Coral reefs around the world are in danger. One of the causes is global warming, which has been increasing the temperature of the ocean water resulting in coral bleaching. This essay will focus on damage occurring to the Great Barrier Reef.
What is a Coral Reef?
A coral reef is a ridge formed in shallow ocean water by accumulated calcium-containing exoskeletons of coral animals, certain red algae, and mollusks. Coral reefs are tropical, forming only where surface waters are never cooler than 20° C (68° F).
The only difference between a barrier reef and a coral reef is that a barrier reef occurs farther offshore, with a channel or lagoon between it and the shore.
The outer layer of a reef consists of living animals, or polyps, of coral. Single-celled algae called zooxanthellae live within the coral polyps, and a skeleton containing filamentous green algae surrounds them. The photosynthetic zooxanthellae and green algae transfer food energy directly to the coral polyps, while acquiring scarce nutrients from the coral. The numerous micro habitats of coral reefs and the high biological productivity support a great diversity of other life.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a chain of coral reefs in the Coral Sea, off the northeastern coast of Australia. The largest reef in the world, it extends about 1250 mi from Mackay, Queensland to the Torres Strait (between Australia and New Guinea.)
The Great Barrier Reef is home to a remarkable number of organisms. The coral itself is made up of the skeletons of tiny, flowerlike water animals called polyps, held together by a limestone substance produced by a type of algae. Hundreds...
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...bal Warming kills Great Barrier Reef coral
Coral reefs in peril worldwide
Coral 'stress' worsening, expert says
Greenpeace reports threat to Great Barrier Reef
Protecting Coral Reefs
What are Some Solutions to Global Warming
What are the Causes of Global Warming?
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