Even the slightest changes in the environment, such as pH fluxes and temperature rises, result in catastrophic events including coral bleaching. The Belize Barrier Reef and the Great Barrier Reef are two reefs that have experienced the most severe coral bleaching. This detrimental not only to the fish which depend on the coral, but to the economies of the surrounding countries which thrive on various water-related tourist attractions. With the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases, this trend only seems to be on the rise unless something is done to reverse it. Corals may be able to adapt to these stresses over time, but the real solution comes from lowering human carbon and other greenhouse gas output.
That change would be most acute for low-lying states facing inundation. Complete submergence of base points from which the Marshall Isl... ... middle of paper ... ... Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries, pg. 325 (2003), http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/people/adgerwn/ClimChange2003Barnett.pdf. They note that without coral bleaching, reefs would possibly be able to grow apace with rising sea-levels, but they are not expected to be able to sustain themselves with the combined impact of projected sea level rise, projected increases in bleaching episodes, and with the additional stressors such as increased land-based sources of pollution and increased atmospheric concentration of CO2.
After scientists took notice, other instances were noticed around the world such as in Japan, the Indo-Pacific, and around the United States in areas such as California, and near Florida. The main cause of coral bleaching is pollution. Large companies, and regular citizens that are dumping their waste in the oceans are a major contributor towards global warming. Global warming is the main cause of bleaching due to the increasing temperature in waters, this increase in temperature cause the reefs a lot of stress. The second largest factor is climate change.
The warming water is not only dangerous to the coral but can be threatening to many other crucial parts of ocean ecosystems and the ecological balance. “In the past, major bleaching events were most likely to happen when El Niño brought bands of warmer water to the tropics. But sea surface temperatures in tropical areas are now warmer during today’s La Niña years (when the water is typically cooler) than during El Niño events 40 years ago, says study co author Terry Hughes, a coral researcher at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Because those temperatures continue to rise, “we have a narrowing window of opportunity to save reefs,” he says.’- (Paragraph Six). The patterns of bleaching are changing and the rising ocean temperatures are making it more and more common to see extreme bleaching in the oceans.
“In the 20th century alone, sea levels rose 0.17 meters predictions for the next century range anywhere from 0.18 to 0.59 meters” (ELC, 2013). From the increasing to oceans temperatures, it could be nice to swim in but it is a big danger to our oceans. Studies say that around one fourth of our oceans coral reefs have died over the last few decades. One of the leading causes to this was due to coral bleaching which happens when there are severe changes in the water temperature, light, and nutrients. Severe weathering to Earth could eventually lead to stronger and more frequent storms.
Oceans function as a sink that take up half of carbon dioxide emitted by hum... ... middle of paper ... ...lgae are facing threats all throughout the world- nutrient pollution, predation ,over fishing , pest outbreaks deadly bleaching followed by warmer sea temperatures. Ocean warming and climate change has caused a sluggish coral growth since 1990. There has been a 10- 50 decrease in the calcification rate of reef building corals and coralline algae. The Great Barrier Reef , the world’s largest coral system and the reefs in the Pacific ocean have been disintegrating due to increase in temperature and acidification. (REF – MARKED WD A STAR).
These coastal wetlands are especially vulnerable to direct, large-scale impacts of climate change, primarily because of their sensitivity to sea-level rise. Observational records indicate that sea level has already risen between 10 and 25 cm globally over the past 100 years. In addition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has projected a sea-level rise of 15-95 cm as a consequence of global warming. Sea-level rise will also increase the depth of coastal waters and increase inland and upstream salinity intrusion, both of which affect fresh and brackish water wetlands. Sea-level rise has the potential for increasing the severity of storm surges, particularly in areas where coastal habitats and barrier shorelines are rapidly deteriorating.
An increase in global temperature also increases ocean acidification (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007). These occurrences destroy reefs resulting in a significant drop in other sea organisms that depend on the reef. This implies that climatic changes are among the most destructive environmental elements affecting coral reef population in the world. To understand how climatic changes affect coral reef population, it is important to consider different ecological processes that occur due to climatic changes, the most common being the rise in global temperatures. Results from Different Studies Investigating the Role of Climate Change in Coral Reef Destruction Evidence of Sea Acidi... ... middle of paper ... ...igher—Can We Do Anything About It?.
The primary reasons include climate change, unsustainable fishing, and pollution (“Threats”). As the temperature increases the amount of coral bleaching and the spread of diseases will increase as well. The CO2 absorbed into the ocean reduces the amount of coral building. Using bottom-contact gear to fish could directly damage the coral reefs and bottom trawling creates the worst damages where it is allowed. Disease affecting the corals has become a problem recently as well as aquatic invasive species.
Looking back to the causes of each mass mortality event, it’s important to note the bleaching that took place over time. 2010 was when it initially became an issue for the coral, with its effects being felt fully in 2011 and 2012. Countless factors contribute to this, most of which are caused by mankind. Increases in pollution are very clearly caused by humans and directly affect coral populations worldwide. Increased exposure to UV rays is a direct result of a thinning o-zone caused by human emissions; Ocean temperatures are rising as a result of these same emissions as well.