Coral Reefs Essay

1512 Words 7 Pages
The struggle for balance between man and nature is as old as time, while precious treasures could cease to exist as a sacrifice to find that balance. Corals reefs are living creatures and ecosystems that are located in shallow warm tropical oceans, which house hundreds of tropical species of fish. Unfortunately, tourism and human related climate change is killing reef’s around the world causing loss of habitat and pressuring species survival. Tourism has a number of factors that destroy the reefs such as chemical pollutants and seaweed infestation inflicting coral preventing the ecosystem to flourish . Global warming directly affects corals by acidifying the oceans and rising sea levels and temperature. With so many negative impact on coral, …show more content…
Fossil fuels are apart of everything including plastics, cosmetics, electricity, fertilizers, just to name a few. However, the usage of fossil fuels and processing is major threat to the delicate ecosystems formed by reefs. The release of carbon dioxide not only contributed to the warming of our planet but it acidifies the ocean. The ph of ocean water is gradually dropping to today 's ph of 8.1, due to the absorption of carbon dioxide in the oceans. The gas binds with ions to form carbonic acid which softens the water, ruining the habitat for corals reefs. The acid affects the corals ability to builds its skeleton because their is less calcium ions in the water for it to use. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 's stated "From a current pH of 8.2 (alkaline), it is predicted that the ocean’s pH could fall to about 7.8 (still slightly alkaline) by 2100." Slight changes in ph impact coral in a large scale, temperature increase is also inevitable. The symbiotic relationship between algae and coral is at risk, if the temperature is even off by a few degrees, whole ecosystems would collapse. The algae live on the coral, feeding it with the byproducts it uses, the specific temperature requirement for the chemical process and enzymes is very delicate. The Great Barrier Reef demonstrates the effect of the acidification and ocean heating. The ocean ph is dropping rapidly, reducing its ability to regenerate and house organism, which already endemic only to the reefs. The temperature is hotter than ever with evidence with the Authorities of the Great Barrier Reef stating, "Analysis of coral cores in centuries-old corals suggests that current temperatures are warmer now than over the last three centuries. The summer of 2010 saw the highest recorded sea surface temperatures in Australia." The solution to save our reefs is to wean off on fossil fuels and coal, no matter how hard it

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