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Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios

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      Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.

      Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2 degrees C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.
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        Spreading dead zones and consequences for marine ecosystems.

        Dead zones in the coastal oceans have spread exponentially since the 1960s and have serious consequences for ecosystem functioning. The formation of dead zones has been exacerbated by the increase in primary production and consequent worldwide coastal eutrophication fueled by riverine runoff of fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels. Enhanced primary production results in an accumulation of particulate organic matter, which encourages microbial activity and the consumption of dissolved oxygen in bottom waters. Dead zones have now been reported from more than 400 systems, affecting a total area of more than 245,000 square kilometers, and are probably a key stressor on marine ecosystems.
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          Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Science
            Science
            American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
            0036-8075
            1095-9203
            July 02 2015
            July 02 2015
            : 349
            : 6243
            : aac4722
            10.1126/science.aac4722
            © 2015

            http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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