A study of climate change effects on coral reefs

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Understanding how the world’s oceans are being affected by changes in climate is the focus of a consortium of environmental groups to establish a reference site where the relationships between climate change and coral reef stress can be measured directly.

Some scientific models indicate that rising temperatures and sea levels, increasing storm intensity and changes in the ocean¹s chemistry will stress coral reefs beyond sustainability.

In the shallowest most productive part of the ocean, measurable increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide are expected to interrupt important biological processes that build the skeletons of myriad marine plants and animals.

These chemical reactions are changing the pH of the water and the resulting ocean acidification is one of the greatest threats to marine life in the planet’s history, according to the groups.