Coral Reefs Bleaching and Dying

By Kara Dung

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at 4:24 PM PDT

Coral Reefs are a very big part of the oceans ecosystems providing food and shelter for a lot of marine life. These coral reefs are crucial to the health of our oceans but they are rapidly being bleached and dying. There are so many factors to killing coral reefs; oil spills, overfishing, and even ocean pollution from chemicals in sunscreen that we wear when we go in the ocean.

 

An article written by Rebecca Albright in Scientific American discusses coral reef conservation, restoration, and bleaching. She writes that the warming temperatures of the ocean is one of the main reasons coral reefs are dying. In the years form 2014-2016 has been the worst coral reef bleaching on record. With coral being part animal and part algae they have the ability to clone themselves. This is a good thing but is also an issue, because it can take nearly a decade to have a coral colony be fully grown. We unfortunately cannot depend on this because the ocean environments are changing too rapidly for the coral to natural reproduce and adapt. Albright also mentions that scientists are making several approaches to help wild coral to adapt, including trying experiments of transplants from lab fertilization. Albright also talked with researchers who have found that with stressing corals it can help genes that will make more resilient offspring with algae enhancing boosting coral health. These experiments are one of the ways we can help revive our coral reefs, but it is only possible if the human population can slow global warming.