Thursday, July 10, 2008

Reef extinction risk increases

By Environment reporter Sarah Clarke

ABC News Online, Posted 3 hours 49 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 41 minutes ago

A new report has found that one third of the world's coral reef building species are threatened with extinction because of climate change.

The study by a team of international scientists examined 700 species of coral and found that 231 are either vulnerable or facing extinction.

Jilly Llewellyn from WWF says the findings which are published in the journal Science are a worrying sign.

"A decade ago they said only 13 species of reef building coral would have counted as being threatened," she said.

"Today that number is 231, that's a huge increase.

"What we've seen arrive on the scene are a range of climate change driven threats to coral reefs, like bleaching and like the new silent killer on the horizon in the form of ocean acidification duration."

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