photo: Jon Hanson via flickr
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations of 450ppm by 2050, something likely to happen with current emission reductions proposals put forth by the wealthy nations of the world, mean that the world's coral reefs will be put on the path to extinction in the latter half of the century, Reuters reports scientists as saying:367ppm is Coral Reef 'Breaking Point'
Already at the current levels of 387ppm reefs are in serious decline due to ocean acidification and rising water temperatures. In order to preserve them carbon dioxide levels should be stabilized and reduced to 320ppm, with 367ppm seen as the coral reef "breaking point."
Coral Reef Deaths Could Lead to Human Deaths
Previous studies have shown that if coral reefs are allowed to die—'allowed' being chose carefully, for that's what we are allowing to happen through inaction on climate—in addition to the inestimable losses to biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural capital, millions of people whose lives directly and indirectly depend on coral reefs for sustenance and livelihood will be imperiled.
If Bill McKibben and the rest of the people over at 350.org want you to firmly implant that number in your head to avoid catastrophic global warming, the added message from scientists studying coral reefs is that 320ppm is probably an even better long-term target.
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