[Coral-List] Climate change and coral reef sequestration of carbon

Stuart Campbell scampbell at wcs.org
Thu Dec 6 22:17:31 EST 2007

Dear List

In todays Jakarta Post there is a claim that the coral reefs of the Coral Triangle (thats the broader version which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, PNG, Timor Leste and the Solomons) act as sink for around 245 million tons of carbon per year. My reading of the literature sugggests that reefs both act as sinks and sources of atmospheric carbon - depending on their productivity rates and many other factors - this is a complex issue and a publication by Kinsey and Hopley (1991) suggests that globally coral reefs act as a sink for 111 million tons of carbon each year, "the equivalent of 2% of present (that was 1991) output of anthropogenic CO2". But there are many complicating fators including production rates of reefs and their effect on the reduction of pH, solubility of CO2 and its release to the atmosphere. Generally the litertaure I have read suggests that coral reefs contribute to the global greenhouse effect, but in a way that is part of the natural cycle of inorganic carbon in and out of the atmosphere. I'd be interested in any recent publications that provide updated information on this issue or anyone who knows where the estimate of 245 millions tons of CO2 for the Coral Triangle Region came from?



Stuart Campbell PhD
Co-ordinator - Marine Program
Wildlife Conservation Society
PO Box 311, Bogor 16151

p +62 251 321 527
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cell: +62 812 110 2952
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