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Transcript of Coral Reefs
What IS Society doing to protect Coral Reefs?
Activists are realizing that scoiety is negatively affecting coral reefs, so they are doing whatever they can to protect them. Here are some things people are doing:
Donation websites like www.coral.org have been created to inform people about coral reefs, how to protect them and how to donate to protection funds, which are working hard to prevent the destruction of the reefs.
The organization of reef cleanup groups.
Some industrial, commercial and tourism companies have become reef-friendly by changing their destructive ways and lowering their greenhouse gas emissions.
Guides can be found at every reef to inform people on how to properly treat the reef.
Coral reefs benefit the economy in many ways. Experts that wrote
The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services
estimate that coral reefs contribute about $375 billion each year.
Fishing Industry: There are many commercial fishing companies near the coastal regions that rely on the marine wildlife found in coral reefs, such as different types of fish.
Tourism Industry: Tourists from all around the world come to see the natural beauty of the coral reefs. Tourism companies offer a variety of activities such as snorkeling, boating and scuba diving around the reefs.
Medicine Industry: Medicine and treatments for the world’s most deadly diseases come from coral reefs.
Coral reefs are vital to the economy, so if humans continue to destroy the reefs, all the associated industries will experience economic problems. There will be no more ingredients for life saving medicine, less variety of fish to catch and tourists will no longer be interested in visiting the reefs.
For instance, many tourists will argue that if there is nothing beautiful about coral reefs anymore, then why go see them. If the destruction of coral reefs continues, the reef and its industries will not be able to survive and the world will suffer from the loss.
As a result of human actions, coral reefs are endangered and could eventually become extinct. Scientists estimate that if humans do not do something to stop the destruction of the reefs, in 30 years 30% of the world’s current coral reefs will die.
Due to rising ocean temperatures and pH, small marine wildlife is dying. This is causing organisms further up the food chain to either move or die because they are losing their food source.
If the coral reefs are destroyed, it will throw off the aquatic ecosystem as well as every other ecosystem in the world. This is because all ecosystems depend on each other. For example, coral reefs assist the carbon cycle, which is an important aspect of many ecosystems.
Humans will suffer if coral reefs become extinct because humans depend on coral reefs (refer to
What is it
section). Coral reefs take an extremely long time to regrow and some reefs have already been damaged beyond repair. If they continue to be damaged, they will not have a chance to replenish and all coral reefs on Earth could disappear.
Why is it Happening?
Coral reefs can become damaged by natural phenomena, such as hurricanes, which are out of people’s control. The main reason they are being damaged is because of climate change due to the emission of greenhouse gases. This causes global warming and an increased amount of carbon dioxide in the water.
Climate change is mainly caused by pollution created by industries, automobiles and human wastefulness (for example, the wasting of electricity). It is society’s fault for the destruction of the reefs as in today’s society, many people would rather do what is more convenient at the moment and try to avoid the responsibility of keeping Earth healthy.
Also, some people are not aware of the negative effects of society’s actions, so they contribute to the damage of coral reefs without even knowing.
What are Coral Reefs?
What is it?
A coral reef is a diverse ocean community of living things. It consists of the calcium rich polyps, fish, aquatic plants and other marine wildlife surrounding it. Coral Reefs are very important. They act as a barrier to protect land, provide habitats, support the carbon cycle and supply food for humans and ingredients for medications such as anti-cancer medicine and painkillers.
What is Happening
Global Warming: This is the rise of global temperatures caused mostly from greenhouse gas emissions. This causes the rise of ocean temperatures, resulting in two things:
1. Organisms that are sensitive to changes in temperature are dying.
2. Algae are being released by stressed coral polyps causing Coral Bleaching. The algae is a source of energy for the coral, so by being released, the coral can possibly die.
Hey people! Welcome to my crib;
the CORAL REEF!
What should WE be doing to protect Coral Reefs?
Inform and educate more people on endangered coral, the importance of the reefs and how to protect them by creating campaigns, clubs and spreading the word.
Donating to coral reef protection funds or adopting a coral reef to allow the owner to protect the reef.
Treating already damaged reefs with extra care.
If near a coral reef, do not touch or pollute it, as a single touch can kill coral already damaged by climate change and carbon dioxide.
Reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emission, which contribute to climate change, thus preventing problems such as ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and rising in water temperatures. This can be done by not being wasteful and being more responsible for the environment's health (for example, walking instead of driving the car to reduce emissions).
World Wildlife Fund raises
awareness to protect coral reefs.
This is a photograph taken of The Great Barrier Reef, located in Queensland, Australia. It is the world's largest coral reef system. It is know as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and can be viewed by space shuttles from outer space.
This coral reef has been damaged so severely that it can no longer support life.
Loss of coral reefs can lead to a shortage of jobs (refer to Economic Impact section), causing stress and times of trouble among many people. Reefs are one of the most amazing ecosystems in the world.
If they get destroyed, there would be a loss of beauty in the world and they would be greatly missed by scuba divers and snorkel enthusiasts. Once coral reefs become extinct, people will regret damaging them.
Coral reefs are beautiful and provide so much for humans, although it seems that in today’s society, careless people may let them disappear forever.
Carbon Dioxide: Ocean water has taken in hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. This benefits the atmosphere, although negatively affects the coral reefs:
1. Carbon dioxide causes Ocean Acidification, which occurs when there is a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the water, lowering its pH and the amount of carbonate ions. Smaller and weaker marine wildlife such as corals and shellfish need the carbonate ions and cannot stand changes in pH, therefore, they will start to die.
2. Carbon dioxide dissolves coral skeletons, making it easier for the reefs to be damaged by waves, tourists and fishers.
What is Climate Change:
Climate Change is the change of weather patterns over an extended period of time.
The scientific article can be found on
The article discusses what is happening to coral reefs in the Caribbean,, why they are being destroyed and why society needs to protect them.
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