Dr Veron’s Coral Crisis presentation to Royal Society, London

Introduced by Sir David Attenborough, Dr. J.E.N ‘Charlie’ Veron gave a keynote presentation to a workshop of 35 leading marine and climate change scientists, hosted by Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society in London.

Dr. Veron, the former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on coral reef ecosystems. He presented first-hand the effects that climate change is having on coral reefs.

The powerpoint presentation ‘Is the Great Barrier Reef on Death Row?’ by Dr. J.E.N ‘Charlie’ Veron can be downloaded here:

→ http://static.zsl.org/files/professor-verons-royal-society-presentation-6-july-09-794.ppt – PPT [ 42MB ]


The evening concluded with the following agreed statements by The Coral Reef Crisis Working Group:

* Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse habitats of the oceans and provide essential ecosystem goods and services to hundreds of millions of people.

* Temperature-induced mass coral bleaching causing widespread mortality on the Great Barrier Reef and many other reefs of the world started when atmospheric CO2 exceeded 320ppm.

* At today’s level of approximately 387ppm CO2, reefs are seriously declining and time-lagged effects will result in their continued demise with parallel impacts on other marine and coastal ecosystems.

* Proposals to limit CO2 levels to 450ppm will not prevent the catastrophic loss of coral reefs from the combined effects of global warming and ocean acidification.

* To ensure the long-term viability of coral reefs the atmospheric CO2 level must be reduced significantly below 350ppm.

* In addition to major reductions in CO2 emissions, achieving this safe level will require the active removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

* Given the above, ecosystem-based management of other direct human induced stresses on coral reefs, such as overfishing, destructive fishing, coastal pollution and sedimentation, will be essential for the survival of coral reefs on which so many people depend.

The entire statement with supporting signatories, including Working Group Co-Chair Sir David Attenborough can be downloaded here:

→ Statement Of The Coral Reef Crisis Working Group – PDF [ 228KB ]

See also related article on BioClimate.Org here: http://www.bioclimate.org/references/2140