Climate targets 'will kill coral' 现行环境保护目标对珊瑚礁不
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-09-03 05:51 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Current climate targets are not enough to save the world's coral reefs - and policymakers urgently need to consider the economic benefits they bring.


Coral reefs do more than look pretty - they are nurseries for many fish
Coral reefs do more than look pretty - they are nurseries for many fish

Those are two of the conclusions from a UN-backed project aiming to quantify(定量,量化) the financial costs of damaging nature.

Studies suggest that reefs are worth more than $100bn (£60bn) annually1, but are already being damaged by rising temperatures and more acidic(酸性的) oceans.

The study puts the cost of forest loss at $2-5 trillion annually.

Looking ahead to December's UN climate conference in Copenhagen, study leader Pavan Sukhdev said it was vital that policymakers realised that safeguarding the natural world was a cost-effective way of protecting societies against the impacts of rising greenhouse gas levels.

Green roots

The current UN climate negotiations2 contain measures for protecting forests as carbon stores - an initiative called Redd (Reducing Emissions3 from Deforestation and forest Degradation).

Its roots lie in the calculation that forest loss accounts for about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, and that combating it is probably the cheapest way of reducing emissions overall.

But protecting societies against climate impacts (climate adaptation) will also be a key component4 of any Copenhagen deal, because it is the single biggest priority for many developing nations.

The TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems5 and Biodiversity) analysis emphasises that forests, coral reefs and many other ecosystems can be the cheapest "adaptation tools" as well.

"We feel this isn't really at the top of politicians' minds at the moment," he told BBC News.

"But when you decide how you invest money for climate adaptation, you should quickly come to the conclusion that ecology provides the best bangs for bucks6 - and that's even without taking into account the added benefits of saving biodiversity(生物品种)."

Mr Sukhdev, who is on secondment to the UN Environment Programme (Unep) from the global markets division of Deutsche Bank, cited studies showing that money spent on nature preservation7 provided rates of return of between three and 75 times the initial investment.

Preserving forests kept fresh water systems intact, he noted8. Coral reefs and mangroves(红树) protected communities from storm damage; and healthy ecosystems were essential for food production.

Reef nots

There are a number of somewhat notional targets on the table in the run-up to Copenhagen.

One, an EU initiative that now has much wider support, is to keep the global average temperature rise since the pre-industrial age within 2C - which according to some analyses means carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere cannot rise above 450 parts per million (ppm).

The current level is about 387ppm, and it is rising at about 2ppm each year, although this year's global recession may bring a blip(标志).

Mr Sukhdev's team heard evidence from coral scientists that these targets would not be enough to prevent damage to coral reefs around the tropics.

"There's evidence that current levels of CO2 are already causing damage to reefs," said Alex Rogers from London's Institute of Zoology9.

"Stabilising at anything more than about 350ppm will lead to further destruction, and really we need to be aiming for zero emissions."

Elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have a twin impact on coral. They warm the oceans; but also, a portion of the extra CO2 becomes dissolved(溶入) in seawater, which makes it slightly more acidic (or less alkali).

Ocean pH levels have already decreased by about 0.1 since pre-industrial times.

A 2007 study showed that rates of coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef had fallen by 14% since 1990.

TEEB's analysis suggests that between half a billion and one billion people depend on coral reefs for at least part of their food supply.

Set up in 2007 by the German government and the European Commission, TEEB is now supported by some other governments (including the UK) and by Unep.

Its final report is due out in the second half of 2010, just before a key meeting of the UN biodiversity convention(大会,协定).

For that analysis, Mr Sukhdev's team will also attempt to capture the economics of fisheries loss, and finalise a complex matrix giving legislators comprehensive information about the costs and benefits of protecting - or destroying - various aspects of the natural world.


1 annually VzYzNO     
  • Many migratory birds visit this lake annually.许多候鸟每年到这个湖上作短期逗留。
  • They celebrate their wedding anniversary annually.他们每年庆祝一番结婚纪念日。
2 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
3 emissions 1a87f8769eb755734e056efecb5e2da9     
排放物( emission的名词复数 ); 散发物(尤指气体)
  • Most scientists accept that climate change is linked to carbon emissions. 大多数科学家都相信气候变化与排放的含碳气体有关。
  • Dangerous emissions radiate from plutonium. 危险的辐射物从钚放散出来。
4 component epSzv     
  • Each component is carefully checked before assembly.每个零件在装配前都经过仔细检查。
  • Blade and handle are the component parts of a knife.刀身和刀柄是一把刀的组成部分。
5 ecosystems 94cb0e40a815bea1157ac8aab9a5380d     
n.生态系统( ecosystem的名词复数 )
  • There are highly sensitive and delicately balanced ecosystems in the forest. 森林里有高度敏感、灵敏平衡的各种生态系统。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Madagascar's ecosystems range from rainforest to semi-desert. 马达加斯加生态系统类型多样,从雨林到半荒漠等不一而足。 来自辞典例句
6 bucks a391832ce78ebbcfc3ed483cc6d17634     
n.雄鹿( buck的名词复数 );钱;(英国十九世纪初的)花花公子;(用于某些表达方式)责任v.(马等)猛然弓背跃起( buck的第三人称单数 );抵制;猛然震荡;马等尥起后蹄跳跃
  • They cost ten bucks. 这些值十元钱。
  • They are hunting for bucks. 他们正在猎雄兔。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 preservation glnzYU     
  • The police are responsible for the preservation of law and order.警察负责维持法律与秩序。
  • The picture is in an excellent state of preservation.这幅画保存得极为完好。
8 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
9 zoology efJwZ     
  • I would like to brush up my zoology.我想重新温习一下动物学。
  • The library didn't stock zoology textbooks.这家图书馆没有动物学教科书。
TAG标签: economic coral climate reef