Thursday, August 7, 2008

East coast climate zones heading south: marine scientists

ABC News Online, Posted Thu Aug 7, 2008 8:15pm AEST

Marine scientists have found that Australia's east coast climate zones have moved south by 200 kilometres over the past 60 years.

Australian Institute of Marine Science researcher Janice Lough analysed ocean temperature records back to the 1950s, and found that tropical ocean climates have changed and that may be one of the causes of coral bleaching.

Dr Lough says the speed of the change makes it very unlikely coral reef systems will be able to adapt and survive.

"One of the reasons we have coral reefs is they need a certain amount of light, they need certain water temperatures, but they also need suitable substrate to form on and really there's not that much of that shallow water substrate south of the Great Barrier Reef," Dr Lough said.

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