Why We Should Care About Coral Reefs

According to marine experts, if we want to breathe, we want the oceans to be healthy. An article in Business Insider quotes Michael Crosby, president of Mote Laboratory and Aquarium, as saying “Estimates are that up to 80% of the oxygen you are breathing in right now comes from the ocean. It doesn't come from the land. In order for you to continue to breathe, you have to have a healthy ocean."

Since 2016, coral bleaching events have killed off approximately half of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest and most extensive reef system in the world. What is coral bleaching? When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white and become more likely to die.

After searing heat waves in 2016 and 2017, more than half of the Great Barrier Reef has been destroyed.

What can be done to save the reefs? Here’s what the Business Insider article reports:

Efforts include identifying coral that's particularly resilient to heat or acidity, and pioneering ways to quickly regrow coral so that dying reefs can be re-populated. Other researchers are looking at ways to breed super-corals. But, these efforts won’t work without addressing the larger carbon emission problems.

Click here to read the article.



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