Rainforests of the Sea Dying

Our green waters

Our green waters

Coral Bleaching Events and Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Hot Spots, 1997 – 1998

  Change is impacting our environment in many different ways. One of the most obvious, yet least discussed ways, is the deterioration of coral reefs. When we want to investigate the realistic examples of global warming and climate change, we need to look no further than our coral reefs. According to Earth Trends: Environmental Information, “coral reefs, which are extremely sensitive to changes in the temperature and acidity of the water in which they form, are being destabilized by a changing ocean environment. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that many of the world’s coral reefs are precariously close to total failure.”

The Global Marine Species, an institution that monitors approximately 40,000 species of animals, reports that nearly 1/3 of animals near the coral reef are listed as critcally endangered. Because of the delicate nature of the coral reef, in increase in global temperatures will cause a “shock.” This “shock” will progress into the coral reefs bleaching, thus loosing their color and being more prone to disease. Should more of the coral reef beign to be bleached, much of it will die, thus the organisms they support will begin to die. Parts of the ecosystem will begin to crumble merely because the coral is dying.

While we may see the coral reef as only a “rainforest of the sea,” many organisms see the coral reef as their home and their protection.

-Written by Rumana Kermalli

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jessie said,

    Whenever I think of environmental harms, I think of the obvious : melting glaciers, polluted air, etc., but never coral reefs, and I suppose that is a big issue. Thanks!

  2. 2

    jay11235 said,

    I guess that most people think that only the rainforests are to worry about. But this should be more widespread all over the world. I mean if people dont do something about it, we may end up with dead fish all over the coral reefs, and this may cause some deadly chain reaction and cause the rest of the species to follow >.>

  3. 3

    Firas said,

    Wow, I had no idea this problem existed, or how much it could hurt the environment. You’ve really opened my eyes about my actions. I hope that these coral reefs can one day be saved.

  4. 4

    Juan Carlos Franco said,

    people should really stop pollution because this affects everything on earth even the living things inside the ocean. Coral reefs are like the most beautiful and attracting thing in the ocean so if the less pollution the better they grow.

  5. 5

    nancy ton said,

    this post is really awesome, because the sea are also effected by the global warming that is happening to our Earth. The sea is like the earth in terms, because we tryib to stop the temperatures changes that is happening, and think of ways to change teh way we live,except the sea can’t do anything about what is happening to the outside beyond their world of understanding. So the debate team is doing the saving the earth, not only because of us,but for the world and everyone and everything that inhabited the earth. 🙂

  6. 6

    Muskan Agarwal said,

    I always knew that the ocean was affected by global warming, but I thought that the effect was minimum, and that animals weren’t being harmed. This is just more proof that global warming is harmful and that people should be taking action for it right now. It is not something that will happen in the future, but something that is happening right now.

  7. 7

    michelle c. said,

    wow. i have to admitt i never thought about coral reefs when it came to global warming. I didn’t think that the ocean could be that much affected by global warming(except for weather)but we should think more about it. i would’ve never thought that coral reefs would be that sensitive and would actually lose their color.


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