Predicting the Future of Reefs in Peril

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Bleached coral on the southern Great Barrier Reef. i

Bleached coral on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Science hide caption

itoggle caption Science
Bleached coral on the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Bleached coral on the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Science

The world's coral reefs are in great danger, threatened by climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels. Increased CO2 could greatly shift the chemistry of ocean waters, threatening the existence of most coral species.

In an article published in the journal Science, researchers provide three different scenarios for the fate of reef-building corals worldwide as they face higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The fragile reefs also face a phenomenon called "bleaching," caused by rising temperatures and damage from overfishing, pollution, and oil exploration.

Guest:

Ken Caldeira, chemical oceanographer, The Carnegie Institution, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University

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