The Human Impacts Of Coral Reefs Essay

1383 WordsNov 22, 20166 Pages
Consisting of less than 1% of the world oceans, the coral reefs are ancient animals comprising of thin calcium carbonate deposits within the photic layer. Aside from its biologically diverse ecosystems, coral reefs are major source of food for millions and provides habitats and nursery areas for many marine organisms. Coral reefs also act as a physical buffer to protect the coastlines from tropical storms and erosion. In addition, many local communities rely on coral reefs to generate an income through activities such as fishing and diving. However, 75% of the coral reefs are under threat from induced impacts of humans and climate change (Burke, et al., 2011). This essay looks at the human impacts constantly being inflicted on coral reefs. Since early 1998, climate change has been demonstrating its effects in increasing the ocean 's temperature (West & Salm, 2003). Warm water stress corals causing the phenomenon known as coral bleaching, by which expulsion of colourful symbiotic algae the zooxanthellae, vital for coral survival, growth and reproduction leaving corals bright white. Furthermore, climate change alters the carbon dioxide concertation within the ocean causing variation of pH level through which ocean become more acidic. This event is referred to as ocean acidification. When this occurs, the corals are unable to absorb calcium carbonate needed for skeletal maintenance (Freiwald, et al., 2004). In addition, human population dynamics have increased through the 21th

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