MONTAG 17.05.2021, 19:20‒19:55

„Changing Seas – How climate change impacts our oceans and why we should care“

Anna Fiesinger

Referentin: Anna Fiesinger

Datum: Montag 17. Mai

Uhrzeit: 19:20 bis 19:55

Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt. Hier ist eine Kurzbeschreibung:

71% of the Earth is covered by oceans. With an average depth of 4 km is it not only a vast but also a heterogenous habitat that changes massively, whether you look at shallow ecosystems close to the coast of into the deep sea abyssal. Furthermore, half of the world’s photosynthesis is generated by algae, whereas the other half comes from terrestrial plants. Thus, we not only live from our oceans, we also breath because of them.
Unfortunately, even though the ocean is thought to be a major buffer in our changing climate, the oceans are, too, changing. When temperatures rise, organisms are driven to and sometimes over the edges of their ecological niches, i.e. their comfort zones. But rising CO2 levels in our atmosphere do not only change the temperature of the seas, they also acidify our oceans. This is particularly precarious for organisms that form shells or structures from calcium carbonate as they practically dissolve, when the ocean water chemistry becomes too acidic. With this in mind, I want to look at tropical coral reefs, one of the most diverse types of ecosystems as not only many other organisms apart from corals (such as fish, crabs, sponges, sea stars, sea urchins and many more) depend on these calcium carbonate structures, but in turn, we as humans also thrive because they exist.
Unfortunately, coral reefs are impacted by both the changing temperature of ocean waters and by ocean acidification. This talk aims at providing an overview of the state that tropical coral reefs are in and how their future is projected to change. Lastly, I want to show why everybody, whether they live close to a coral reef or not, should care about the demise of the world’s coral reefs.