The color of corals depends on the combination of brown shades provided by their zooxanthellae and pigmented proteins (reds, blues, greens, etc.) produced by the corals themselves.
Unless the world gets it act together to counter the worsening global climate change, it won't be long before it sees the total wipe out of the oceans' coral reefs.
A study undertaken by researchers at the University of Queensland has shown that coral reefs dissolve quickly to more acidic ocean conditions brought by higher CO2 emission rates.
"Given corals are essential to coral reefs, this is not good news," Associate Prof. Sophie Dove from UQ's School of Biological Sciences was quoted by portal Laboratory Equipment, noting that even a lower level of carbon emission rate results to the bleaching and deaths of the coral.
Ms Dove and her team came up with the assumption based on a nine-month study. Working at a a research centre on Queensland's Heron Island, they used computers to control carbon dioxide levels as well as the temperature of water streaming over small patches of coral reef.
"By simulating future environments above complex reef systems, we come closer to understanding what might happen as the oceans warm and acidify," she said.
Biodiversity of a coral reef
"We discovered that coral reefs under the business-as-usual-emission scenario, the one we are on, show high rates of decalcification."
"Essentially, dissolving before our eyes over a few months.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, study co-author, said the study likewise emphasises that "there is time and that a small amount of effort today can have a huge impact on what happens in the future."
"If we can reduce the uncertainty, then we have a much better chance of making better decisions to help protect and conserve these valuable ecosystems," Ms Dove said.
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