cJoin the campaign to save the world's coral
Please join the campaign by agreeing with the following statement on the science and management of coral reef ecosystems in a changing climate
Professor J.E.N Veron, the former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on coral reef ecosystems, presented the effects that climate change is having on coral reefs. His presentation can be found below:
Charlie Veron's presentation
'Is the Great Barrier Reef on Death Row?' (41.2 MB) - Charlie Veron's presentation at the Royal Society on 6th July 2009
The following statement was then agreed by the technical workshop of leading world marine and climate change scientists, hosted by ZSL, IPSO and the Royal Society.
Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse habitats of the oceans and provide essential ecosystem goods and services to hundreds of millions of people.
Temperature-induced mass coral bleaching causing widespread mortality on the Great Barrier Reef and many other reefs of the world started when atmospheric CO2 exceeded 320ppm.
At today’s level of approximately 387ppm CO2, reefs are seriously declining and time-lagged effects will result in their continued demise with parallel impacts on other marine and coastal ecosystems.
Proposals to limit CO2 levels to 450ppm will not prevent the catastrophic loss of coral reefs from the combined effects of global warming and ocean acidification.
To ensure the long-term viability of coral reefs the atmospheric CO2 level must be reduced significantly below 350ppm.
In addition to major reductions in CO2 emissions, achieving this safe level will require the active removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Given the above, ecosystem-based management of other direct human induced stresses on coral reefs, such as overfishing, destructive fishing, coastal pollution and sedimentation, will be essential for the survival of coral reefs on which so many people depend.
View and download the statement and supporting signatories, including Working Group Co-Chair Sir David Attenborough: Statement Of The Coral Reef Crisis Working Group (228 KB)
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