Coral Bleaching Research Paper

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Corals are these beautiful marine invertebrate animals that are composed of calcium carbonate. They can be found in shallow warm tropical waters along the shores of some islands. Coral reefs are good for our ecosystem because they help remove carbon dioxide from our air. They are also important to our marine ecosystem because they provide protection for other marine organisms and other marine ecosystems. They are also known to protect the coastlines from tropical storms and tsunami. Corals also have a symbiotic relationship with single-cell algae called zooxanthellae. The corals provide protection and food for the algae and in return, the algae provide food for the corals through photosynthesis. The algae are also responsible for giving the corals their bright colors.

However coral reefs are in endangered by several threats. One of the biggest has been coral bleaching. The corals are becoming stress and turning this pale white color (known as bleaching) due to the temperatures of the water increasing. (C. Mark 2010). It has been studied that the bleaching is caused by the corals expelling the …show more content…

The temperature of the water was measured by an NOAA Coral Reef Watch, which provides satellite sea surface temperature (C. Mark 2010). The NOAA showed an increase in thermal stress in 2005 during a 12-week period exceeding an increase of 16 degrees Celsius (C. Mark 2010). According to this study, about 80 % of corals were bleached and over 40 % died at many locations(C. Mark 2010). This was one of the worst bleaching events ever recorded. It has been examined that coral reefs can live in temperatures of 24- 51 degrees Celsius depending on the location (T.P Hughes 2003). Corals tend to bleach when they experience temperature well over 10 degrees Celsius (T.P Hughes

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