Fast Facts

Coral Reefs are being lost twice as fast as Rainforests

  • One third of all carbon dioxide emitted by humanity has been absorbed by the world’s oceans. This is making them more acidic than they have been for tens of millions of years.
  • One of the greatest impacts that Ocean Acidification is having is on reef building corals, which are known as a ‘framework species’. Without corals, reefs cannot exist. Ocean Acidification is already slowing their growth rates. Left unchecked they will soon stop growing and erode away.
  • Direct effects on some important species of plankton and the sensitive larval stages of many marine organisms are now being reported in globally respected scientific literature.
  • Ocean plankton provide 50% of the oxygen that we breathe. Due to Global Warming, that capacity to provide oxygen and support the fundamental food chains of the ocean has decreased by 6% over the last three decades.
  • As oceans have warmed, oceanic nutrient deserts have expanded by 6.6 million square km’s over the past two decades.
  • There are approximately 10,000 Coral Reefs and we are destroying one every other day.
  • Coral Reefs are being lost more than twice as fast as the rainforests. Current estimates reveal that we will lose the other 50% over the next 40 years.
  • The Great Barrier Reef generates over 6.5 billion dollars in tourism revenue and 63,000 jobs.
  • Left unchecked Ocean Acidification could trigger a Great Mass Extinction Event. Growing evidence suggests that four of the five Great Mass Extinctions have been associated with rapidly acidifying oceans – due to spikes in the concentration of atmospheric CO2.
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Ocean Acidification - The other CO2 Challenge