The Destructive Relationship Between Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs

A new study conducted by scientists at the University of Miami shows how ocean acidification is accelerating the erosion of coral reefs.

Scientists at the University of Miami recently conducted a study on naturally high carbon dioxide coral reefs in Papua New Guinea. They discovered that the erosion of reef habitats is accelerated in these waters.  The study has been published in the journal Proceeding of the Royal Society B.

"This is the first study to demonstrate that ocean acidification is a two-front assault on coral reefs, simultaneously slowing the growth of skeleton, and speeding up the rate at which old reef habitats are eroded, said Ian Enochs, a coral ecologist at CIMAS and NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and lead author of the study."

"At these reefs, carbon dioxide from subterranean volcanic sources bubble up through the water, creating conditions that approximate what the rest of the world's oceans will experience due to ocean acidification," said Enochs. "This is the first study to piece together all of the separate coral reef ocean acidification processes, simultaneously looking at the different organisms that grow and erode reef habitats, and their net effects on one another over time."

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