REEFS IN AUSTRALIA

Potential problems that occur in the reefs of Australia

CORAL REEFS

A recent report estimated that 75 percent of remaining coral reefs are currently threatened, and many have already been lost. Even some of the most remote and pristine reefs are losing species. 

RISING OCEAN TEMPERATURES

Warmer ocean temperatures cause even more problems when it comes to disease – high temperatures allow corals to become sick more easily, and allow disease-causing organisms to grow faster. There is a huge array of different diseases in corals. Most of them are named after how they change a sick coral’s appearance, like black band, white band, white spot and purple blotch diseases. 

OCEAN ACIDITATION

As more carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere, it also has adverse effects on the oceans. Recently, ocean acidification has emerged as another potentially serious threat to coral reefs. Seawater absorbs some of the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, causing the oceans to become more acidic. As a result, the oceans’ acidity has increased by 25 percent over the past 200 years. These acidic conditions dissolve coral skeletons, which make up the structure of the reef, and make it more difficult for corals to grow