CO2, corals and 350 - mini science update

Getting back to our look at the number 350 last week...

At a conference this past summer,  David Attenborough warned that for coral reefs, 350 is the magic number.  Being already above that, he and other scientists say that we're likely to lose many corals in the next few decades.

Coral suffer from the uptake of CO2 by the oceans, which makes them more acidic and makes it harder for the corals to grow their skeletons.

However, they also get hit by the warming of the oceans as well, which can kill the algae growing inside the coral polyps and provide them with food - this is coral bleaching.  Double yuck.

(Note: Link to news article on this here.   I couldn't find the actual science article to back this info up, which does lessen its credibility.  But for another article on actual research on how ocean acidification will affect corals, see here.)

Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca Anderson is ACE’s Director of Education. She came to ACE in its inception in 2008. Rebecca develops ACE's science content, manages the online climate education resource Our Climate Our Future, oversees the ACE Teacher Network, and works with schools in the Reno-Tahoe area. Prior to ACE, she did paleoclimate research in the Arctic and Antarctica.