Far northern section of the Great Barrier Reef (Credit: NASA)
A report supported by the World Wildlife Fund finds that damage to the Great Barrier Reef due to climate change may be irreversible by 2030. The report notes that the only real way to reverse the damage is to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
Existing, and currently increasing, levels of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere are contributing to warmer ocean waters. The higher temperatures play a role in coral bleaching – the higher they go, the more acidic the ocean becomes, which leads to more bleaching.
Much of the atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans, to the tune of 90 percent. This has added 30 percent more hydrogen to ocean water, the report notes, making it more acidic.
Image: Far northern section of the Great Barrier Reef (Credit: NASA)