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Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

Catalog Data

Steneck, Robert S.  Search this
Harvell, C. D.  Search this
Bradbury, Roger H.  Search this
Caldeira, K.  Search this
Dubi, A.  Search this
Eakin, C. M.  Search this
Edwards, A. J.  Search this
Gomez, E.  Search this
Greenfield, P.  Search this
Hatziolos, M. E.  Search this
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.  Search this
Hooten, A. J.  Search this
Iglesias-Prieto, R.  Search this
Mumby, P. J.  Search this
Muthiga, N.  Search this
Sale, P. F.  Search this
Knowlton, Nancy  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2{degrees}C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P. J., Hooten, A. J., Steneck, Robert S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., Harvell, C. D., Sale, P. F., Edwards, A. J., Caldeira, K., Knowlton, Nancy, Eakin, C. M., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Muthiga, N., Bradbury, Roger H., Dubi, A. and Hatziolos, M. E. 2007. Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. <i>Science<i>, 318(5857): 1737-1742. doi:10.1126/science.1152509
Natural History  Search this
Invertebrates  Search this
Animals  Search this
Zoology  Search this
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Invertebrate Zoology
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Smithsonian Libraries