Human Overpopulation And Its Effects On Coral Reefs

1540 WordsOct 28, 20177 Pages
Throughout the world, coral reefs have died off due to a chemical process known as bleaching. NOAA states in “What is coral bleaching?”, bleaching is the by-product of corals getting too warm; when corals get too warm they expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues, which causes them to turn completely white. Today, the remaining coral reefs are being stressed by the human inhabitants who exist upon the land masses from which these reefs neighbor; which, in turn, has caused these remaining reefs to approach extinction. Moreover, coral reefs are underwater barrier islands, and if they become extinct, Florida and any other landmass protected by a reef shall face the full brunt of every storm that comes their way. However, at the…show more content…
The Great Barrier Reef may contain over 134,286 square miles of marine wildlife, but its secondary purpose is to protect Australia from the killer cyclones that try to invade the country. According to Alison Jones and Ray Berkelmans, In December 2010, the highest recorded Queensland rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone ‘Tasha’ caused flooding of the Fitzroy River in Queensland, Australia. A massive flood plume inundated coral reefs lying 12 km offshore of the Central Queensland coast near Yeppoon and caused 40–100% mortality to coral fringing many of the islands of Keppel Bay down to a depth of [approximately] 8 m. The severity of coral mortality was influenced by the level of exposure to low salinity seawater as a result of the reef’s distance from the flood plume… There was no evidence in this study of mortality resulting from pollutants derived from the nearby Fitzroy Catchment... suggesting that during a major flood, the impact of low salinity on corals outweighs that of pollutants. Recovery of the reefs in Keppel Bay from the 2010/2011 Fitzroy River flood is likely to take 10–15 years based
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