The blog is written by Biol312 Writing in Biology students at UMass Amherst
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The End of Coral Reefs?
Coral Reefs, one of the more beautiful natural phenomena that may not be around for very much longer according to studies on CO2 emissions. The heightening temperatures of the surface water of the ocean is causing this bleaching because it's just too hot for the algae and they die off leaving the "skeleton" of the coral behind. A bleached out reef also effects the vertebrates and invertebrates that inhabit them. Reefs only make up 1% of surface area of the ocean, but occupy about 25% of marine fish species, so it's not just the coral and algae being effected here. The loss of these reefs holds a much bigger impact than we realize.
There is still time, however, because most reefs are predicted to be bleached out by around 2040 (assuming that the emission levels only stabilize, or increase). This is only a prediction, but the actions that everyone does is the cause, and the conditions of the reefs are the effect of the decisions we make. The world has lost enough reefs to bleaching already, and we should not sit back and watch the rest die off either because they could be gone in our lifetime.
If the carbon emissions were to either halt or even reduce, the reefs would have a 23 year longer life expectancy. If we were to cut down on these carbon emissions, then we could even expect flourishing of reefs once they have adapted to the changes in the waters. Why let such a beautiful thing die? I think this means that we all have to find ways to cut down our carbon footprints, and it's not a difficult goal to attain, even some change is better than none at all!
IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE PEOPLE.
I've even left a couple of websites on how to calculate how much CO2 we contribute per household, and ways to cut down and make small changes.