Coral reef protection calls for worldwide effort. Often called the rainforests of the ocean, coral reefs are home to one-fourth of all ocean life. They are one of the first to be affected by global warming, as biologists estimate that 70 percent of coral species are threatened and 20 percent are already damaged beyond repair. Periods of prolonged warming cause the plant life on the coral to perish, which in turn makes the coral that depended on it, bleach into a lifeless shade of white.
Charles Delbeek, Aquarist, Waikiki Aquarium Hawaii: I think that the major impacts are going to be on land erosion with loss of reefs, loss of species diversity.
VOICE: The Hawaiian coral are being studied locally by researchers of the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu. They’ve found that aside from sustaining entire marine ecosystems, coral reefs buffer islands from the effect of tsunamis.
Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Director of Waikiki Aquarium: The reefs surround the islands and they act as a natural buffer against storms, against typhoons, etc. Otherwise large waves would be consistently hitting the islands and causing massive erosion. So the survival of many islands depends on the coral reef.
VOICE: Coral are actually living animals that are vulnerable to the changes in the ocean environment. In addition to warming temperatures, deforestation is causing harmful sediment to deposit, while overfishing also takes its toll on the reefs. Increasingly, biologists find that much of the impact on coral reefs come from far away.
Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Director of Waikiki Aquarium: It is very, very important to realize that although we are talking about Hawaii's reefs, the impact of pollution that takes place way, way up stream, far away from the reefs, is also important because whatever goes into the rivers ends up in the sea. Whatever you pour on your garden in terms of pesticides, etc, that goes in the storm drain and the sewers and it ends up in the sea. So it's a worldwide problem.
VOICE: It's good to know that we can all contribute to protecting the coral reefs by being more eco-conscious in our life. We thank, Dr. Rossiter, Mr. Delbeek, and all scientists, who are studying the amazing coral reefs, a crucial part of our planet's sustainability. May the precious corals of our Earth be preserved so that their wonders can be appreciated for a long time to come.
For more information, please visit www.waquarium.org
Humans could be on the road to extinction. Speaking at the Climate Change Forum sponsored by the Philippine National Red Cross, Roger Bracke of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that humans could be lost from earthly existence if we don’t work to halt climate change in our current generation. Emphasizing the effects that global warming is already having on our planet, he said, “Not one dinosaur is alive today. Maybe someday it will be our fossils that another race will dig up in the future.” Mr. Bracke and other experts at the meeting made an urgent call for humanity's quick actions in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Many thanks for your candid warning, Mr. Bracke. We pray that in working together, we can create a sustainable future with God’s blessing. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=118533 Climate change is threatening more birds with extinction. At a United Nations biodiversity meeting in Bonn, Germany, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported from the 2008 Red List for Birds that 1,226 species, or one in eight, were now jeopardized by the effects of climate change. Jane Smart, head of the IUCN Species Program, said, “The latest update of the IUCN Red List shows that birds are under enormous pressure from climate change.” Our sincere thanks, IUCN, for your unremitting efforts to raise awareness and protect our feathered co-inhabitants, who represent an invaluable link in our ecology. May we act together in halting climate change to help ensure their cherished survival. http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSL1973159820080519?sp=true