All you need To About Coral Bleaching
You might have heard of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is one of the most familiar tourist destinations, attracting thousands of people every year.
People actively take part in activities like boating and scuba diving to take a leap into the natural beauty of that serene environment.
Having said that, this reef which was once brimming with aquatic life is now gradually losing its vibrance. The bright and attractive color of the corals has been reduced to a drab white, and the fishes that once inhabited this place are now left homeless.
All of these are the consequence of only one evil, which is coral bleaching. If you're new to this concept, then let's discuss it in detail!
What is Coral Bleaching?
Before we move forward with the topic of coral break, first let's understand the reason behind the vibrant colors of the corals.
Corals are a certain kind of aquatic species, which supports a symbiotic relationship in the form of algae, known as zooxanthellae. These algae are the ones that give them their characteristic colors. Usually, they don't have a problem co-existing with each other. However, if the corals are put under some kind of stress, they will try to eradicate the algae from its surface, and prevent it to re-attach under unfavorable conditions. At this stage, they undertake a whitish texture without the algae, and become quite sticky, which gave its name "coral bleaching".
Causes of Coral Bleaching
Many factors can contribute to corals' poor living environments, but rapid climate changes are the most significant ones. Oceans absorb about 93 percent of the heat produced by global warming. And with this abrupt rise in water temperatures, the coral in certain locations opposes the algae. Moreover, fast-changing conditions in the climates allow affecting the amount of sunlight they receive, or the nutrients they get every day.
Apart from that, we humans also do plenty to create these unfavorable conditions:-
• Coastal development creates significant erosion, which covers the water and prevents symbiotic algae from receiving the sunlight they require to exist.
• Overfishing encourages invading species such as seaweed to spread rapidly, blocking sunlight and nutrition.
• Over-pollution can alter the pH of water, making calcium carbonate formation more difficult. Corals can't construct their skeletons because of this.
• Divers frequently harm corals by walking on them, while some tourists also break off some chunks from these corals as "memorabilia."
How Does It Affect Us?
Coral reefs are not just for tourists, as it has enough food and resources for 500 million people worldwide. Moreover, there are thousands of people who live near the shores and have a direct dependency on them for their livelihood and security.
The corals are also responsible for absorbing the brunt of large waves and, to some part, countering tropical disturbances to keep those coastal populations safe. As if that weren't enough, coral reefs support almost half of all cancer medication, which is currently under development.
What Can We Do?
It's true that we can repair the bleached corals, however, it is highly unusual, as this process might take years. Many agencies, thankfully, are attempting to develop solutions that will conserve coral reefs as well as our seas.
There's an organization called Coral Reef Alliance which is a non-profit organization devoted to rehabilitating coral reefs around the globe. They collaborate with localities to alleviate coral species risks. They also work with scientists to investigate the effects of climate change on coral reefs and their adaptability to changing conditions.
Organizations like this are trying their best to do something about the situation. Having said that, here are some things that we can also do as ordinary citizens:-
Try to stop using herbicides and pesticides in your garden or at home because they pollute the environment and can inhibit corals from reproducing.
Reduce pollution and the number of landfills on the earth by recycling.
Try to use eco-friendly carry bags instead of using plastic bags. One of the great options can be jute bags.
Don't waste water! Consider taking shorter showers, and make sure to turn off the tap water you're brushing or washing clothes. A combined effort can considerably reduce the number of effluents that enter the ocean.
If you want to preserve the vibrance of the reefs as well as the aquatic life around them, then ensure to make a little contribution on your part. Many people might think, "what difference will it make with my single effort?"
Don't think like that, as some people might start taking initiative by watching you. This way, if everyone starts having a positive attitude, things around us can really improve!
Author- Ramesh Chaurasia
A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.