Deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels have led to a great increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Since the Industrial Revolution, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 has increased from about 280 parts per million to above 390 parts per million; and recently has been calculated to be rising 1.5-2 parts per million per year (Kudela, 2013). This sharp increase in atmospheric CO2 has had an impact on the ocean, and can be seen by the increase in the levels of gaseous CO2 in the seawater. When the CO2 rich atmosphere comes in contact with the surface of the ocean, CO2 is readily absorbed which causes the pH of seawater to become more acidic. Many enzymes and processes that occur in the ocean, like test building, are pH sensitive (Calderia, 2003).
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 63, 353–372. Obura, D. & Grimsditch, D. (2009). Coral reefs, climate change and resilience : an agenda for action from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Neptune: IUCN. Smith, V. & Buddemeier, W. (1992).
240-247). San Francisco: Prentice Hall Raven, J., Caldeira, K., Elderfield, H., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Liss, P., Riebesell, U., ... & Watson, A. (2005). Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Royal Society Weiss, I. M., Tuross, N., Addadi, L., & Weiner, S. (2002).
"Marine fisheries." Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). (2006).
These in turn have implications on very important resources such as productivity of fisheries or how much carbon is able to reach the ocean floor. In this paper, research was done to see why and how the microbial loop is such an important process in the oceans. Also discussed in this paper, are what the loop consists of, how it operates, the matter and energy that cycles through the loop, as well... ... middle of paper ... ...nd J.M. Davies. 1986.
The impact of these reefs on both marine life and humans is immense, but as of today, we have lost almost twenty to twenty-five percent of the world’s coral reefs and about another sixty percent are being threatened by human activities. Consequently, coral reefs should be protected because they benefit us greatly, both economically and biologically, and if we leave them unprotected, we face numerous consequences that will be detrimental to both our economy and the biodiversity of the ocean. Though coral reefs don’t seem like much, it’s impossible to deny the importance of the roles they serve as indicators of the salinity of water and its nutrient levels in our coastal watersheds and oceans. Because corals can only survive in clear and unpolluted tropical or sub-tropical waters that have a relatively normal salinity and that are low in nutrient levels (Thurman), they help local resource managers to understand how activities on land impacts the reefs and to identify changes in water quality, which is a major benefit to us because the reefs are able to detect even the slightest change in water that some of the best manmade technologies can miss (U.S. EPA). They also act as mo... ... middle of paper ... ...ier-reef.html>.
Some of the major threats to coral reefs include sedimentation, water pollution, harmful recreational activities, and global warming. All of these things cause stress on corals and can potentially cause mortality. Corals are made up of two parts, a polyp and zooxanthellae. A polyp is a calcerous body that grows from a hard part of the ocean floor. Zooxanthellae is a photosynthetic algae which lives in the polyp and provide energy for themselves and the coral.
Coral reefs in crisis. Bioscience, 47(9), 554-558. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/216465718?accountid=40611 Hughes, T. P., Baird, A. H., Bellwood, D. R., Card, M., & al, e. (2003). Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs. Science, 301(5635), 929-33.