The United Nations and European Union endorsed analysis for the monetary loss from damage to nature was recently released. The analysis is being referred to as TEEB, or The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. Those in charge of the report are hoping it will make an impact at the future climate change talks in December.
The study concluded that the world’s coral reefs are worth at least $100 billion each year. The loss of forests are being considered between $2-5 trillion each year. Deforestation is the cause of approximately twenty percent of greenhouse emissions, leading to this estimation.
The leaders of the study are urging country heads to work towards protecting the environment in order to guarantee a fighting chance against global warming while reducing the actual cost of combating it. The study also proclaims the current United Nations figures will not be enough to save the world’s coral reefs.
Currently, the estimations given for UN climate talks include keeping the global temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial years. Experts have concluded this would require capping carbon dioxide atmosphere concentrations at 450 parts per million (ppm). The current level of carbon dioxide is 387 parts per million.
However, the study concludes that these levels would essentially destroy the world’s coral reefs. Alex Rogers, of London’s Institute of Zoology, stated: “There’s evidence that current levels of CO2 are already causing damage to reefs. Stabilizing at anything more than about 350 ppm will lead to further destruction, and really we need to be aiming for zero emissions.”
Coral are being impacted greatly from global warming due to the carbon dioxide itself and the extra warmth. The warming oceans are causing coral bleaching, amongst other things, and some of the carbon dioxide dissolves into the oceans making it more acidic. The oceans have seen a 0.1 decrease on the pH scale since pre-industrial days.