The Impact Of Global Warming On Coral Reefs

1960 Words 8 Pages
Background Lomborg stated that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere cause global warming. However while global warming is a problem, Lomborg believes that its total impact will not have a devastating effect on humanity’s future. Lomborg’s claim is an important topic as it relates to global warming and the ecosystems affected by the extra heat. This heat is caused when the greenhouse gases that are emitted by various sources linger in the atmosphere. While these gases stay in the atmosphere, they will interfere with the energy that enters and leaves earth. Normally, the sun releases long-wave energy that hits earth’s surface and our average albedo of 30% (NASA, 2011) will send 30% of the sun’s energy back into space as short-wave energy. However, this …show more content…
They stated that the corals have the possibility of dying if exposed to temperatures above normal. These abnormal temperatures cause the coral to release their zooxanthellae, which is known as coral bleaching. This bleaching can decrease the growth of the coral, but it also takes a long time for the coral to recover if it can. Data were taken on the Curacao coral reef, the results showed the temperature was rising too high for the coral to grow, but it was not high enough for the reef to bleach. In addition to bleaching, another major aspect of reefs is the calcification. It is important as corals are built from layers of calcium, but the temperatures could play a key role here. However, there are contrasting results as data from one area of the Great Barrier Reef shows an increase in growth when temperatures rose one degree Celsius, but in another area the growth decline by 21% (James and Crabbe, 2008). It was also found that coral can use the large changes in temperature that occur in tropical waters to prepare and survive in hostile

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