6 Jul 2015

World leaders' climate change lethargy endangers ocean

3:44 pm on 6 July 2015

International scientists are calling on world leaders to take immediate action on climate change before irreversible damage is done to the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Tridacna gigas clam, the largest of the species can exceed 250 kg.

Tridacna gigas clam, the largest of the species can exceed 250 kg. Giant clam populations are on the brink of extinction in the Pacific. Photo: RNZI/Charley Waters

A paper published by the Oceans 2015 Initiative in the journal, Science, ahead of a major scientific gathering in Paris this week, warns that an immediate and substantial reduction of CO2 emissions is needed to prevent massive and irreversible impacts on ocean ecosystems and their ability to capture carbon dioxide and absorb heat.

One of the report's authors, Mark Eakin, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch says the findings show that as CO2 increases, the ocean's protection, adaptation and repair options become fewer and less effective.

"It is very important that we, meaning you, I, governments of the world, all engage in activities to really reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and we need to do that very quickly."

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