Death of Coral Reefs
Zoe Smith 3rd period
Where is it common near North America?
What is effected?
Great Barrier Reef above.
"Ecologically speaking the value of coral reefs is even greater [than these estimates] because they are integral to the well being of the oceans as we know them. … picture [reefs] as the undersea equivalent of rainforest trees. Tropical waters are naturally low in nutrients because the warm water limits nutrients essential for life from welling up from the deep, which is why they are sometimes called a “marine desert”. Through the photosynthesis carried out by their algae, coral serve as a vital input of food into the tropical/sub-tropical marine food-chain, and assist in recycling the nutrients too. The reefs provide home and shelter to over 25% of fish in the ocean and up to two million marine species. They are also a nursery for the juvenile forms of many marine creatures.
I could go on, but the similarity with the rainforest should now be clear. Eliminate the undersea “trees”, which mass coral bleaching is in the process of doing, and you’ll eliminate everything that depends on it for survival."
— Rob Painting, Coral: life’s a bleach… and then you die, Skeptical Science, January 13, 2011
- "20% of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery;
- Approximately 40% of the 16% of the world’s reefs that were seriously damaged in 1998 are either recovering well or have recovered;
- The report predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures; and a further 26% are under a longer term threat of collapse;"
— Clive Wilkinson, Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004 [PDF format], World Wildlife Fund, p.7