Future scenarios: a review of modelling efforts to predict the future of coral reefs in an era of climate change

Donner, Simon D., Heron, Scott F., and Skirving, William (2009) Future scenarios: a review of modelling efforts to predict the future of coral reefs in an era of climate change. In: van Oppen, Madeleine J.H., and Lough, Janice M., (eds.) Coral Bleaching: Patterns, Processes Causes and Consequences. Ecological Studies, 205 . Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 159-173.

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Abstract

[Extract] Observations of mass coral bleaching over the past 25 years are linked to periods of anomalously warm sea surface temperatures (Glynn 1991; Hoegh-Guldberg 1999; Wellington et al. 2001). This leads to speculation that climate change has increased the frequency and severity of coral bleaching events worldwide (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999). Global climate models predict that the planet's climate could warm by 2–4°C by the year 2100, without substantial effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions far below current levels (IPCC 2007). This continued climate warming may, therefore, pose a serious threat to the long-term health of coral reef ecosystems (Hughes et al. 2003). At the same time, higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide are expected to reduce the rates of coral calcification and reef accretion (Kleypas et al. 1999; Guinotte et al. 2003). This chapter reviews recent efforts to predict the effect of future climate change on coral reefs, focussing on coral bleaching. The chapter includes an introduction to climate modelling, a review of the application of climate models to coral bleaching, a case study on the Great Barrier Reef, and a discussion of future research needs.

Item ID: 21498
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-540-69774-9
ISSN: 0070-8356
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 06:27
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments @ 100%
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