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Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.
Coral reefs are important for the immense biodiversity of their ecosystems. They contain a quarter of all marine species, despite covering only 0.1 per cent of the world's oceans by area, and are more diverse even than the rainforests in terms of diversity per acre, or types of different phyla present.
Originally posted by juleol
reply to post by Atzil321
Again it is blamed on climate change when it is in fact the fishing trawlers that ruin most of those.
Gotta love how global warming/climate change/climate disruption keeps taking away attention from the real environmental problems.
Dust in the Wind: Fallout from Africa may be killing coral reefs an ocean away
An ocean away from the Sahel, coral reef ecosystems around the Caribbean are dying, and scientists are beginning to think that dust from Africa is playing a major role in their collapse. Overfishing, sedimentation, and direct damage from boats and divers, among other threats, have combined with pathogens, climate changes, and hurricanes to severely degrade reefs around the region. Diseases and bleaching have decimated once-dominant species like staghorn and elkhorn corals, longspine sea urchins, and sea fans. Few species or sites have recovered, and carpets of algae-flourishing in the aftermath of overfishing and die-offs of sea urchins and other algae-eaters-now dominate many Caribbean reefs.
Yet researchers remain puzzled by the decline of reefs in apparently pristine stretches of the Caribbean, far from the usual suspects behind coral decline. "We really don't understand why this is happening on a regional level, and it's happening not only in areas where there are a lot of people, it's also happening on remote reefs. Why?" asks Garrison.
Ever since Charles Darwin noted "the falling of impalpably fine dust" while crossing the Atlantic during his famous scientific voyage aboard the Beagle, seafarers and researchers have observed African particulates far out to sea. But most studies of atmospheric dust have focused on its potential impacts on the global climate. Only recently have researchers begun exploring the possibility that the hundreds of millions of tons of African topsoil blown by prevailing winds to the Caribbean each year might be having direct, harmful effects on ecosystems and people there.