Coral Reefs Are Decaying At An Alarming Rate

866 Words Nov 15th, 2015 4 Pages
Coral reefs are decaying at an alarming rate, the acidity of the ocean is increasing rapidly and devastating local economies, and the polar ice caps are melting, causing a frightening increase in ocean levels, and the last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, humans didn’t exist.

Increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide are causing catastrophic damages to the planet warned associate professor Daniel Clay Kelly of UW-Madison’s Department of Geoscience where he analyzes samples of microscopic shelled organisms that can show age, acidity, ocean temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.

The rise in carbon dioxide has risen by almost 25% since 1960 and since 2011 it has risen almost 2%.

“So if this was a patient in the intensive care unit, and you were monitoring their pulse, they basically just had a heart attack,” said Kelly.

Kelly is able to use deep-sea sediment records as an archive of the Earth’s climate, which spans the last 170 million years of earth’s history.

“As paleontologists and geologists, we know the rock record is incomplete,” said Kelly. “It’s like a book and a lot of the pages have been torn out. But as you go around from place to place you can find the pages that are missing in this book are actually present in this book over here and you start piecing it together for one composite record.”

In order to find these missing pieces, geologists such as Kelly venture out into the middle of the ocean to take core samples.


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