By DEBORAH SMITH, SCIENCE EDITOR
November 28, 2009
MORE than 70 Australian marine scientists have called for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after the release of the first report card on the impact of climate change on the marine environment.
Oceans around the continent have warmed and become more acidic and the East Australian Current has strengthened, bringing hotter, saltier water 350 kilometres further south than 60 years ago.
This has caused coral bleaching and is the likely cause of a 10 per cent reduction in growth rates of corals on the Great Barrier Reef, according to the report, Marine Climate Change in Australia, 2009 Report Card [pdf].
Other effects include a spread of destructive sea urchins in Tasmania, the death of sea turtles in Queensland and the spread of mangroves into freshwater wetlands in northern Australia. …