The Truth about Coral Reefs

Once again, the Star prints a letter full of completely unscientific nonsense from Neville Martin. It is the environmental equivalent of someone claiming the holocaust didn’t happen. I really don’t know why you print such drivel.

The truth about coral reefs is as follows.

Half the world’s coral reefs have already been killed by climate change.   The water is getting hotter so the algae that the coral feeds on can’t survive. The coral then starves to death.

We are making it happen.

The threats to coral reefs are caused by humans. Around a quarter of all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere since the 1980s—from driving cars, running factories and producing electricity with fossil fuels—has been absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic. As the planet warmed, the oceans warmed more quickly, absorbing 90% of the excess heat. A report released this year by the UN-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned that damage to the oceans is accelerating and maybe at the point of irreversibility.

As well as climate change, overfishing and destructive fishing practices such as the use of explosives and cyanide poison are damaging, as are pesticide and fertiliser run-off and pollution from the land. The Great Barrier Reef is already more than 90% bleached. The death of coral reefs is not just an environmental disaster, it is also a human disaster. The loss of fishing leads to food shortages and poverty. The loss of tourism further impoverishes a country. The coast becomes more vulnerable to violent storms and flooding. To save the coral reefs the world needs to stop burning oil, coal and gas now. We have the technology to do that, but not yet the political will from Governments, who tend to be friends with the fossil fuel barons. But as Greta Thunberg says “Change is coming whether you like it or not.”

Yours faithfully

Graham Wroe

References

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-coral-reefs-at-risk/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/08/explore-atlas-great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-map-climate-change/

https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/whats-killing-coral-reefs-and-how-can-we-stop-it/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cyanide-fishing/

dav

The “expert” Mr Martin quotes, Peter Ridd has very strong connections with the coal industry and marine dredging. You can find a full debunking of him here.

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