What first comes to mind when we think about scuba diving? A beautiful tropical beach, sun shining brightly and you are all set to dive. Ready with the gears, you count till three and splash! Expecting to see the vibrant colonies of corals. Filled with a variety of sea creatures. Your excitement increases as the scuba instructor take you to the coral reefs. Alas! All the excitement ended in the sand as you look at the coral. Devoid of their magnificent colors, corals look like ghosts. Your heart breaks looking at the sight. Once back on the surface, your guide tells you that corals change color due to Climate change. They are not only degrading corals but also the marine life that is dependent on corals.
Oceans cover up to 70% of Earth’s surface. Not only that it consists of many known and unknown species. Its vast spread and depth make it hard to explore and study. But oceans have one work, that is to regulate Earth’s temperature. Oceans absorb excess heat. This increases the temperature in the oceans. This has already endangered a lot of marine species. The calcium carbonate deposition for thousands of years makes corals. They are very fragile. Hence, an increase in temperature affects them. Ultimately, leading to the deterioration of a food web.
Importance for Coral:
Coral is important for both marines as well as coasts. Not only that, they protect the coasts from erosion as well as storms. The coral reefs also play an important role in the livelihood of coastal people. Each coral reef consists of a wide variety of corals, fishes, molluscs, and turtles. Each colony of corals is a food cycle of its own. They have a huge contribution to the fishing industry as well as the tourism industry. They have a huge part to play in coastal defense. Help in the reduction of wave pressure, which reduces the risk of a tsunami. Safeguarding mangroves, seagrasses, and marine animals are one of the important works of corals. The marine population in corals has provided aid in the cure of many diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and asthma. They are a good source of food and jobs for the human population on the coast.
Change in Climate:
Many studies show that there is significant climate change. This change is mainly caused because of the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, animal farming, and agriculture. The records of the mid 19th century till now, show that there is an increase in climate temperature of 0.8%. From the 1970s, there is an increase in temperature every decade. Global carbon dioxide levels have also shown a rise since the industrial revolution. The rise in temperature of 2.5-4.5oc till 2100. The oceans work to regulate the temperature by absorbing it. Hence, there has been a high rise in the temperature. The increased temperature causes the north pole to melt. Killing and harming more wildlife.
Prediction of Changes:
To predict the changes, observing the changes that took place in the oceans. Many climatic changes happened as well as the increase in temperature. From above, the ocean absorbs heat. Hence, there is an increase in ocean surface by 2-3% in the last few decades. Marine life has to adapt to the changes soon or it can be fatal. Not only that there is a 0.18 to 0.79-meter rise in sea level. In this decade there is an increase in storms, tsunamis, and cyclones. This increases the unrest in the marine ecosystem. Corals are temperature sensitive. They have adapted to the conditions for centuries. But, these rapid climatic changes make it hard for them to learn to adapt quickly. The ocean current patterns are modifying, making it hard for marine life to navigate. The water absorbs CO2, debris, oil spills, etc. leading to the change in pH level.
How to protect the corals?
If you take some basic precautions, you can help protect Corals. You can help by following a few small steps. Follow basic steps like reducing driving, practicing 3Rs (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle), reduce the use of paper, and use energy-efficient appliances. Avoid throwing trash on beaches or any water body. Proper disposal of trash. The use of chemical fertilizers or their extensive use is harmful to marine life. Therefore, use natural fertilizers in minimal quantities. Use public transport instead of private. Try using a cycle or walking. If you want to take an active part in coral protection, try volunteering.
If you enjoy watching corals from tropical beaches, try maintaining a safe distance from corals. Do not touch them a lot. Try to anchor your boat as far away as possible from corals. On a tropical vacation, sunscreen is a must. But, this sunscreen can be harmful to corals. They contain some ingredients that are not good for marine life.
What do we think?
Corals are deteriorating due to climatic conditions. Though much can not be done. Protection of this colony is important. Corals are an important part of the oceans. It also protects humans from waves and tsunamis. Due to the rise in temperature, there is harm to marine life. Corals are temperature sensitive and are not able to adapt to the change in oceans. The destruction is already done but we can stop the remaining corals. Try by taking small steps to the protection of corals. Saving them is a must. Here is everything, about the effects of climate change on corals.