Reefer Madness

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Half of the coral reef ecosystems in the United States are in poor” or “fair” condition, according to a report released yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The coral reefs, which are vital to the survival of one-quarter of marine species, are particularly being threatened by coastal development, pollution, and fishing. The report also said the declining health of the reefs has increased significantly in the last two decades.

Evidence also showed oceans worldwide are becoming more acidic due to human emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This is limiting the oceans’ ability to pull carbon out of the air, which leaves more CO2 in the atmosphere to speed up planetary warming.

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