The Key Impacts On Climate Change On Marine Life Essay

2126 Words Jun 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
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The key impacts on climate change on marine life are….

Coral bleaching

Coral bleaching occurs when corals are stressed by a change in environmental conditions. They react by expelling the symbiotic algae that live in their tissues and then turn completely white. Coral bleaching in Australia
Elevated sea temperatures are the primary cause of mass coral bleaching events. Bleaching is a stress response of corals, during which they expel their zooxanthellae during unfavorable conditions, giving rise to the typical white coloration observed. Aside from temperature, other stressors such as tropical cyclones, freshwater inflows and anthropogenic pollution can also induce bleaching but to a far lesser extent and generally not on large spatial scales.

Bleaching has been observed on the Great Barrier Reef since 1982, with severe bleaching events occurring in the summers of 1998, 2002 and 2006. Major bleaching events in Southern Hemisphere reefs (Pacific and Indian Oceans) tend to occur in February-April, with a lag of up to a month in the bleaching response of corals following thermal stress. Mortality appears to increase with the intensity of the bleaching event, which is determined by how much and for how long temperatures remain above the maximum mean summer temperatures.

Seasonal forecasts from coupled dynamical models such as POAMA can be used to detect anomalous SSTs several months in advance, allowing for proactive management responses. These…

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