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Monday, 11 April 2011

World's Coral Reefs Under Threat

"Twenty percent of the world's coral reefs are effectively destroyed or show no immediate prospects for recovery, " said the report, published on the first day of the United Nations environmental conference in Buenos Aires, which runs until 17 December

Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2004 also said that another "24 percent of the world's reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures, and further 26 percent are under long-term threat of collapse."

"the main threat to coral reefs in the making for the past ten years, coral bleaching and mortality associated with global climate change, " he said.

Bleaching is a mass death of corals caused by a sudden rise in ocean temperatures.

Even so, it said some reefs recovered sharply from the 1998 bleaching which seriously damaged 16 percent of all reefs worldwide, especially in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

"About 40 percent of the reefs seriously damaged in 1998 are either recovering well or have recovered,"the report said.'s report highlights issued in Bangkok in November.

said 1998 global warming has been most severe in 1 000 years, but is likely to happen about every 50 years in the future, mainly because of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels in cars, factories or power plants.

Corals are formed by the build-up of limestone skeletons left by tiny marine animals called polyps. graveyards can become giant structures like the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, colorful homes to thousands of species from sharks to seaweed.

The report said nations around the world should do more to reduce pollution, restrict fishing and fight to curb emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide to protect corals.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) environmental group, who participated in the report, urged governments meeting in Buenos Aires to set a target limiting rises in temperatures linked to global warming to 2 ° C.

"to save coral reefs, governments must reduce carbon dioxide emissions quickly, but also create marine protected areas,"said Simon Cripps, head of WWF's global marine program. Temperatures have risen by 0.6 ° C since the late 1800s.

The report said a huge success over the past five years was a strict protection than a third of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. United States is taking similar steps off Hawaii and Florida.

However, 75 percent of coral reefs in developing countries where human populations are rising rapidly and millions depend on reefs for food.

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