One of the largest Karpovich (or seaweed) forests on Earth dying of climate change. The great southern reef, Australia lost the 100 km length of a series of extreme heat waves from 2011 to 2013 And the problem is becoming more serious.
About this reef, few have heard, as the Great southern reef gets a lot less media attention than his unfortunate neighbour to the North, the Great barrier reef. But the southern reef is as important ecosystem for people and marine life.
Covering 71 thousand square kilometres of the rocky southern coast of Australia, this “biological power” is home to thousands of species of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other marine invertebrates that are not found anywhere else on Earth. The reef brings the Australian economy $ 10 billion per year of income through fishing and tourism.
Heat wave 2011 raised the temperature of the ocean off the West coast of Australia on 6 degrees above normal thanks to a combination of global warming and the climatic phenomenon of La niña. In the next few years, the temperature was kept at the same level. For two years heat wave killed 2300 sq km of reefs and caused the functional extinction in the northernmost 100 km klipovogo forest.
Instead to recover, when the temperature of the ocean dropped, dead calpoly the forest turned into a carpet of algae and a random set of invasive subtropical species. This is the most rapid and catastrophic extinction klipovogo forest, which is ever seen by scientists.
Kilbowie forest — Bastion of marine biodiversity. Thickets of brown algae covers about a quarter of coastline of the planet in temperate and polar latitudes. Although kelp poorly studied compared to coral reefs, scientists suggest that brown algae is very sensitive to high temperature. This means that the probability to die for such systems is very high considering the contamination of the earth’s atmosphere with carbon.