Thursday, October 29, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 29th October 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Coral reefs are home to a multitude of different creatures; just 1% of the ocean’s floor is home to 25% of the world’s marine creatures. The loss of this biodiversity would have a devastating impact on the lives of 500 million people around the world who rely on coral reefs for their food and livelihoods.

Recent reports have shown global bleaching of coral reefs is underway, caused by a huge underwater heat-wave, driven by climate change. By the end of this year, 5% of reefs will have died and 38% will have been affected. But this is not all because there is a very strong El NiƱo, causing world record global temperatures and a vast patch of hot water in the north-western Pacific which gives great concern for 2016. There were two previous global bleaching events which took place in 1998 and 2010 when every major ocean experienced bleaching.

Since the 1980’s the world has lost about half of its coral reefs. It is not just the extremes of temperatures that affect the coral; it is the length of time that the high temperatures remain. Coral can recover if temperatures return to normal but after one month of high temperatures the animals that build the coral reefs will die.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is already showing signs of bleaching, months before the warm season begins fuelling fears that up to 50% of the reef will be affected.

Strong action on emissions, pollution and overfishing are required to save our coral reefs.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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