NPR recently discussed the coral reef crisis threatening the world’s marine life, thanks to climate change and rising ocean acidity levels.
That article quoted National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief, Jane Lubchenco, who told The Associated Press: “We’ve got sort of the perfect storm of stressors from multiple places really hammering reefs around the world… It’s a very serious situation.”
The idea is that even small increases in water temperatures have a bleaching effect on coral. And this doesn’t just decimate the marine life that depends on coral to survive. It could also have a devastating impact on the economy. The Great Barrier Reef alone employs 50,000 people and generates nearly $6 billion annually for Australia.
According to Imogen Zethoven of Pew Environment Group, “In the longer term, all reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, no matter how well it’s managed, [have] a very perilous future because of climate change.”
With 2,000 scientists from 80 countries gathering in Queensland, Australia to find solutions to the issue, though, hopefully that future will change for the better.