褪色的珊瑚礁

專題報導 - 2016-05-20
炎夏剛至,原是和陽光玩遊戲的美好日子。然而,近年香港四季變化幾近失控。高溫日子難耐,我們躲在冷氣房裏,結果冷氣排出熱氣,街道因此變得悶熱焗促。除了香港,歐洲不少城市飽受熱浪侵襲,中國多個內陸城市也錄得高溫,有記者可示範在太陽照射得灼熱的地板上煎蛋。夏天,還是個值得期待的日子嗎?

作者:綠色和平項目主任鄧敏琳

Coral Bleaching DocumentationThe Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst bleaching event to date with studies showing 93 percent of the reef being effected. Bleaching is caused by the warmer temperature of the waters brought about by the El Nino system. This current event gives a window into the impacts of climate change. Additionally parts of the reef have been damaged by cyclones, the severity and frequency of which will also increase with  global temperature rise. The Australian Federal Government and the Queensland State Government this year granted approvals for the Carmichael Coal Mine, the largest ever in Australia, which will export coal through the Great Barrier Reef. The emissions from the burned coal directly contributes the the destructions of the Great Barrier Reef.While the severest bleaching occurred in the northern parts of the reef, this documentation was captured in the mid section, at Green Island and Fitzroy Island, both just off the coast of Cairns.Nemos in Bleached Anemone.

自幼無懼日曬雨淋、享受皮膚曬得黝黑的朋友,近年竟然叫苦連天。熱愛潛水的她大呻,去年到墨西哥南部潛水發現,旅遊書上五彩十色的好風光,竟然只剩下啞白褪色的珊瑚,想不到氣溫上升令全球珊瑚礁受到極大威脅!

氣候變化是威脅生態及珊瑚礁的一大原兇,最近網上有動畫展示了過去兩世紀的氣候變化 ─ 氣溫在20世紀後期不斷上升,最近十多年更上升近1.5度,達聯合國界定的警戒線。雖然去年聯合國氣候會議中,各國終達成歷史性協議,長遠將全球升溫控制在1.5度內。

93%大堡礁白化,料超過一半將死亡

珊瑚礁除了是潛水人士的摯愛,更是無數海洋動物的棲息地,對維持海底豐富的生物多樣性起着關鍵作用。可是,珊瑚礁的生態非常脆弱,環境一旦被破壞,例如溫度過高或光線不足,都會造成珊瑚白化,因此如果全球溫度不斷上升,珊瑚礁的生態便岌岌可危。今年,科學家指澳洲大堡礁93%的珊瑚已白化,面對升溫趨勢和厄爾尼諾現象,預測超過一半的白化珊瑚,將會死亡。

雖然澳洲政府現時每年仍資助導致全球暖化兇手之一的煤炭企業,但幸而全球多個國家已開始使用可再生能源,取代化石燃料。全面轉型使用可再生能源並非天方夜譚,而是拯救失控氣候和珊瑚礁的不二法門。丹麥和德國均承諾於2050年前全面停止使用化石燃料,改用可再生能源發電。

除了氣候變化,另一個令珊瑚礁白化的兇手,竟與你和我有關?

Coral Bleaching DocumentationThe Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst bleaching event to date with studies showing 93 percent of the reef being effected. Bleaching is caused by the warmer temperature of the waters brought about by the El Nino system. This current event gives a window into the impacts of climate change. Additionally parts of the reef have been damaged by cyclones, the severity and frequency of which will also increase with  global temperature rise. The Australian Federal Government and the Queensland State Government this year granted approvals for the Carmichael Coal Mine, the largest ever in Australia, which will export coal through the Great Barrier Reef. The emissions from the burned coal directly contributes the the destructions of the Great Barrier Reef.While the severest bleaching occurred in the northern parts of the reef, this documentation was captured in the mid section, at Green Island and Fitzroy Island, both just off the coast of Cairns.Bleached hard corals.

防曬產品破壞珊瑚礁

每逢夏天,各式各樣的防曬產品大行其道,但很多消費者都不知道防曬產品有可能污染海洋,傷害珊瑚。科學家發現,含有氧苯酮(Oxybenzone)的防曬產品會危害珊瑚礁,而全球大約有3500種防曬產品含有氧苯酮,不難想像污染隨處可見。珊瑚礁生態十分脆弱,單在六個半奧運標準泳池的範圍內放一滴氧苯酮,已足以造成污染,更會破壞成年珊瑚的DNA,令小珊瑚變形,難以成長,繼而殺死珊瑚。

每年因為人類水上活動而排出大海、再流入珊瑚礁的防曬乳介乎6,000至14,000噸,當中大部份均含氧苯酮。雖然目前並沒有任何防曬產品保證對珊瑚無害,不過使用具天然礦物成份的防曬乳,定必有利保護環境。

Coral Bleaching DocumentationThe Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst bleaching event to date with studies showing 93 percent of the reef being effected. Bleaching is caused by the warmer temperature of the waters brought about by the El Nino system. This current event gives a window into the impacts of climate change. Additionally parts of the reef have been damaged by cyclones, the severity and frequency of which will also increase with  global temperature rise. The Australian Federal Government and the Queensland State Government this year granted approvals for the Carmichael Coal Mine, the largest ever in Australia, which will export coal through the Great Barrier Reef. The emissions from the burned coal directly contributes the the destructions of the Great Barrier Reef.While the severest bleaching occurred in the northern parts of the reef, this documentation was captured in the mid section, at Green Island and Fitzroy Island, both just off the coast of Cairns.Healthy corals and reef.

想防曬,怎麼辦?

坊間防曬產品分為化學性防曬及物理性防曬,不過大多化學性防曬產品含有化學物質氧苯酮,不但令珊瑚礁白化,更有機會引致皮膚敏感、細胞損壞,甚至干擾荷爾蒙。物理性防曬產品主要成份是來自天然礦物的光粒子,可在皮膚表面形成一層薄膜,然後折射和阻隔紫外線,既不會滲入皮膚,對環境亦較無害。因此,選用防曬產品時,我們應小心留意成份,避免傷害環境。

海洋佔地球70%的面積,孕育無數海洋生物,而珊瑚礁之所以重要,在於它為25%的海洋動植物提供生活環境。珊瑚礁一旦白化和死亡,海洋生態必然大亂。海洋面臨嚴重威脅,夏天打算下海消暑的你,會否願意多做一點,改變自己的生活習慣,救救海洋?

 本文原刊於Cup Magazine

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