The rate of natural extinction occurs at a rate of one to five species every year. According to Joanna Zelmen, from The Huffington Post, there are over 2,500 species of coral alone, and they could all be threatened by the year 2050. Humans uphold the biggest influence on the diminishing reefs through overfishing, construction, and pollution, but we can also have the biggest impact to help these strange yet beautiful animals.
They protect against coastal flooding, wave damage, storm surges, wave damage, and also they provide homes for lots of fish.. Coral reefs are dying because of the increase in ocean acidification that is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Coral reefs may stop growing if the CO2 concentration levels are high which is expected over the coming decades according to the article. Coral reefs are also vital for people and business. In the article it was reported that more than 30 million small-scale fisherman and women depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods, specifically in Indonesia where fish supported by the reefs provide the primary source of protein.
Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine life. The leading natural cause of destruction among the coral reefs is global warming. Other natural causes are earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The destruction to the coral reefs from these natural disasters is minimal compared to the dangers caused by man. Man-made destruction has a much wider impact on the health of the coral reefs. This destruction includes over-fishing, damage from anchors, aquarium industry, overgrowth of seaweed, and being smothered by sediments.
The 2,300 km Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world's largest protected reef system.
Finally, there are millions of species who live in the coral reef. It is used both for shelter and for a food supply. There is a vast amount of trawlers that come through each year to dredge the ocean. But think about what would happen if the coral reefs disappear. All the species that depend on the reef for shelter would die. And all the species who hunt for food there would also die. Dredging the ocean rips apart the coral reefs wether that was meant to happen or not. If the natural beauty of the reefs and the security it brings to animals dissapeared, it would be a major
Conservationists around the world are putting their best foot forward in an attempt to save the coral reefs. Coral reefs today are at a high risk of damage because of all the attention drawn to them by tourists. There are some islands that make all their money through tourism and exploiting the coral reefs, giving snorkel and scuba diving trips to guests that have traveled from around the world. Many people travel to these places with amazing under water worlds and they come extremely uneducated about these beautiful masterpieces. Tourists will drop their anchors on top of corals and drive their boats over corals, causing severe damage that will take the coral years and years to replenish. There are always new ways to enhance the lives of the
The key environmental points are that coral reefs provide important ecosystem goods and services for the maritime tropical and subtropical nations. Within the past two centuries, the main drivers of massive acceleration in the decrease of coral reef species that have caused widespread changes in reef ecosystems has been due to the direct and indirect effects of overfishing and pollution during agriculture and land development. Since markets for fish have gone global, along with other natural resources, reduced stocks of herbivorous fish and the nutrients from land-based activities have caused corals to be replaced with fleshy seaweed.
Coral reef destruction is a big deal. There are many environmental threats on coral reefs which means they are slowly dying. Coral reefs play a very important part in marine ecosystems. Sea creatures depend on them for protection, camouflage, as a home, and also for food. Scientists believe this could be from natural causes like erosion, and global warming as reasons that coral reefs die off but one of the main reasons is pollution. There are many different ways pollution can affect coral reefs. There is a chemical in sunscreen called oxybenzone that may be contributing to the destruction of coral reefs as swimmers are trying to protect their skin. This chemical has toxic effects on young coral that can damage their DNA,
In an article by Ray and Perry, they explain several events that have occurred in coral over the past hundred years. Most people do not realize how damaging the climate can be to plants. The warmer the water the higher the temperatures will become and this puts stress on the corals. They are very sensitive to changes in temperature and if the water keeps changing, bleaching will become more common and the health of the coral reef will begin to decline. In 1998, an enormous underwater heat wave hit and killed 16% of the coral on reefs around the world. This was caused by the El Nino and became known as the first major coral bleaching event to occur. The next major coral bleaching event took place in 2010 and it was triggered by the El Nino again. Currently coral is going through another bleaching event that began in 2015 and is still going on now. This event is the largest of its kind and has impacted several reefs through the years. The bleaching is caused by the climate change heat that is absorbed by the water, it is estimated that 93 percent is absorbed into the water. This bleaching causes risk to five hundred million peoples livelihood and could cause a loss in income up to thirty billion dollars. During the last two periods of bleaching, humans didn’t have the knowledge or technology to survey the coral reefs and see what was going
What if all the coral reefs of the world vanished or died? According to Karen Kirkpatrick of How Stuff Works, if the coral reefs of the world vanished completely, experts have predicted that hunger, poverty and political instability would occur as the livelihoods of up to 500 million people and the livelihoods of some entire countries would disappear (Kirkpatrick). Recently, an online story by Outside magazine said The Great Barrier Reef or the GBR was dead. This article went viral and caused much debate and outrage among scientists and the general public. The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Australia and is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is home to unique plant
Of those threats, climate change is the one that has the biggest impact on the reef. The rising temperatures are causing bleaching.When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae, called zooxanthellae, living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white (NNOA). Without it, the coral starves, but doesn’t have to die. It can recover from this, but has a higher fatality rate than corals who didn’t go through the bleaching process. The poor water quality is a result of increasing sediment, nutrients and contaminants entering coastal waters in run-off from agricultural, industrial and urban land uses (“Poor Water Quality”). The nutrients and sediments boost algae growth, which effects the corals growth. Overfishing is the final major threat. Once the fisherman catch most of the fish in the area, they must go lower. This leads to them hitting the coral and causing further damage. Although they have these threats, they can overcome it to continue to
Overfishing, tourism, abnormal fishing methods, pollution are the main causes of human origin that is responsible for the reefs deterioration. For example, the dumping of industrial wastes and waste oil dumping is causing massive harm to the coral reefs, which need fresh water for its
Coral reefs not only protect coastlines and beaches from wave damage and erosion, but also are the basis for the fishing and tourism industries. Dying reefs is a worldwide problem, and evidence shows that 10% of the entire world’s coral has died, and 60% will die by 2020 if existing conditions continue (NOAA 2000). The reason that the Australian Great Barrier Reef is so important is because not only is it the largest barrier reef in the world, but it is also one of the most evolved models of how to best manage and protect the world’s largest reef system (Ornitz 1996). It extends for 2,340 kilometers (km), covers 345,000 square km and contains 2,900 reefs, 300 coral cays and 600 continental islands (White 1999). Historically, it has been ahead of the rest of the world in terms of recognizing and addressing problems associated with reef degradation.
Marhaver opened her talk by speaking about the jobs that coral reefs do for other species: providing protection, and nutrition. They are farmers, chemists developing medical technology, and even founders of tourism activities like snorkeling. Nevertheless, we are rapidly destroying the reefs, by taking fish from the oceans, crushing them with our boats, and adding unnecessary means such as fertilizers and pollution. Marhaver then continues to describe an experience she had while getting her PhD in Curaçao. When after a tropical storm passed, in town, on the more populated side of the island where many corals were already broken, damaged insued. While on the other side of the island where the corals were thriving and healthy there was no change. Marhaver remarks that one coral, “ this storm took off half of its tissue, it became infested with algae”. This caused