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.
Some key predators may be too abundant or there may not be enough predators having a top down and bottom up effect on the trophic system. I believe Kurihara’s work and findings is the most important because it shows the most direct impacts of ocean acidification on organisms and that this is a problem that needs to dealt with now before it gets worst and completely destroys the coral reefs and marine ecosystem. Seawater pH is expected to rise worldwide and many species will have very little chance to avoid these acidic conditions. These species will have to either have to adapt to this change or disappear due to extinction.
These corals dominate any open space and put slower growing species to death. It’s been thought that bleaching influences the diversity of coral reefs by preventing the more aggressive corals from taking over (Marshall and Baird 2000). It’s obvious that conflicting observations are still up in the air. The occurrence of coral bleaching will most likely be on the top of the list to follow in the future. The significance of discoveries in the future about coral bleaching will help us understand the understated effects that bleaching has on the environmental well-being of coral reefs.
For one thing, excessive sea temperatures are the leading cause of coral bleaching. Many marine biologists agree that climate change is a major threat to the fact that “coral reef ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate- induced changes in the physical environment” (Baker et. al 436). Their studies have also proved that, “since the 1980s, coral reef ‘‘bleaching’’, caused by unusually high sea temperatures, has had devastating and widespread effects worldwide” (436). In the last thirty years, coral has been boiling under the heat of the sun.
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.
Not only is the corals bleaching faster than ever before but the time between rounds of severe bleaching as grown closer and there is severe bleaching more often than ever before. Therefore, the coral doesn’t have time to recover from the bleaching that it has suffered. “Consistently higher tropical water temperatures, the result of climate change, are in part to blame for the increase in bleaching, researchers say. Warm water stresses corals and strips away their symbiotic algae — their main source of food and the reason they’re
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.
The gradual loss of a coral reef environment is further exacerbated when excess algae growth leads to increased levels of disease and the secretion of excess nutrients (Hughes, 2003). Besides algae growth, some species of sponge growing on coral reefs will smother reefs as well (Hughes, 2003). Without the presence of a predator, the removal of angelfish, parrotfish and surgeon fish allows sponges to grow. Grouper fish, are damselfish's natural predator. The diminishing population of grouper fish is causing the health of coral reef environments to decline (Harris, 2009).
Due to global warming, the frequency of coral bleaching is predicted to continue to increase (Baker et al., 2008; Spillman et al., 2013) 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.
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?.