Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs Introduction
Coral Reefs Introduction
Coral reefs, often called 'rainforests of the sea,' host a spectacular variety of marine life. They are not just biodiversity hotspots but are vital to marine ecosystems and coastal protection.
Rising Ocean Temperatures
Rising Ocean Temperatures
As greenhouse gases trap more heat, ocean temperatures rise, leading to coral bleaching. This phenomenon expels algae living in coral tissues, robbing corals of their vibrant colors and essential nutrients.
Ocean Acidification Threat
Ocean Acidification Threat
The ocean absorbs about 30% of emitted carbon dioxide, causing acidification. Lower pH levels dissolve coral skeletons, which are made of calcium carbonate, impairing reef growth and resilience.
Destructive Fishing Practices
Destructive Fishing Practices
Certain fishing methods, such as blast fishing and cyanide fishing, not only kill fish but also devastate coral structures, which take centuries to form, thus crippling reef ecosystems.
Storm Intensity and Reefs
Storm Intensity and Reefs
Increased storm intensity, a climate change effect, results in physical damage to reefs. Coral structures are battered by stronger waves and winds, leading to breakage and habitat loss.
Coral Diseases Proliferation
Coral Diseases Proliferation
Climate change is escalating the spread of coral diseases. Warmer waters facilitate pathogen growth, infecting corals more frequently and severely, threatening their survival and the species they support.
Adaptation and Restoration
Adaptation and Restoration
Efforts to cultivate heat-resistant coral species are underway to combat climate change. Artificial reefs and coral gardening are innovative solutions aimed at restoring damaged reefs and conserving marine biodiversity.
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Why are coral reefs called 'rainforests of the sea'?
They have tall coral trees
Host diverse marine life varieties
They experience heavy rainfall