home
environmental background
political dimension
socio-cultural dimension
making Sharing Paradise
news
map
about us
 

Coral reef and global warming

Global warming is caused by the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere. These gases act as a blanket, preventing the heat of the sun to escape through our atmosphere. This is primarily due to fossil fuel burning and deforestation and many scientists believe that this is causing sea surface temperatures to rise.

Ocean warming is extremely dangerous to coral organisms, which are very sensitive to changes in temperature. Increased water temperatures, which may be linked to global warming, can cause mass coral bleaching. This occurs when coral polyps, stressed by heat or ultraviolet radiation, expel the algae that live within them. These algae, called zooxanthellae (zo-zan-THEL-ee) normally provide the coral with up to 80% of their energy, making zooxanthellae essential for coral survival. The algae are also normally responsible for the color of coral, so when they are expelled, the coral appears white or 'bleached."

There is a chance that bleached coral can recover if conditions return to normal. However, in the face of other human-induced pressures, coral have become vulnerable. In many cases, bleached coral colonies die.  

Directly quoted from Coral Reef Alliance:

view source here

Also in this section:

The importance of a coral reef ecosystem
What is a coral?
Elements that influence a coral reef ecosystem
Threats to coral reef
Coral reef and global warming
Why do we try to protect the coral reef?
Indigenous knowledge of the marine ecosystem on Balobaloang

Destructive fishing practices
Dynamite fishing
Cyanide Fishing
Trawl
Overfishing
Knowledge and practice of sustainable fishing on Balobaloang

Academic works and research on Balobaloang

Global fish trade and the environment

 

Sharing Paradise
Sharing Paradise Study Guide
buy