Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Global Warming Turns Seychelles Coral Into Rubble

This just in from the Independent/UK via Common Dreams.

Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 by the Independent / UK
Global Warming Turns Pristine Coral into Rubble

Miles of unblemished coral reefs have been turned to slime-covered rubble because of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming.

A study into the extensive bleaching of the Seychelles corals in 1998 has found that these Indian Ocean reefs failed to recover, with many of them crumbling to broken fragments. Scientists said the findings showed that rising global sea temperatures could have a more devastating impact on the world's tropical corals than previously thought.

"Some of the reefs have collapsed to almost mobile beds of rubble. They are no longer solid structures and some have been overgrown with fleshy green mats of algae," said Nicholas Graham, a coral ecologist at the University of Newcastle. "They have basically turned into reefs of rubble and algae, with very little fish life. It's a depressing story and it's very sad to see what's happened to these reefs," said Mr Graham, a member of the survey team.

The Seychelles once boasted mile upon mile of luxuriant coral reefs but in 1998 the local sea temperatures rose dramatically because of the general rise in global temperatures combined with the effects of a strong El Nino - an occasional reversal of the warm ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean.


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