Ecocentric

Scientists Find That Climate Change Stalls Reef Growth

It happened 4000 years ago and, if we keep polluting, it will happen again.

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M.M. Sweet

A study published Thursday says our coral reefs could be in danger. Toth and her co-writers say in the study that El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) caused reef ecosystems in the tropical eastern pacific to collapse thousands of years ago, and pollution combined with global warming changes could now repeat the process. The sea temperature changes associated with El Niños are the main cause for the coral reefs dying off from bleaching.

Around 4000 years ago reef growth began to shut down. The collapse lasted about 2500 years. Scientists came to this conclusion after analyzing coral reefs on Panama’s Pacific coast. They inspected cross-sections of the reefs using radiocarbon dating and mass spectrometry techniques to find the “hiatus” in the reef’s growth, as it was described in the report. Coral reefs in Japan and Australia experienced similar hiatuses in growth. Scientists believe that the widespread distribution of the hiatus suggests that it was caused by historical changes in ENSO.

El Niño activity in recent years has devastated tropical reefs. And as our world grows warmer and warmer, the reefs are more and more likely to lapse into their hiatus state and die off. Pollution, and CO2 emissions especially, will hurt the reefs’ chances of survival. However, the study ends optimistically, suggesting that if the Pacific reefs were able to overcome thousands of years of stagnancy then perhaps they will be resilient again, but only if we cut down our pollution and over-fishing.

4 comments
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f_galton
f_galton

This is good news, if reefs get to big they will scrape the bottom of my speedboat.

mememine
mememine

President Romney will thank the Democrats for his victory thanks to the libs fear mongering the voter's children with CO2 death threats. Vote Liberal or Die? An election promise of making the weather nicer? Are you kidding? Who is the neocon again?

John Dyer
John Dyer

Whoa...  lib fearmongering... CO2 death threats....  you need to turn off Rush Limbaugh, go outside, take a deep breath.  Try to look around you and see what we are doing to this planet.  Both parties have done a pretty good job of protecting business at the expense of the environment.

Grant Harmon
Grant Harmon

Agreed.. voting liberal is simply choosing the lesser of two evils at this point..  Mitt Romney as our president would be the last nail in the coffin for our country's economy and international respect