Colorful to Colorless
Do you know what corals are? Do you think they are plants? Corals are these beautiful species of invertebrates(animals with no spinal cord) that lay on the sea floor and are the habitat for a quarter of all marine life in the seas. There are three main types of corals: fringing, barrier, atoll.
It is really surprising that a lot of corals are dying just because of us! Climate change is affecting corals to a great extent. It’s not too late to take corrective action for the destruction we have done. It is our responsibility to take care of the gift that God has given us. I can’t believe that this is happening right in front of our eyes and we are just sitting down and doing nothing.
Coral bleaching is when corals turn white. It happens when corals eject the algae from themselves which causes the coral to starve. Coral bleaching occurs when the algae from which the corals get their color and is their main food source detaches itself from the corals. When corals bleach that is a sign that they are starving and they are about to die. The main reason for coral bleaching is heat stress resulting from high ocean temperatures. As per NOAA, “Even if the oceans temperatures increase by 1 degree Celsius in only 4 weeks it can trigger a lot of coral bleaching in many different places.” However, if the temperatures lower down they can recover before it is too late.
Climate change has a very big impact on the oceans. Coral reefs are very sensitive to light and temperature. If there is too much pollution in the water that makes the water to fill up with CO2 and that CO2 can affect the corals. Algae give corals their food and they get their color through photosynthesis. Coral bleaching happens because of global warming, overfishing, pollution, acidity, sunscreen, and invasive species. The graph below shows the ocean surface temperatures changing over time.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is caused by the smoke and gases emitted by factories and cars which releases a lot of carbon dioxide. When they release the CO2 gas 50% of which is absorbed by the oceans. Because of that, the water becomes hot and prevents the colorful algae (zooxanthellae) from producing food for the corals. Now the algae will not able to produce any food because the water temperatures are very high. So, they are ejected by the corals. What is left behind are the skeleton and the transparent skin of the corals? It is not too late to stop or reduce climate change and its effects if you want to stop or reduce this damage that is destroying our earth learn ways that you can take action! If you want to see how much you impact the earth you can go to http://meetthegreens.pbskids.org/features/carbon-calculator.html and click Get Started.
How can you take action to stop or reduce coral bleaching?
You can take many actions to reduce corals to bleach. As you read corals are bleaching because of us so I think it is time for us to make up for them by taking an action. Some reasons for stopping or reducing coral bleaching are: Conserve water, the less water you use the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our oceans, Help reduce pollution, use public transportation and carpool, Dispose your trash, make sure you put your garbage in the right place, Plant trees, to reduce runoff, Spread the word, tell everyone about what we are doing and what have we don, Do not use pesticides or fertilizers, these products end up in the oceans and may impact a lot of corals, Report dumping or other illegal activities, You can change your light bulbs.
If you can’t do any of these you can see the picture to get more ways to reduce or stop coral bleaching and climate change. These are just some there are many other small things and big changes that you can do to make a big difference. What is climate change? Coral reefs are sources for new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, viruses, and many other diseases. To conclude, Coral bleaching is affecting the oceans and a quarter of the marine life in it. Climate change has a very big impact on the oceans and also on the glaciers. These corals need the support through your right actions. You also can do something to stop or reduce this damage.
What do you think?
Do you care about it and want to make a change?