Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is destroying corals

July 15, 2009 | Environment

Corals are in danger

We all know our oceans are in trouble, but that trouble is coming on faster than some feared.

Last week, two dozen coral reef specialists and climate change experts addressed a meeting in London to discuss the fate of our coral reef systems.

They announced their prediction that carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will reach 450 parts per million by the year 2050.

Since the oceans absorb these gases and become more acidic as a result, this predicted pace will soon wipe out all coral reefs in existence.

The reefs don't just attract under sea inhabitants and human visitors, they're also one of the ocean's biggest life forces and a potential storehouse of human medicines. Losing them could have unimaginable repercussions.

"The kitchen is on fire and it's spreading around the house," said Alex Rogers of the Zoological Society of London and the International Program on the State of the Ocean. "If we act quickly and decisively we may be able to put it out before the damage becomes irreversible."

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