Thursday, March 8, 2012



Killing Underwater Forests

 



Coral reefs cover over 173,000 square miles of the ocean and support tons of different species which many people describe as the “rainforests of the seas” Coral reefs benefit the environment and people in many ways like protecting shores from the impact of waves and storms, provide humans with food and medicine and provide economic benefits to local communities from tourism and also provide shelter for many marine wildlife.

The main reason for the decline in coral reefs has been for coral bleaching.
Coral bleaching is caused by elevated sea surface temperatures due to climate change with the increased amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
When coral reefs are stressed in condition such as temperature, they lose the symbiotic algae living 
in their tissues causing them to turn completely white. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead, but they are under more stress and are very likely to die, especially if the ocean temperatures do not cool soon.

“In 2005, the U.S. lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event. The warm waters centered around the northern Antilles near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expanded southward. Comparison of satellite data from the previous 20 years confirmed that thermal stress from the 2005 event was greater than the 20 years combined.”


 





"Coral reefs and climate change."Encyclopedia of Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Coral_reefs_and_climate_change>.

"What is coral bleaching? ." NOAA's National Ocean Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html>.

Shah, Anup. "Coral Reefs — Global Issues." Global Issues : social, political, economic and environmental issues that affect us all — Global Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/173/coral-reefs>.https://www.google.com/images/cleardot.gif





9 comments:

  1. This is so interesting, I never knew that coral reefs turned white as a result of them being stressed or unhealthy. It really is a shame that the Caribbean's coral reefs suffered from the bleaching taking place.

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  2. This is a very important subject that not many people know about. One thing that you might have wanted to add is that most coral reefs die soon after bleaching because the algae that colored them was also how they got the nutrients they needed. Without them they only te a small amount of food not nearly enough to sustain them.

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    1. Yes, you are right about the coral reefs dieing soon after they bleach. I hope the human race takes more responsibility in the future towards the environment so less things like this happen.

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  3. The bleaching in the Caribbean in 2005 is a tragedy and I hope that it doesn't keep happening. Hopefully, in the future, we can lower atmospheric temperatures and stop the bleaching of our underwater rainforests.

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  4. Is this an isolated incident or is coral being bleached all around the world? Also what are ways we can prevent coral bleaching in the future?

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    1. There are many things you can do. Check out these websites on ways you can help stop coral bleaching:
      www.pcrf.org/tensimple.html

      www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/25list.html

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  5. It's interesting that the coral reefs are so sensitive to the water temperature change, with the increase in global warming this could cause a serious problem in the near future. What can be done to preserve our "underwater forests"?

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  6. I think it's amazing that these coral reefs can do so many things. I had no idea they protected the shore from waves and storms. Also that they provide humans food. These things can be way bigger than I imagined.

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  7. It makes me sick about how all these scientists know about all the coral bleaching that is going on today in the world and theyre barely even trying to help to find a solution to it. Also, I don't get why the people who are doing the bleaching are still doing it after they've heard of what it does the underwater life.

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