How Does Climate Change Affect Coral Reefs

1185 Words5 Pages
Aggie Bistakis
Professor Stoepker
English 2
March 1, 2018

The influence Climate Change Has On Coral Reefs

The world around us is always changing, however it is not always for the better. Climate change is a very prevalent and controversial issue in today 's society. While politicians argue about whether or not climate change is just another hoax, the effects of global warming continue to cause damage to ocean life and marine habitats around the world. One species that has seen a great deal of devastation due to global warming are the coral reefs. Increasing water temperatures and pollution have resulted in coral bleaching and the destruction of coral reefs across the globe. If nothing is done to confront this crisis, our environment
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Records show that since then, there has been a drastic increase in levels of carbon dioxide and pollution in the atmosphere. When pollution levels in the atmosphere rise, it creates a greenhouse effect which means that the pollutants in the air trap the sun 's heat causing global temperatures to rise. In correlation with global temperatures, ocean temperatures increase as well. According to Peter Jaques “The calcification building process depends on the density and extension of the calcium carbonate, which varies per geological zone and is partially dependent on ocean temperature”(117). Calcification of Coral can be defined as the build up of calcium carbonate in a given area resulting in the production of coral reefs. As ocean temperatures rise the rate of calcification in coral decreases ultimately resulting in a high mortality rate and a low to nonexistent level of migration. Therefore as temperatures increase coral populations continue to dwindle as reefs are left barren by coral bleaching. “Bleaching is the phenomenon of corals’ expelling their zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are single-celled plants that live in the tissues of animals in coral”(Jaques 119). They are photosynthetic dinoflagellates and live within coral symbiotically. The zooxanthellae produce energy for the coral in exchange for carbon dioxide. Without the presence of these organisms coral has a low survivability rate,…show more content…
An initiative has been taken in the Caribbean in attempt to prevent the destruction of their coral reefs. One part being the 1995 Action plan for the Protection and Management of the Marine and Coastal environment of the South Asian Seas Region and one being adapted to fit the needs of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden(Goodwin 258-259). Both plans of action share the same goal of conserving coral reefs and biodiversity by monitoring and restoring coral populations, providing education on the subject, and managing waste and other potentially hazardous pollutants such as plastic and oil. The next step would be forming an international coalition to combine the efforts of each nation in order to produce the most effective outcome. It is our duty to come together to stop this calamity as the decline of coral is seen across the globe. Individuals have stood up to face this issue. Many volunteer to help properly remove and dispose debris and others have helped to conduct research, monitor and even revive coral populations. “Coral reefs provide us with food, construction materials (limestone) and new medicines—more than half of new cancer drug research is focused on marine organisms”(Cho). Marine ecosystems are taken for granted and as a result they are declining. Seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface is water and proportionally, if our oceans were a pool we’ve only explored a glassful. It doesn’t matter how

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