage to fishing, sea life and even humans very clear. The appearance of the Red Tide Algae has already cost the lives of scores of sea animals and affect the health of humans that walk along what are now deadly shores.
This and other algae, including the rapid growth of Lyngbya (an ancient, pre-historic algae) are known to cause memory loss in humans, respiratory complications such as Asthma and severe skin problems and almost certain death to sea-life. Animals which eat sea-food if left untreated, die in most cases. Survivors seem to suffer permanent neurological damage. Advanced sea-life, which are most like humans, seem to be the most severely affected and threatened.
These new algae phenomenon have been met with official lifeguard warnings and visitors are advised to stay away from shores or wear breathing masks if they must go in the vicinity of the sea.
“Altered Oceans” is a troubling five-part-series on the present growing crisis in the world seas which now contain 38 ‘dead’ spots instead of only 3 as decades ago. These numbers are expected to double every decade, which means that in 5 years, the minimum quantity of ‘dead spots’ in the earth’s oceans are expected to number at least 57. Key phrases in the 5-part Series on the Crisis in the Seas by the Los Angeles Times are as follows: