Coral Bleaching : Causes And Effects Essays

Coral Bleaching : Causes And Effects Essays

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Coral bleaching can be caused when coral is stressed by many things including pollution, overexposure to sunlight and extreme low tides however, it primarily occurs when corals are stressed due to unusually high sea temperatures (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2015). Unusually high temperatures cause coral 's colourful, symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) to separate from the coral leaving it to appear white (De 'ath, Fabricius, Sweatman & Puotinen, 2012; Baker, Glynn & Riegl, 2008). Coral bleaching is not isolated to one select reef, but rather many reefs all around the world. Mass coral bleaching has become more widespread and frequent over the recent decades, often resulting in high mortality rates (Pandolfi, Connolly, Marshall & Cohen, 2011). Indeed, the frequency of coral bleaching is predicted to increase as a result of global warming (Baker et al., 2008; Spillman, Alves & Hudson, 2013). Numerous people claim that the destruction of coral reefs is not primarily caused by climate change while another is that in the event of bleaching, coral can recover rapidly (World Climate Report, 2010). Despite coral bleaching drastically effecting the economy through tourism, and directly effecting other sea life relying on coral, many people still believe that coral bleaching is not as damaging as it is. Coral bleaching due to global warming is more concerning than many people believe.

Coral bleaching can have a severe effect on tourism for countries or regions. After the 1998 coral bleaching in Palau, the number of tourists visiting the area decreased by 5-10 per cent (Pratchett et al., 2008). Additionally, in Kenya and Tanzania, 75 per cent of divers avoided sites known to be bleached and a total of 49 per cent of touris...


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...Numerous reefs across the world experience coral bleaching rather than just one reef. Coral bleaching can have a devastating effect on a region 's tourism industry and can cause not only coral mortality, but the death of other animals that rely on coral to survive. Higher ocean temperatures not only result in more frequent coral bleaching, but can increase other threats to the survival of coral. Furthermore, repeated bleaching increases the chance of fatal bleaching events (Baker et al., 2008). Moreover, despite coral surviving higher sea temperatures in the past, there are many other factors contributing to coral bleaching. Coral recovery depends on how often bleaching events occur and global warming increases this and worsens conditions for reproduction which is essential to survival. Coral bleaching due to global warming is more concerning than many people believe.

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