Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coral bleaching and Global Warming

Travelers who travel and scuba dive in island countries will see weird phenomenon which occurs to the under water coral reef in most of the diving sites. Several years ago, scuba divers found that most of the coral reef turned white. This is called coral bleaching. The cause is global warming. The worst coral bleaching event happened during El Nino. Human activities which release a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere has triggered the rise of sea surface temperature, ultraviolet light, increasing acid rain that harmfully affect most of the coral reef.
If exposed to intense heat and ultraviolet light, coral polyps will expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae). Marine biologists and scuba divers have tried to restore the coral reef condition by transplanting new baby corals to dead corals. This only brings small impact compared to the massive bleaching events to destroy most of the corals around the world.
The most effective way that human can do to stop coral bleaching is reducing the release of green house gases. It means that we have to reduce the burning of fossil fuel, creating more efficient machines, investing more in renewable energy technologies, and consuming less plastics. The less fossil fuel we burn, the better will be the coral reef condition. by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia. 
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