"Oceans at Dire Risk, Team of Scientists Warns"

"The state of the oceans is declining far more rapidly than most pessimists had expected, an international team of experts has concluded, increasing the risk that many marine species -- including those that make coral reefs -- could be extinct within a generation.

The scientists, who gathered in April at the University of Oxford, cited the cumulative impact of the stresses on the oceans, which include ocean acidification related to growing carbon dioxide emissions, a global warming trend that is reducing the polar ice caps, pollution and overfishing.

'This examination of synergistic threats leads to the conclusion that we have underestimated the overall risks and that the whole of marine degradation is greater than the sum of its parts, and that degradation is now happening at a faster rate than predicted,' they wrote in the report, released on Monday.

The April workshop, organized by the International Program on the State of the Ocean in concert with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, brought scientists from a broad range of disciplines together to talk about the problems in the marine environment and what steps can be taken to arrest the collapse of ocean ecosystems."

David Jolly reports for the New York Times' Green blog June 21, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Ocean Life On The Brink Of Mass Extinctions: Study" (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011