Sunday, October 24, 2021
HomeOcean & SeaOcean acidificationQuantifying future impacts on coral reefs

Quantifying future impacts on coral reefs


Quantifying future impacts on coral reefs

image: KAUST researchers show that even modest increases in greenhouse gases over the coming decades may have disastrous consequences for the planet’s coral reefs.
view more 

Credit: © 2021 KAUST; Morgan Bennett Smith.

Tropical and subtropical coral reefs will increasingly experience bleaching and substantial declines in productivity, calcification and survival within the next two decades under low and intermediate greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

“In the coming decades, coral reefs will be subject to a plethora of stressors,” explains Shannon Klein, a research scientist at KAUST who led the study. The most significant of these stressors will be more intense and prolonged rises in sea surface temperatures, known as marine heatwaves. But ocean acidification, which occurs as ocean waters absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, is also known to have an impact on coral reefs. “What we didn’t know was how ocean acidification will moderate coral responses to marine heatwaves and to what degree,” says Klein.

Klein and colleagues at KAUST and in institutions in Germany, Switzerland and Australia set out to quantify the dual impact of the two stressors on coral reefs in tropical and subtropical regions. To do this, they first projected future marine heatwave temperatures under low, intermediate and high greenhouse gas emission scenarios up until the end of this century.

They then gathered data from 1,788 experiments, representing 172 studies on 87 coral species, and combined it with their projections to predict how eight different coral attributes will respond to the three different scenarios throughout the century.

“Interestingly, we found that some coral attributes responded similarly to heat stress with our without ocean acidification,” says Klein, “while other attributes declined faster when the stressors occurred together.”

Generally, ocean acidification was found to have an impact on coral responses, albeit a minor one compared to the impacts of marine heatwaves. However, the researchers also found that the added effect of ocean acidification will lead to more rapid declines in coral photosynthesis and survival under intermediate and unrestricted emission scenarios in the mid- and late-21st century.

“This research is a milestone in our capacity to project future challenges to coral reefs from marine heat waves caused by climate change,” says KAUST marine ecologist Carlos Duarte, who also led the study. “Our study fills a major gap as we were thus far missing quantitative predictions, which are essential for deploying multilevel actions to mitigate climate change.”

Next, the team will investigate regional differences in how corals respond to these drivers. They also plan to understand how other global and local pressures might impact their projections.


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.



Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

7 COMMENTS

  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100 sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. Thank you for some other excellent article. The place else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  3. I believe this is one of the most vital info for me. And i’m satisfied reading your article. However want to remark on few common issues, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Excellent task, cheers

  4. This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  5. Ive been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  6. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  7. Really enjoyed this update, can you make it so I receive an update sent in an email whenever you publish a new update?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments