Coral Reefs : Tropical Rainforests Of The Oceans Essay

Coral Reefs : Tropical Rainforests Of The Oceans Essay

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Coral Reefs are known as the “Tropical Rainforests of the Oceans.” They are called thus because of the “tight resource coupling and recycling, allowing coral reefs to have extremely high productivity and biodiversity” (Coral Reef bleaching, no date). Coral Bleaching has always been a part of the natural circle of life, but only over the last forty years’ have Marine Biologist seen a rapid increase of the onset of coral bleaching. Coral reefs are severely threatened by the combination of natural causes and human activities. Natural causes include climatic events such as El Niño and La Niña events, whereas the human activities include the dramatic effects of the coastal development along the reefs, agricultural overflow into the sea and marine and inland based pollutions.

Two event process that could lead to coral bleaching. They are either the process in which coral lose their colour die to the loss of zooxanthellae living in symbiosis with the polyps or the process of the zooxanthellae being expelled from the host. Both of these processes are caused due to the ever-changing climate. Changes in sea surface temperature, light exposure or the deficiency or sufficiency of nutrient. An increase in the sea surface temperature causes the coral to experience thermal stress. This causes it to expel zooxanthellae living in symbiosis.

The rise in temperature of the sea surface area is one of the main affecting consequences of climate change on coral bleaching. Thermal stress is caused by this effect of climate change on the increase in the sea surface temperature. This constricts the coral from expanding and contracting. Thermal stress for the corals in the Great Barrier Reef is more likely to occur during a La Niño event, as the sea surfa...


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...tating news as the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. With it stretching a whooping 2300km along the coast of Queensland, it is a tourist destination for everyone, and with the increase in coral bleaching occurring due increasing sea surface temperatures, natural nutrient loss and light exposure, the reefs will no longer be a lovely sight to see and our future generations wouldn’t know what coral reefs were.

In conclusion it can be said that natural climatic events such as El Niño and La Niño events have happened naturally over the past few millennia, only for the last forty years has there been a drastic increase in the loss of our natural coral reefs. The biggest impacts on the bleaching of the coral are the man made problems such as pollution, which in its own way cause the whole world to slowly increase in climatic temperature.

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